I have gone through tough times before. I have been thinking of those tough times-The transitions I’ve made and the methods I have used to stay positive, hopeful and grounded.
Here, Is a reflection of what I’ve been experiencing lately and what I’m doing to cope during such turbulent times.
The ironic part is that I too, even after years of gathering support tools, had to remind myself of all the points I make here.
Pull out your past playbooks and reflect on how you handled challenging times in your life. There are things you did that gave you strength to make it through. Let these words serve as your reminder. XO
We are living in uncertain times. Life as we know it is changing every single day. Sometimes, its even changing by the minute.
One day you have a job, you can go out to eat and meet up with friends. You can move around freely without worrying about catching an illness. Then the next day, you are out of work, you can’t go to a movie, meet up with friends for happy hour, grab a cup of coffee, or go shopping for new mascara.
Welcome to the new reality- life during the global pandemic known as Covid-19.
People are scared and they are stressed out. This is new, its effects are unpredictable and, in the most extreme cases, it can be life threatening.
How am I coping?
Well friends, the ole emotional roller coaster fired back up into operation again. You know the one—you are smiling one minute, then crashing down into tears the next.
Honestly, I wasn’t coping that well. My mind was spinning in stressed out hopelessness loops-thinking that people would be left destitute and alone.
Getting overly concerned thinking of people loosing their jobs. Worrying about businesses shutting down. Stressing out about all the people moving around possibly spreading the virus. Frustrated that some people aren’t taking things seriously. Big time anxiety thinking of the health and well-being of my family and friends.
I knew this kind of thinking wasn’t good for my own well-being or anyone around me. I could see I was getting edgy, frantic and overwhelmed with irrational thoughts.
I was looking for the evidence that the world was falling apart, obsessing over every bad piece of news I could get in order to prove my fears were right- we are living in desperate times and this is the worse thing and how will we survive and…..Then I realized…Time to pause and take a breath.
Surfin’ Like Cal-i-for-ni-a
There isn’t certainty in life
Buddhism teaches the concept of impermanence: life is always changing, nothing remains as it is. We can really grasp this concept when we hold on to our lives a little more loosely by being grateful for the good times and reminding yourself bad times don’t last.
Life, just like waves of the ocean, rises and falls. They are strong and turbulent one day, calm and easy the next.
We need to be like the surfers dudes in Cali & Hawaii. We need to get out on our boards, hang ten and ride the waves.
So how do you ride these waves?
The first thing I did was to became aware of what I was thinking and feeling then realize it was a normal reaction to what was going on.
We get stressed and afraid when uncertainty is thrown at us. When our everyday life is turned upside down and becomes different than the norm. When our routines are disrupted and we can’t predict what tomorrow will be like. Humans like routine and predictability- it makes us feel safe and secure.
So, you see, it’s normal to feel this way! (Whew, I’m not the weird one after all.)
Accepting What Is
Life shifted. I had to shift with it.
Grumbling and complaining that Ulta was closed or that it seemed like a lot of people were still going out to the grocery store wasn’t going to change the situation.
Fighting against the tide only wears you out. Accepting what is going on then deciding to deal with it the best way you can makes riding the wave so much easier. It also frees up your mind to come up with creative ways to address challenges.
I had to adapt to the new norm and accept what is.
My new normal was staying home, Zoom conferencing, and not being able to see my grandkids. It was about not going in to a job I loved and interacting with customers. It was about not going out to eat but ordering take out. It was about watching leaders trying to come up with solutions.
I had a new way of living and I could go against the tide or ride the wave and make the best of it.
Creating the Positive Loop
Positive self talk, finding things you are grateful for and looking for the people doing good are all ways to set that positive wheel in your mind a spinnin’.
I reminded myself that life works for me and that out of chaos comes miracles. I believe that things are always working for the greater good-humanity as a whole- and that there is some reason that this is happening and we may not see it yet, but it will be an amazing one!
I told myself the following: right now I have a job. Right now, I am healthy. Right now I can go outside for a walk. Right now, all of my family is ok. All is well in my world-right now.
Dude-Let’s Catch Some Waves
You have control-it’s in how you you choose to perceive the situation.
Everyday life changes. Experiences weave in and out of our existence. We do not have any control over what we experience but we have control over how we perceive them.
I made a choice and I CHOSE to start looking for the good that was going on around me.
- My boss helping his customers.
- People supporting each other on Facebook.
- I saw families playing together.
- Strangers being nicer to each other
What I saw was a sense of unity- we are all humans going through this together.
Does this pandemic suck? Yes. I really want to go shopping. I want to go out to a networking event with my boyfriend. I want to see my family. I want people to stop worrying and be happy and, most of all, healthy.
There is a huge lesson in all this. Some of it being seen now, parts to be played out and seen later.
But, right now, let’s focus on what we can do and….
Ride the waves like a pro bruh!