Well, unless you have been camping in the Gobi Desert, you will no doubt have been psychologically affected by the coronavirus. There is a lot of uncertainty and change in the air which is naturally unsettling and can cause us stress.
The question is, how do we minimise the impact this global situation is having on us?
Well, one way is to increase our ‘perceived’ sense of control over this situation. The research in this area is fascinating: If we have a greater ‘perceived’ sense of control over any situation, it lowers our cortisol release, (our stress hormone), and that is good for our health.
Here are my top seven tips to help you get a greater sense of control back in your life:
- Learn to say ‘no’. This is my number one tip for you to have a greater sense of control in your life. Say ‘no’ to non-priorities and put yourself first. Saying ‘no’ is liberating and actually frees you up to saying ‘yes’ to the things you really want to do.“Really successful people say no to almost everything” – Warren Buffett
- Keep a sense of perspective, it’s all relative. When we look at a problem and hyper-focus on it, it can feel overwhelming. Take a step back, look at things from a different perspective. Here are my views on the coronavirus, firstly the world is operating on a more united front (about time I’d say), secondly, we have brilliant scientists that are working on a cure as we speak, thirdly we understand this stuff so much better than we did in the past, our communication is quicker, we can get tested quickly, we have access to masks, hand sanitisers and Kleenex toilet paper is made in Australia!
If you want to keep a sense of perspective limit the amount of news and social feeds you watch. It’s one thing to stay informed it’s another to overdose on ‘bad’ news. You have control on what you choose to fill your brain with.
- Keep doing things that are good for you, such as keep exercising, just find other ways, even if you have to exercise at home. I can remember Jane Fonda videos, showing my age I know, but there are stacks of ways you can keep up an exercise regime without leaving your home, how good is that?
- Write a plan. Consider all the things you are worried about; security of your job, your son’s school closing or your elderly parent getting sick.
Now, being objective not panicked, write out all the contingencies, think laterally.
If we look at your job security. Was the job security? Or did it seem like an anchor weighing you down, day in day out, maybe this is the perfect time to think about setting up your own business, be your own boss.
Having your son sent home from school well if he is anything like my son was he would be delighted to stay indoors for two weeks it would be gaming, gaming gaming, and as he would have said to me ‘ Mum, you need to chillax’
Regarding your parents health, maybe you could get your parents set up with skype or zoom so you can regularly chat and see them without visiting and compromising their weaker immune system, set up family zoom meeting.
Writing a plan gives you a sense of control it helps you be objective.
- Declutter – decluttering reduces stress, so if you are spending more time indoors get rid of the stuff you have been hanging onto for years, clear out your cupboards and feel calmer in the process and importantly feel a greater sense of control.
- Keep a gratitude diary with a buddy. I have been keeping a gratitude diary with a friend of mine for months. Every evening I capture things I’m grateful for that day and send it to my friend and he does the same. You start off with obvious things, family, cute pets, but because you shouldn’t repeat items you have to start scanning your environment for other things that you are grateful for. It changes the way you view your world it shows you have control on how you choose to see things.
- Finally, if you are feeling overwhelmed, admit that firstly to yourself and then ask for help. Asking for help is empowering, not weakness and again demonstrates you have control in your life.
You have control of your life, you have got this x
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