There’s been varied reactions by many regarding the quarantine. Lots of ups and downs. Struggling with home school. Dealing with disappointed kids who are missing some important life events they’ll never get to repeat. Some are out of work, and pivoting to find a way to make money, or find a new career.
Everyone has feelings, which evolve into actions, or even worse? No action. Just a loop of endless anxiety and fear that can gobble us up whole.
First, we need to recognize it. But I think we also need to know that isn’t the way to live day-to-day. For moments? Yes. We may need to cry and scream and whine. We may need to huddle in our bed to try and gather strength to crawl back out.
But with great struggle, comes the opportunity for growth. New ideas, and plans, and paths to explore. Sometimes, life is like a wrecking ball, and as we lay shaking in the corner, after the rubble is clear, we can emerge with a new vision for our life.
Can’t we try and take this opportunity and try to transform it? Or at least, change our mindset?
This isn’t about saying you can’t be a mess or grieve, or that you should be a happy Pollyanna who bounces around yelling at people to look at the glass half full.
I’m talking about taking you and doing the work to be better. For you and your family. And there are ways to do it, if you can just take the first step out of your comfort zone and start DOING all the things you always WANTED to do or dreamed about.
Take a step.
I’ve listed a few suggestions here. If none resonate, that’s fine, but try and find your own. Create a plan and just do one step, even if you feel overwhelmed and overworked and full of messy emotion you don’t know what to do with anymore.
You need to implement some action, amidst your Netflix binging and home schooling and falling down the rabbit hole of news for hours.
Yes, I know so many of you are groaning and yelling. But this has transformed my life. I HATE exercise. I NEVER did it. And then I realized my anxiety and tiredness and general feeling of being overwhelmed all the time had to do with the fact I went from chair to chair every day. You have to walk. Dance to a few songs on the radio. Do some stretching. There are so many amazing platforms and apps right now giving away free trials—go download one right now, and don’t even think about it – just hit the button and do it now. Today. Not tomorrow. See if you feel any different. We need the buzz of endorphins right now so desperately.
2. Take a day away from social media.
ALL social media. I think we all need a detox. There’s too much info, both scary and educational and inflammatory, and our brains can only manage so much without freaking out. Just take one day this week and refuse to check Twitter, IG, Facebook, Tick Tock, Youtube, all of it. Just step away from the computer other than to do your work. Don’t do research. Take one day and if you have time, do anything that isn’t focused/geared toward social media. See how you feel the next day. Did it help balance you or clear your head a bit? We need re-grounding. This is a great way to do it.
3. Do something creative.
My husband has been struggling lately. His job is overwhelming, he dislikes working from home, and he’s one of the most social people I know. He thrives with people. Unlike me. I can be locked in the house happily for months and not recognize I haven’t seen anyone. I told him recently that he needs to get back to playing his guitar. It’s sitting in the case propped up against the wall, silent and dusty. He’s happy when he plays. It’s the creative part of him that gets sparked, and that releases good energy into our brains and body. It happens to me when I write something that I’m excited about. Whatever you love in the creative arts—GO DO IT. It doesn’t have to be long, either. You don’t need to carve away a few hours – a half hour is plenty. Write, paint, play music, daydream and journal, color in that cool adult coloring book that’s been untouched, DO SOMETHING CREATIVE.
4. Do something to make you better.
That’s right. This weekend I took the RISEXLIVE personal development course with Rachel Hollis and her team and it pumped me up. I literally felt changed and that I wanted to take on the world. Listening to top leaders speak and fill you with enthusiasm is something we need to be positive and transform for the good. Take a masterclass. Listen to a Ted Talk. Read a book. I read Perennial Bestseller by Ryan Holiday to get inspired as a writer. A friend recommended Digital Minimalism. Read about leadership, inspiration, or memoirs of people you admire. Why shouldn’t we emerge as better people? Better leaders? Better parents? Better in our career? If you hate your job, and always wanted to do something else, can you take an intro class online? Can you read books or watch stuff to help? Or research on the Internet? Isn’t it time we try and BE BETTER? Just make sure it’s something you are passionate about – this isn’t an exercise to make you feel miserable but empowered.
5. Find time for quiet.
I’m now practicing meditation and it’s been the backbone for me to get through these past few months. It can be saying the rosary or praying. Installing the CALM app. Signing up for a guided meditation. Or taking 5-15 minutes to just sit down comfortably, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath. That’s it. Doesn’t matter what thoughts are going through your mind – your body recognizes stillness and will eventually help you calm. Even if you experience three perfect seconds of nothing but silence, it’s healing.
Those are some of my suggestions I hope you find hopeful. Every day, I re-commit myself to trying harder. If it’s a bad day, and I don’t accomplish much, I don’t beat myself up. I get a re-do every day. And isn’t that such a gift?
Are you doing any of the practices I mentioned or something specific?