I am a total control freak and I love order and structure. I was so looking forward to 2020. It is an even number, we get an extra day and it is an Olympic year. It was setup for greatness.
And then a news story slowly started making its way down the wires as did the source of the story as covid-19 spread its dark wings across our globe.
My life was thrown into disarray, although thankfully, not on the scale some are experiencing, as illness, death and loss of income becoming the new paradigm.
If your life is similarly feeling unsettled, uncertain and totally out of your control given the events that may be happening in it, here are 5 action steps to build resilience and make change our partner in this dance of life.
Accepting the stages of grief caused by change
The most widely accepted trajectory for grief suggests we experience denial that the event has occurred as we try to find a way to numb the intensity of the situation.
This is followed by anger as we seek to release the pent up emotions we have suppressed through denial, through to the bargaining stage, where we start to lay blame at our own doors, into the depression phase as reality settles in and finally to acceptance.
We are entitled to move through this and at this point need to be compassionate and patient with ourselves as we assimilate what has happened.
It would be easy to stay in this phase, accepting we are the victim and at the mercy of what life throws at us.
In order to move onwards though we need to take action and become the designer of our lives after this.
The natural catastrophe we are facing is both a curse and a gift.
It is a curse in that it has brought this change on us but a gift in that we have been given the time to work through the stages and focus on developing a plan.
Seeking out support
Fear and uncertainty can be very isolating emotions. They cause us to question our judgement, to narrow our focus inwards and stifle our creativity.
Sometimes their lure is too strong for us to break free from alone and there is no shame in reaching out for someone to listen, to support and to guide us out of the trap of emotion.
Don’t accept isolation, reach out and connect.
Practice self care
Depression and anxiety has been medically proven to have detrimental impacts on our physical health.
The challenge we are facing in covid-19 means we have no capacity to compromise our health.
While other challenges we face may not be as life threatening, we need all of our faculties operating to the best of our capabilities to ensure we have the creative capacity to move through them.
Be compassionate with yourself. Journal, meditate, move, sleep, eat healthy foods that nourish your body and support your immunity and feed your mind with positive uplifting content.
It is very tempting to keep our heads buried in the sand and avoid the “knowing of how bad it really is”.
This prevents us moving forward and ultimately cements us into the “victim” identity. The biggest aspect of getting clarity is typically understanding our finances.
Where are we now.
What assets, including cash do we have.
What expenses, debts and other financial obligations do we need to meet.
And what access to funds are available to us.
Get resourceful and plan
It is when our backs are up against the wall that we can dig into our deepest resourcefulness, our creativity.
It is enticing to start setting big goals here, as the excitement of having something to look forward to builds the momentum.
However while you do want to think big picture, the plan that to build now is one that lays out the next steps to take, the realistic steps that start action and put you in the driving seat of creating your brighter future.