How To Stay Calm In Uncertain Times
How To Stay Calm In Uncertain Times
There is no denying there’s a LOT going on in the world right now.
There is a lot of uncertainty and panic around Coronavirus.
The virus itself, and the financial implications and global economic implications moving forward.
It’s big stuff.
There is an air of panic and fear running through the whole world.
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know i’m not really one to jump on bandwagons, I often feel it can do a lot more harm than good. I’ve done what I usually do in these situations and try to not contribute to a problem but this is something I can do and feel is important.
At the moment anywhere I look is literally full to the brim with posts on Coronavirus, you can’t escape it.
My email inbox, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, everywhere.
I’m choosing to delete and unfollow the vast majority of it because I understand how toxic it can be and how quickly it can affect your mental health.
I also very much like to ‘stay in my own lane’ a little bit and do my own thing when it comes to social media rather than do anything simply because other people are, so thankfully I know how to limit my intake, what to watch out for and and when it’s potentially becoming harmful.
But there is some very real stuff going on right now. There is an element of requiring some cold hard facts so you know hoe best to protect yourself and your loved ones. Those are very difficult to come by because there is so much that is unknown and so many sources spinning things in various ways that don’t perhaps necessarily reflect the true picture.
There are people playing it down, people playing it up, people trying to get more eyeballs on content or sell more papers and those who are trying to genuinely inform. It’s difficult to separate it all.
Fear, panic and anxiety spread like wildfire so it’s important to understand how you can stay calm amidst the panic and make sure you don’t go down that rabbit hole.
I’m seeing people who aren’t panicking, panicking because they aren’t panicking and feel like they SHOULD be panicking because everyone else is panicking.
People being forced into panic buying things purely because the shelves have been utterly stripped bare and you can’t get online deliveries for weeks leaving vulnerable people without.
We’ve gone, it seems, slightly mad.
Only a few short weeks ago we were telling everyone to be kind and now we’re fisticuffs at dawn over loo roll and screw anyone else who may need it more. Which makes me sad.
It’s important in times like this to know what YOUR opinion is and what’s right for YOU because nobody knows that but you.
Nobody can TELL you that.
You need to do what you think is right.
I am actually VERY grateful that I had an operation last Thursday so I’ve been on lock down at home since then anyway and i’m also hugely grateful that I live in the countryside and my husband hates social media so if i’m choosing not to look at things I don’t have him riling me up from the sidelines either.
So if you choose that you don’t want to engage in the conversations or scaremongering then just let your loved ones know what your boundaries are on it.
Virus aside, the global financial implications of this have been HUGE and they’ve been fast.
It’s very natural to worry. I’ve got friends who in the space of a couple of weeks are having to think about folding their businesses.
Freelancers who’ve had work cancelled with no new contracts coming up.
People who’ve lost jobs with no one else hiring.
It’s very easy in situations like this to feel like we’re out of options.
The fight or flight response in itself actually LOWERS your immune system, it also inhibits your ability to think creatively, to problem solve. So, not the best state to be in in a time like this.
You can’t make a positive decision from a negative place so we need to use every tool in our tool kit to get us back to a space of level headedness so we can do what’s necessary.
Don’t let other people’s negativity feed yours. Protect yourself from it as best you can.
This is a time to adapt, to innovate, to collaborate.
To act responsibly and objectively.
Your experience is not anyone else’s.
It’s going to require you to be more agile, to have behavioural flexibility and think outside of the box. But just please, don’t panic.
I used to be the world’s biggest catastrophiser. Worry was basically my middle name.
This has and will have a big effect on my life and my income for the foreseeable months but it WILL pass but i’m not panicking.
I know it doesn’t help. At all.
I’m just thinking outside the box.
I also know every time something awful has happened it’s led me somewhere way better so I trust that will happen here somehow.
I don’t need to know how, I just have to trust it.
