Opportunity in Crisis
During this international health crisis, most of us are staying in our homes. How are you doing in there? If you are feeling isolated, victimized or fearful, I would urge you to remember who you are and that you have more power than you think to control the reactive impulses you might be feeling.
I have one of those brains that happens to hunker down in times of crisis and draw a straight line from where I am now to my end goal. If the tornado is at my front door, I will stay steady, locked on target, directing others while keeping my eyes ahead, unwavering and forward-moving. I’d like to think of myself as the hero in Mission Impossible, James Bond, SALT, etc. But alas, this character trait has never been quite that glamorized.
How I respond to crisis may be completely different from you. It’s not necessarily superior and it certainly has it’s downfalls. The point is, we’re uniquely made and each of us operates from different places, taking into account our genetic make-up, attachments and past experiences. All of these help determine the felt safety in our current connections and circumstance. I would encourage you to take the time (I know you have) to think objectively about your response to current events. There is opportunity in crisis to become more self-aware, to be behave intentionally and to lead by example. As a believer, I know that God is powerful to hold the big stuff. My job then, is to be a light in the world. To express kindness and respect for others and to be an example to younger generations. I have an obligation to be a good steward of the person I was created to be in my physical, mental, and spiritual self and to learn all that God wants to teach me through this experience. Now that, I can do. 😉
Watch Your Input
If you are feeling overcome with fear or anxiety, I would urge you to not spend time in news and social media. I have a fear of closed spaces and watching news feeds right now would be like sending me into a dark tunnel where I can’t find my way out! If you experience more fear and anxiety while scrolling through your feed, media may not be helpful to you in times of crisis. Stay responsible by finding one or two solid resources to keep you informed. A trusted friend, local organization or dedicated source tasked with providing official and accurate information.
Begin Each Day
Practice a morning routine that calms and centers you. Gratitude and intention have the power to navigate the toughest storms. Consider meditation, prayer, scripture, yoga, planking, stretching, breathing techniques, journaling, etc. A morning routine is vital to keeping your mind on track for the day. It sets your intention by mentally rehearsing and affirming what you know to be true. By affirming your truth, your brain has more power to calm the physical and emotional auto-responses you have a tendency toward (you know, those rabbit holes)! 🙂
So it’s happened, you’ve gone down a rabbit hole. You are human – have some grace and maybe even a little humor! Implement a practice (or two) that will help you mitigate fear or anxiety when you react impulsively or your mind begins to get off track. This is important because it WILL happen, maybe even 20 times a day. Stop for a moment and have a lifeline ready. What is your lifeline? Take a few deep breaths, jog, plank, stretch, pray, sing, call a friend, get outside. Recite a truth or scripture. If you don’t have anything memorized, post it on your fridge, bathroom mirror and dashboard. Keep something tangible in your pocket – a rock or meaningful memento. Whatever will help bring you back to center and know that it may not be the same thing every time.
Guess What? You Have Time!
Channel your focus and energy on the task of being a good steward of who you were created to be. Think of this down-time as a huge opportunity for self-discovery and connection. Time is one of the biggest excuses for nearly everything. In the middle of this health crisis, you have time! (gratitude — cha ching)! By being powerless to change the current circumstance, you have the freedom to come out a better human on the other side. Every trial is an opportunity for growth and change. So dig a little and find out what this experience has in it for you. Where can you learn and grow? What opportunities do you have to connect and help others. What can you teach your children? Don’t become a victim to circumstance. Get active and see opportunity in the middle of the storm.