People close to you may be watching you handle this pandemic. Heck. They even may be learning how to respond by observing you. What are you teaching them? Panic? Fear? Anxiety?
Or might they find there are ways to be a better human being during this time of crisis? Yes. Crisis can actually bring out the best in people! Why not you?
How? Start by practicing self-regulation. More importantly, provide grace to others, especially to yourself. Here are a few ways to practice resilience, regulation, and grace during our global pandemic and quarantine:
Let go of your idealism, perfectionism, and expectations of others. Demonstrate flexibility. Be kind. Pass along grace.
Regulate your emotions before speaking or acting. Stop…Breathe. Repeat. Engage your senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) to ground your emotions. Emotions are manifestations of your triggers. Triggers ignite from senses.
Take a lesson in Radical Acceptance. Things can’t be the way you want them. That’s okay. Embrace what is and look for something good. There is a time and place for negativity. It’s your brain’s way of keeping you alive. However…
Stay positive. You need 5 positive thoughts/words/interactions to every 1 negative…MINIMUM. Look for specific things for which to be grateful. When you say or do something negative, replace it with 5 positive. Write down ten very specific things each day fro which you are grateful.
Guilt doesn’t help you. It’s a pandemic! Things aren’t normal! You need coping mechanisms. So enjoy Netflix, video games, and other guilty pleasures. Still feeling guilty? Be creative. If you are feeling guilty for watching too much Netflix, accomplish a task and reward yourself with an hour or two afterward.
Pass on grace. It’s a pandemic! Things aren’t normal! People are stressed and aren’t behaving normally. Give grace to the hoarders. Pass on grace to your spouse or children. Try to see things from the other’s perspective. Try to view from the perspective that the world is in chaos and be kind and gracious.
When you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself to take things one day at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Pause during the day and during anxiety. Place your hand on your heart. Breathe in goodness and safety, which activates the calming part of the nervous system and restores healthier heartbeat patterns.
Forgive yourself for not being as perfect as you’d like, and let go of the guilt. Forgive others for not being their best selves either. Grace is a big deal. Be sure to extend grace to yourself and others. Have I made that point enough?