Contributor: Kari Heistad, Culture Coach International
When we feel that we have no control, many (ok most) people get frustrated, fearful and stressed. None of this helps to improve our interactions with others who inhabit this planet with us. But, we can all make a difference – large or small – to ourselves and others as we move through this challenging time.
Take Media Breaks – listening to the media and the constant coverage means your brain is on high alert all day. This increases the cortisol in your body which causes stress and many other symptoms such as headaches. Being informed does not mean you need to have the news on 24/7. Give your body a chance to calm down by turning off the media.
Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk – a good number of people keep a running commentary going on in their own heads. In this closed system it can be easy to get into a negative feedback loop. Pay attention to your inner voice and replace thoughts like ‘I am going to get sick” or ‘the world is going to end’ with ‘I am strong and resourceful’ or I have successfully navigated challenges before’ or ‘I have the skills I need for the challenges I face today.’
Focus on Your Strengths – think about what are you naturally good at. Making connections? Planning? Being strategic? Use your natural strengths to help you get through this. If you want to go a step further – set up a team of folks who have complementary strengths. If you are great at relationships you can be the one who checks in on people. Let the detail-oriented person check when the local grocery store has restocked the toilet paper.
Take Mental Breaks – a couple of times a day – set a timer for 60 seconds. Close your eyes, visualize a calming favorite place. Take deep breaths while you are visualizing to give yourself some extra oxygen. Breathr is offering free meditations at 11 AM and 4 PM EST. Access here: https://zoom.us/j/688719780
Walk Outside – while it is advised to keep a small physical distance from other people, this doesn’t mean that you have to be confined to your home. At least once a day get outside, even if it is just to walk around the block. Nature is a great healer; the fresh air will help to clear your head and seeing something other than your inside walls will feel good.
Help Someone Else – When flying they say put your emergency oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you are feeling good – then take a moment to help someone else. Check on an older person who might feel even more isolated or fearful of going out. Arrange for groceries/food to be delivered to someone in need including food from events that have to be cancelled. Foster a pet from a local shelter that could use an extra hand. Share resources and tips with your neighbors. Make a donation to a college that is helping students with no place to move to. All of this will help you to keep a broader perspective and to remember the good in the world right now.
Be Grateful – Even in the midst of challenges, there is always plenty to be grateful for. Take a moment each day to remember what you are grateful for. Even better, make a list and keep it as a reminder for yourself.
Faith and Prayer – If you are person of faith, use prayer to help you and others and be active in your faith community.
Have questions or need other training tips and techniques, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.