THE BEAST IN US ALL - 5 SIMPLE TIPS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY WHILE THE WORLD STANDS STILL.
I hope you are all doing well, and are making space to just settle into this new situation we are all facing. I thought this would be a good time to write about some of the practical lessons I learned, through my own experiences over the past twenty years. These lessons consist of having been in quarantine during seventy-eight consecutive days of NATO air strikes over Serbia and my home city Belgrade, having spent four years without a full time job 2009-2013, and having faced immigration setbacks, as an expat, for most of my life. I will focus on the four year period primarily, as life pace has come to a complete stop for many of us during this COVID-19 outbreak.
I noticed that a period comes, once every several years, making the pace of my life freeze, and when the space between things not happening any longer, and not knowing what the future will hold, seems endless. During this time, we can be in shock, our thoughts can be racy, and we can feel emotionally frozen of trying to fathom what just happened. Frequently, we end up going through stages before realizing uncertainty, and consciously making a stress and performance management action plan. However, this period can also be an opportunity for us to work on our craft, and paint a picture we always wanted. This is the reason we need to develop psychological and emotional tools in our daily life, to be able to rely on ourselves in times of adversity.
Key take-away – be a BEAST – It's not always how fast you rise, but how well you fall.
-In through the nose, out through the mouth.
- Give yourself permission to experience what you are experiencing right now.
- We need to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and make some room for them to be there.
- What we are experiencing is already taking place, so there is no need to fight it, but rather to accept it.
- When we accept, we create a new, healthier, and friendlier, self-reliant relationship with ourselves.
-Your job is to find one, to recover from injury, to catch up on readings, to do your homework, etc.
-Create a backup plan for a career shift/change (send emails, make phone calls, attend online meetings, set short term performance, mid-term, long term, and outcome goals).
-Stay in constant touch with people in your life, to talk to, catch up with, and just get things off your chest.
-Catch up on other things (sleep, work, movies, books, workouts, etc).
-‘Honor the space between no longer, and not yet' – Nancy Levin.
-There is a reason why this is happening now. Sometimes we may not know what that reason is, but I like to say that we are right where we are supposed to be, in that very moment.
-Pace – one step at a time.
-Gratitude – look at facts of what you have in your life (bigger picture), hold onto these with everything you've got.
-Remain process focused and stay on your path. You will have thoughts of future, uncertainty, and ‘what if' moments, but remember what you can and cannot control.
There is a BEAST that is in all of us, and sometimes it needs to be awakened during the most difficult times. Time to go into BEAST mode.