by Mary Ellen Collins
How do we face fear living in this pandemic crisis? The Coronavirus lurks and waits to attack. The last four and a half months have been fear driven. We cannot turn on the TV without hearing gloom and doom. Many of us have lost loved ones. Many of us have lost our daily lives, our social connections, and our normal routines. Cortisol levels are off the chart. Stress and fear have taken over and our resiliency is depleted. We did not choose this.
One acronym for fear is Forget Everything And Run. But we always have a choice. We can rise rather than run. This takes courage from within. When we’re living in fear, this is easy to forget.
How do we know how to do this if we’ve never done it before? Well, nothing in life is so complicated that we cannot figure it out. We can break things into manageable pieces. Or, we can find ways to change our mindset.
Here are three encouraging things I do to start each day with a healthy mindset.
- I encourage myself with an affirmation, such as, “I can do this. I am powerful. I am strong. I can figure out anything.”
- I dedicate at least ten minutes to me. I call this my “me” time. If I take a sneak peek at my phone or emails, I stop short and get back to me. If this time runs a little short or long, that’s okay.
- Gratitude helps me to fill myself with positive statements and keep negative thoughts at bay. So I try to list at least five gifts the previous 24 hours brought me. Then I say them out loud. For examples I may say, “I am so grateful that the sun is shining today.” “I am so grateful the skies are blue.” “I am so grateful that I hear my favorite Cardinal sing to me each morning.” And I limit my gratitude to only the last 24 hours.
Other morning activities, such as praying or doing yoga, may be just as encouraging for you.
We can choose to be more resilient today than we were yesterday. It helps to record things like affirmations and what we are grateful for. Then we can look back at them to see how much we have grown during this pandemic.
I’m an extreme extrovert. So far I have learned that I can be by myself. That’s eye opening for me. I have also found I’m more creative than I thought, and part of my creativity comes out in my cooking. So, I’ve invented new dishes based on what I have in my pantry.
We can fill our morning cup with things that give us courage and positivity to start each day. Then the rest of the day becomes easier.
We can learn from each other. Let’s share what we do to keep ourselves encouraged. Let’s share what we’ve learned about ourselves during this pandemic.
We can continue to grow through others’ experiences. That’s what we’re here for.
Let me know in the comment section how you encourage yourself and what you have learned about yourself.