Coronavirus Calm

Coronavirus Calm: Tools to nurture our mental health

Coronavirus… we’re hearing about it EVERYWHERE and sometimes it makes me just want to escape it and think about something else. But at the same time, we’re facing a really uncertain time, not only about if we can find toilet roll and pasta to buy but also if our businesses and livelihood will be ok (and of course, our family’s health).

For each one of us, there will be a major impact upon our lives. It may financial, emotional or heath related. Whatever your individual impact may be, one of the foundations linking them all is FEAR. Fear of the unknown is the deepest type of fear. Once we know what our reality is, we can make plans and know our options. The constant state of limbo – not knowing the true impact of Coronavirus is totally daunting.

Yet, one thing is certain in life and that is CHANGE. We never actually know things are going to work out, which is why this is one of my favourite quotes of all time:

“Everything in life can be taken away from you, except for your freedom to choose how you respond.” Viktor Frankl

I’ve been thinking about this quote lately and asking myself, “how am I going to respond?”

My immediate reaction towards this pandemic are fear and stress. I fully admit to checking the morbid death toll each day. However, I force myself to take a step back and respond in a better way because fear and stress are absolutely not going to help me one little bit.

As Abraham Hicks says, we have to calibrate to the solution, not the problem.

So, what is the solution?

Well, no one truly knows the full solution to the Coronavirus outbreak. Yet, we can’t just hold out for a cure or mentally torture ourselves either.  We do know what the problem is and allowing fear and panic to take control is not the answer – we have to protect our emotional energy.

Here are a few things that I use to help me stay grounded and feel in control of uncertainty. I wanted to share them with you in case you find them helpful too:

1- Stress is in the past or future, but not in this current moment
We tend to let our minds wonder with ‘what ifs…’ An uncontrolled mind is the most dangerous enemy to our mental health.

Pause for a moment, and notice there is no stress in the current moment. There is only reliving a past stressful memory, or anticipating the stress in the future. The goal is then to bring your mind back to the present. It may be a nano-second of stress-free living, but that is a good place to start. The more you practise this the longer the period of the ‘moment’.

2. An exercise for disconnecting with fear

The mindfulness technique of 5,4,3,2,1 focus on breathing and noticing your five senses. This exercise forces you to be in the current moment for a few minutes. It has the real benefit of distancing yourself from fear and any other unpleasant emotion or thought.

Try it yourself:

Take a deep slow breath. Pause for a second and then slowly let it out.
Look at your current surroundings and SLOWLY label the following. Take a deep slow breath between each sense.

Name 5 things you can see.

Name 4 things you can feel (within your body or touch)

Name 3 things you can hear.

Name 2 things you can smellName 1 thing you can taste (what is currently in your mouth)

When you do this, nothing else exists except for this moment and you can find peace.

3. Transcend reality to get better feeling thoughts

Our mind is unbelievably powerful, so use it for the better. I know things are uncertain right now, but we can still use our imaginations to experience something else. I’ve been using guided visualisations to allow myself to transcend my reality and experience happiness, abundance, success and health. In my mind, all is well – so I tap into that daily to calibrate with good feeling thoughts. This is such a powerful thing to do, especially right now.

Here is a quick three minutes of calm created by Michelle Simmonds:

Allow yourself to reach for these better feeling thoughts.

#3 What can you do?

You may be stuck at home right now, but how we use our time is everything. For me, I’m looking at how I can use my time effectively, how I can adapt to the situation and what I can do and should do right now to get through this time in the best way possible. We need to get our minds working to help us look at the problems we’re facing and come up with solutions. We’re masters at solving problems and we need to tap into that part of ourselves and come up with ideas. Keeping busy and productive is the best start for mental health.

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