It’s been a pretty big week on the world scene – many countries are going into a second lockdown, and a US election that is impacting us all.
Emotions are high as we navigate these uncertain times.
So, what can we do to take care of ourselves and support others in the remaining 8 weeks of 2020?
I believe there are 8 principals to focus on which will really support us during these turbulent times:
Trust that you have the resources and resilience to navigate these times.
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes so beautifully writes in her book Women who Run with the Wolves:
“We were made for these times…”
You have the resources and skills to handle what comes your way. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be experiencing them. When we’re feeling depleted it’s easy to forget this – so remind yourself of it daily.
2. Feel the Emotions
It’s so important to allow ourselves to feel all the emotions that arise. Whether that’s joy, gratitude, peace, ease, or, anger, frustration, rage, sadness, despair. Whatever you feel allow the feelings to be there. Instead of trying to shift or change them allow them to flow through. Maybe journal on them and explore why you feel this way. Better still, share how you feel with people you trust – people you feel safe with, people who won’t judge you but will simply hear you and be there for you. Feelings can never be wrong – honour how you feel during these turbulent times. And if you’re upbeat and buoyant share that – you joy will raise someone’s spirits.
3. Practice Gratitude
No matter what is going on in life there is always something to be grateful for – something that will lift you up and warm your heart. Focus on all the positives in your life – for me I am grateful that I live in the country and can get out in nature every day. I am grateful for the long rays of the Autumn sunshine and the golden colours. I am grateful for my pot of tea and a comfy sofa where I can curl up and journal in the early morning while the house is quiet. I am grateful for my family and the increased connection. The smallest things can bring us joy. Maybe it’s soft pyjamas. Maybe it’s dressing up and have a date night in your kitchen, maybe it’s curling up and watching a movie. Maybe it’s zoom. No matter how dire life is there is always something to be grateful for– and the more we focus on this, the more it grows.
4. Focus on what’s within your power
In turbulent times it’s easy to feel powerless – to talk about “them”, “those selfish people”, people who are “ruining it” for everyone else. Every time I hear the words “they” and the finger is pointed out at why the world is in such a “terrible state” I get mad.
How easy it is to sit in our armchairs blaming others.
And I always come back to Ghandi’s quote:
Whatever we want to change – whatever we want more of in the world it starts with us:
If we want more love – we need to be more loving.
What loving act could we do for another? Smile at those we pass (which they’ll feel if we’re wearing a mask), give our child an extra hug, hug a teddy and send it to a loved one we can’t hug in person
If we want more kindness – we need to be kinder.
What act of kindness could we give? Maybe it’s being kind to ourselves and rest when we’re tired; maybe it’s cooking an extra portion of food and taking it to someone who lives alone; maybe giving flowers to someone who needs cheering up; making a card to say “I’m thinking of you”
It doesn’t have to cost anything or take much time – and the smallest things make a BIG difference and it ripples out.
5. Look for the opportunities
No matter what is going on there are always opportunities. Many businesses flourished during the first lock-down. Other businesses brought their offerings online – after talking about doing it for years. Big corporations made changes in a week to enable home-working – something that would have taken years (if at all) under normal circumstances.
No matter what is going on in the world around us there are always opportunities – be open to them. Practicing gratitude will make these opportunities easier to spot.
6. Be in the Real
Take stock of where you are and adapt accordingly. The first thing I did during the first lockdown was look at our finances. Looking at finances is part of my regular routine – I keep a cash-flow forecast which I update weekly so I know where I am with money at any given time. I do this for both my business and my personal finances.
Whilst my business wasn’t impacted as I mainly work online, our personal finances took a hit as we have an annexe we let out on Airbnb and all our bookings got cancelled. I quickly took action on things I could change – for example we didn’t need two cars so we took one off the road. Because we couldn’t go out, we saved money on meals out, clothes and day to day expenses.
It’s important to take practical action to reflect your new circumstances. When we look at the real we often discover it’s not as bad as we imagined it would be. And when we focus on practicalities it allows magic to show up in all sorts of ways. For example – we had a keyworker who stayed in our Airbnb for 3 or 4 nights a week from April onwards and when I launched the Sacred Selling System it was a resounding success.
7. Create Certainty
The one thing we can absolutely rely on is change.
And we all adapt to change differently. I thrive on variety so I’m totally at home whenever things change at the last minute. My son however does not do well with change and I’ve learnt to give him plenty of notice about any upcoming changes so he has time to adapt.
Creating certainty and routine into our days and weeks gives us an anchor to keep us steady. It roots us. What can you do to create certainty into your days and weeks?
It might be:
- A weekly zoom call with a loved one
- A daily walk
- A special meal at the weekend
- A proper lunch break
- Signing up for an online challenge – something that you know you’d enjoy and you can easily incorporate into your life. I recently signed up for a 30 day yoga challenge – it’s just 10 minutes a day – a time commitment I knew I could easily manage. I have to say I’m loving the routine – I do it first thing followed by 10 minutes of meditation and it sets me up for the day.
What can you do to create certainty?
8. Ask & Give Support
We are wired for connection. We need support from others to thrive. In uncertain times we need more support and more connection. We need to receive support and give it. Where can you offer support? To a group or to an individual. What do you need help with? Who can you ask? We love to give so asking someone to help you with something is a great gift to them.
And that’s it – 8 things to focus on to support you during these turbulent times.
What do you do to support yourself? I’d love to know so please share in the comments below.