At the time that I am writing this, the entire world is dealing with a global pandemic. The coronavirus is rapidly spreading to every community and impacting the lives of essentially every person on the planet. While the full impact of Covid-19 will affect each person differently, no one will be left unchanged by this.
I do not wish to perpetuate fear and anxiety, but the reality of the situation is that we are facing a global crisis that will have ramifications for months and likely years to come. With that being said, facing this does not mean that we all must suffer or be miserable in the weeks and months ahead. Even in the face of uncertainty, crisis, and massive changes to our lives, we still have the potential to thrive, to flourish, and to experience the good life. Because the good life is not a result of our circumstances. The good life is controlled by the thoughts we think and the decisions we make.
Today I want to share a few ideas that will help us to continue to thrive in the days ahead as we face this global crisis. These ideas are valid no matter what crisis we are facing, whether it be a job loss, medical diagnosis, divorce, death of a loved one, or a global pandemic. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but there are still many things we do control, and it is those things that have the most impact on our experience in life.
Savor the good things.
In every situation we face, there are always good things to notice and enjoy. Pleasures to experience and happiness to be found. The laughter of children, beautiful sunrises, delicious food, intimacy with our spouse, a garden full of flowers. What brings you pleasure? Where do you find joy? Pursue those things, enjoy them, savor them. They can always be found.
Move your body.
Some people shiver at the word exercise. I’m not asking you to go out and run a marathon (unless you’d like to), but everyone can move their body in a way that is healthy and available to you. When facing a crisis situation our stress levels are high. Moving your body helps to counteract that stress, relieve tension, and bring calm. Find a way to move your body every day during a crisis.
Fuel your body well.
The food and beverages you put in your body are the fuel your body uses to move about the world, to think, to respond, and to survive. If you put in junk you will not function at your best. You are allowed to eat delicious foods. This is not about deprivation. This is about making sure that the majority of the foods you consume are nutritious and fueling you for the hard work of life.
We are not meant to go through life alone. Relationships matter, especially when facing hard times. Find community and support to walk with you through this journey of life. Currently, we are being asked to stay home and practice social distancing, but we still need to remain in community with others. Get creative. Use video calls, text messaging, and other ways to connect through technology and from a distance to keep and build relationships. If you don’t have people to support you in life, reach out and find them.
Be generous and kind.
Helping others helps us feel good. It is scientifically proven. Offer kindness and compassion. Generously give of your time, money, resources, and talents. The less tightly you hold on to your stuff, the more goodness you will experience. Giving and helping make you feel like you have control and power in difficult situations. Find a way to make a difference.
Set and pursue goals.
When crisis comes we often panic. We think that all we can do is struggle to survive and just make it through. But that’s not the truth. We can do so much more than we think. Don’t let a crisis situation keep you from moving forward in life. Figure out something you want to achieve, set a goal, make a plan, and get busy. It will help to distract you from your crisis and it will help you to grow even in the face of adversity.
While we are all at home during the Covid-19 outbreak there is so much potential for achievement and reaching new goals. The plans you had for this year might be out the window with everything going on in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something. Set a short term goal that you can accomplish, from your present circumstances at home, in the next couple of weeks or a month. Then get busy.
Avoid numbing activities.
Anything that you have a tendency to overdo when you are feeling uncomfortable emotions or avoiding your circumstances is a numbing activity. Overeating, overdrinking, over-social media-ing, over Netflix-ing, over daydreaming, oversleeping, overthinking. The list could go on. I’m sure you know what you turn to when things get tough and you want to escape. You’ll have lots of opportunities for these activities during a crisis. Find ways to do other things instead. Build routines and habits that help you avoid whatever you overdo and replace it with something healthy instead. Journal your thoughts and emotions instead of avoiding them. Create action plans instead of avoiding difficult choices.
Keep up with routines.
Your brain likes to follow the paths it already knows. When we face times of crisis and everything seems to change, our brains get a little freaked out. Okay, maybe a lot freaked out. Help your brain out and stick to your routines. Even if everything has changed and your old routines are no longer possible, create new routines as quickly as you can and stick with them. The consistency of routines will give your brain some much-needed peace.
There is always something to be grateful for. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Write a letter to someone expressing your gratitude for something they have done. Acknowledge the things you have done for yourself. Take time to thank and praise God for His goodness and His presence in your life.
Know that everything is temporary.
This crisis you are experiencing will not last forever. You may not see the end. The end might bring you into a life that looks nothing like the one you had. But, the crisis will not last. You will get through this. And you have the ability to learn something from this crisis. You can choose to let this situation teach you and give you a chance to grow into a stronger, better person. Instead of fighting your crisis, embrace it and look for ways to become a better person because of it.
Additional Resources to Help You Thrive During a Crisis
- I am currently hopping on Instagram Live once a day to share tips and ideas while we all face the Covid-19 situation. Be sure to follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss these videos.
- 30 Questions to Help You Develop More Clarity in Life
- 12 Daily Habits to Improve Your Mental Health
- 20 Ways to Reduce Stress Today
- How to respond when life doesn’t go as planned
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