I know i’m resilient, I know i’m adaptable…and so are you! You just might not know it yet or be as practiced at it but if I can think this way so can you.
Who is it helping to panic and worry right now?
Who is it harming to panic and worry right now?
Is there anything I myself have control over in this situation?
If so, go do that thing! If there’s nothing, go back to questions 1 and 2.
When you can objectively look at your thoughts in that way it will really help.
Remember what anxiety is, it’s future tripping.
All about the negative ‘what ifs.’
Remind yourself that the brain doesn’t distinguish between what’s real and imagined and use it to your advantage, and to stop you using it to your detriment. Imagine yourself and your loved ones with healthy immune systems, picture your business when Coronavirus is a distant memory.
Fear and panic. Fear is a natural response to what’s going on. It’s a threat both to our health and to our wealth. But, a reminder, cortisol and adrenaline are pumping through your veins which lowers your immune system and your IQ and your EQ and ability to manage your emotions!
So what can you be doing to remain calm in practical terms?
Find any good you can in the situation.
That’s not saying, ignore the bad by any means, but choose to look for any positives. For example, what can you do with any extra time you’ve now got? If you’re kids are home with you how can you adapt to make it fun and not too disruptive? What is this happening going to cause you to implement in your business for the better? The fact that you’re home safe. The opportunity to be creative. Notice where people are coming together and joining forces for the positive good. There are TONNES of things to find if you choose to look for them.
Make sure you’re doing the usual things I talk about to make you feel good but also, PRIORITISE them in times of uncertainty because they ALL help. Eat well, drink lots of water, meditate, yoga or do something that gets you moving and getting those endorphins pumping round your body, breathe, gratitude, acts of kindness in the community or online.
Make sure you don’t get lonely, arrange zoom room coffee (or wine) dates with friends and colleagues.
Ask yourself and remind yourself…What ARE you in control of right now?
Adaptation. Look at what’s already happening. I’ve seen so many businesses innovating, bringing things online, changing events to virtual summits. What could you do right now? If nothing springs to mind, hop into a group or any memberships you’re in and brainstorm some ideas, ASK for help.
Where is there a potential opportunity for you to diversify, to put systems in place where it would be less of an impact were anything to happen in the future?
Choose your sources of information wisely. I mean this one very seriously. Consistent ‘shock value’ headlines and misinformation being shared on social media is utterly TOXIC and not helping ANYONE…check the source and don’t blindly share things unless you know it’s from a reputable one.
So much of the hysteria that’s been going on simply didn’t need to happen. I mean the craziness over loo roll is like nothing I’ve ever seen and it’s caused chaos and MORE panic for those in need.
Choose to surround yourself with positivity in terms of what you’re watching, reading, seeing in your social feeds.
I’ve been putting a few of my favourite accounts to follow in my stories that are full of joy and positivity. @goodnews_movement @mr.pokee @tanksgoodnews are a few of my faves.
Be disciplined with yourself and don’t waste the time and energy scrolling the hysteria, hype, fake news, misinformation or exaggeration. Be objective and be able to look at it for what it is.
If your income has been hit, what else could you do quickly in the short term to get a boost of income?
The online retail industry is booming right now because people are stuck inside, bored, shopping on Amazon, Ebay etc. I’m in a lot of ecommerce groups because it’s something i’m working on in my business and people are seeing triple the income they normally would.
Clean the house, declutter and sell that stuff on ebay, shpock etc.
Catch up on all those courses you’ve not finished and feel guilty over spending on…you’ve got time to implement and you might even get some extra ideas.
We’re all in this together, it will be a time for huge innovation, adaptability, it’s historic, it IS uncertain but that’s what life is!
It’s not easy to avoid the hype and hysteria but do what you can and what you’re in control of and remember this too shall pass.
Fran Excell, Mindset and Productivity Coach & Mentor helping business owners overcome self sabotage and get more done, in less time at www.franexcell.com
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