“Fight or Flight” is the condition most of us are finding our bodies in right now. The stress that this puts on our adrenal glands, immune systems, and nervous systems isn’t good. Right when we need to be as healthy as possible, we’re all stressed to the max.
I have the same situation, and I’ve put in place some very effective stress-reducers that are making my life much healthier and more comfortable. Try them out for yourself!
Try the suggestions in this article:
- You’ll feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed.
- You’ll be able to better see and plan for the future.
- You will be less stressed and less susceptible to illness.
STEP ONE: Stop feeding your panic and overwhelm.
- Decide to switch your viewpoint away from fear lockdown.
There’s a natural desire to know what is happening around you, especially if what’s happening is a threat. Watching and reading the news, websites, and scrolling through social media can seem like a responsibility to keep yourself informed.
The truth is that no matter how well you believe you are handling it, continually reading and looking at stressful information is going to affect you negatively and increase your stress level.
- Try this for a week, and you’ll be more than amazed at the difference:
- For two days, stay off the news entirely: don’t listen, watch or read it. Stay off social media that talks about politics, corona, and world events. You’ll likely find that doing this creates a vacuum in your life. What will you do with all that time and attention? (See STEP THREE below for some ideas). Get the rest of your family to go along with you on this, so you’re not getting the news feed second hand.
- On day three, you’re going to look around for any vital information that you need to know. However, do not just reconnect with the media. First, put a filter in place. YOU decide what you need to know. Second, go directly to the sources for the information you need. These sources will supply more useful and accurate information with less spin.
To get a current report on Covid cases in Georgia, go to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report
To get current information in the US, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Whatever you need to know, look it up from official sites from CDC, WHO, major medical schools, state health departments, etc.
Do not read news sites or social media to get this information.
- Now, you are free to avoid all news for the next two days. Feel that sense of relief?
STEP TWO: Reclaim your life from worry and fear.
Are you worried? I would think so!
The problem is that there is plenty of real stuff to worry about, but the worry is getting you nowhere. “Worry” is being in a continuous state of fear. It’s very unhealthy, makes you uncomfortable, and can damage your ability to make sound decisions right when you need to the most.
I have a quick solution to your worry. Do the exercise below IN WRITING. As you’ll see, your worry will magically reduce. But don’t stop there. Whenever you find yourself worrying again, pull out your cheat sheet, and do the exercise on whatever new thing that’s worrying you.
The No-Worries Exercise:
- Sit down with paper and write down your worries. List them out down the paper leaving some room to write after each one.
- Go back to the first worry you wrote down. Now ask yourself how you’re going to handle that worry and write down the answer. You aren’t engaged in some high-level strategy session; just write down basically how you can handle that worry. Don’t get stuck or frustrated, and you don’t need a grand fool-proof plan. Just get an idea of how to control or reduce the worry and jot it down. You’re managing your worry with this exercise, not changing the world.
- Go down the rest of the list and do the same thing. “How will I deal with this?” Write down the answer.
- This exercise won’t make the virus go away, but it can reduce your worry and stress enough to provide needed relief.
STEP THREE: Get creative, resourceful, and productive.
- Your morale is proportional to your production. Sit around, and you’ll feel crappy. Get something accomplished that YOU think is worthwhile; you’ll feel great. Get five personally-important projects done in the time you should have spent on two, and you’ll be singing, whistling, and finger-snapping.
- Do you feel exhausted and have no motivation? Trap yourself into becoming productive. Call a friend and make a deal with them to be your production buddy. Make a pact on what you’ll accomplish tomorrow and hold each other to this. Truthfully, people almost always work better and happier in groups than by themselves. Warning: If you’re working in a depressed group where everyone is at home or the business is off from the crisis, your group can pull you down!
- Are you crazy busy and seem very productive but still feel exhausted and depressed? Make sure you are finishing each task and not trying to go so fast that you leave parts of everything unfinished. An unfinished job stays in your mind and won’t go away. In short order, you’ll be overwhelmed with the number of uncompleted tasks.
Uncompleted Task Discovery Exercise: 1) Look around you for evidence of uncompleted tasks. Papers that aren’t done and can’t be filed or trashed. Junk on the counter that should be sorted out. Your IN Box (yikes!). 2) List out your incomplete tasks (actually write them down). 3) Find a task on the list that you could get done in the next few minutes. 4) Do it! 5) Repeat, not for the entire list, but until you feel more relaxed, happy, and un-stressed.
If a finished job falls in the woods, but no one ever finds out about it, is it still a finished job? NO! First rule: Stop each time you complete something and give yourself a full acknowledgment that you DID it. Second rule: get someone else to recognize what you have done as well.
Everything I’ve suggested is something that you can do for yourself right now. You need no permission, and you don’t have to buy or prepare anything to get started.
You just have to DECIDE.
FEAR is an emotion without motion. If you are in fear, you are frozen in place. (If you’re running away, that’s TERROR, which is a little different). Your challenge is to DECIDE to take action when you are FROZEN in fear. The good news is that for most people, just reading this paragraph will unstick you and get things moving.
I wish you the best of luck with all of this. By the way, I am personally doing every single step in this article.
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