In the current moment, one of the things that shows up the most for my coaching clients and even friends and family, is the sense of powerlessness they feel while watching all their well-intended plans dissipate in a world that feels like it has gone slightly crazy. Personally, I admit that for most of my life, I have coped with uncertainties by taking control and also having a plan. Indeed, it did create the illusion of control and provided some comfort.
However, as we are all discovering, there is no reference point for the current moment. Most of us are confronted with ourselves in ways we were previously able to escape through technology, busyness and an endless list of distractions.
In addition, the current moment induces anxiety for many as we contemplate our very survival (materially), but also our mental wellbeing during this period. I suppose, even harder to deal with in the current moment is the fact that there is no definite end in sight. The picture, as they say, is still forming.
So, for now, there is no one plan that will work for all of us. For now, I think our only strategy is to let go of control, and to take each day as it comes. Personally, I take it a week at a time, and each week – I learn more about what is working for me. I am also more gentle and loving towards myself.
If I may share, here are some tips for navigating during a time where everything is out of control:
#1 Be kind and gentle towards yourself
Listen to your body, pay attention to what you are feeling and find out what you need. If you find that you are feeling low, embrace it and don’t judge it. If you have the mental and emotional space, engage in self-introspection and some mirror work that perhaps you might not have space or time for at any other moment. There are many online resources that can support such processes.
#2 Movement and getting out of the house
I have discovered that I need to do a little bit more to keep moving. Whether it is joining online classes or just following through on a fitness routine. Also, a new highlight has been taking a walk during the allowed times; this has made me feel more energetic and also positive and happier. Getting outside and feeling some sunlight has really helped me find a little more balance.
#3 Find your support system
If you are doing lockdown alone or with others, have your periods of checking in with people that hold you, make you laugh and simply make you feel connected and loved. I find that previously I was not so good at this, but during lockdown, I have made more of an effort to connect and this has also helped me feel less alone and isolated.
#4 Resist the urge to make long-term plans
Previously I would want to, as my own coping strategy, develop a roadmap and use that to guide me. But, for now, let go of the need to plan beyond the next 2 or 3 months. This may be harder, but for now, if possible, get a thinking partner to help you think through how to hold the anxiety and perhaps manage the issues you are anxious about in the short-term.
As I sign out, I wish for all of you greater peace during this period!