We are in the midst of an unprecedented time. For many of us, this is a time of firsts. Our first pandemic. Our first time being mandated work from home or to take unplanned time off. Our first time relying on technology like video meetings or new software for distance communication.
I am sure you are, like me, worried about your health, your family’s health, your finances, your careers, the world, and much more. I find it helpful to remember that you can only take responsibility for what you can and then it is necessary to let go of the rest. I call this pausing and resetting.
Walk yourself through these four steps to pause and reset to help in coping with fear in the face of COVID-19.
1. Use your pause button.
Stop, pause, and reassess. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the tsunami of information coming your way.
2. Notice that you are being triggered.
Ask yourself what just happened? What does my body feel like? Why does it feel this way? Take a few seconds or minutes to explore these sensations and thoughts.
3. Calm yourself and take control of the spinning thoughts.
You can only control what is in your control. Try taking some deep breaths, touch your toes, and move around. Try not to panic and ‘buy’ problems or situations that you do not need to right now. It is too easy to get caught up in social media, news releases, and hysteria. Instead, breathe and note what is happening in you and around you.
4. Reboot your mood, choosing not to focus on fear.
Consciously decide what you want or need to pay attention to. Let go of what you cannot control. Bring forth and remember a happy event or situation in enough detail so that there is a smile on your face. Keep that smile on your face as you open your eyes. And keep it there as you apply yourself to something strategic that fundamentally will bring positivity into your life, your family, or your work.
You are not alone today or tomorrow.
Everyone is in a state of flux worldwide as we navigate these new times. By noticing when you are being triggered and then taking steps to manage the fear, you will be able to stay calm in this time of change.