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How Are You Today?

If you’ve felt off lately, you’re not alone. I feel it too.

I don’t think there is a person out there who is coping well with this new lifestyle and situation.

As we navigate through our new normal of a COVID-19 world, the uncertainty of this pandemic is taking a toll. The majority of people are suffering financial hardship, with job losses, business closures, decreased work hours, forced usage of entitlements and the need to access funds wherever possible, such as early superannuation payouts, Centrelink support, and even new loans.

Scary times indeed.

Adding to this already difficult situation is the horrendous hoarding of staple grocery items (such as toilet paper, cleaning goods, pasta, rice & flour) and even medication, sending everyone into further panic.

The psychological and emotional stress we’re feeling manifests itself in many ways, from irritability to overwhelm and resent to grief. And even with more time on our hands, it’s tough to make progress and be productive in this chaotic environment. Add frustration, fear, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and guilt to the basket of emotions, it’s hard to stay positive when so much around us has been turned upside down, let alone still feel that you have a purpose and that you are in control.

As a practitioner, I know first-hand that many people also have multiple comorbidities, disease states, and conditions that they are coping with already – made worse by this COVID-19 ‘cherry on the cake’ situation.

We are all in isolation and social distancing – which is simply horrible I agree, but ever so necessary we all realize. We are cleaning and sterilizing everything like never before and ever so vigilantly washing our hands as recommended. Our society is being bombarded by the media with the ever-changing health measures needed to stay ‘safe’ now.

The luxuries and simple pleasures we took for granted have been taken from us – no coffee meet-ups with friends, no family gatherings, no sport or gym, no personal treatments (such as hairdresser, makeup, nail, massage), no eating out, no playgrounds, no holidays, no travel …..no….no….no…. the list goes on sadly.

Schools have closed and many are working from home if their course or job allows for this transformation. Everyone is edgy and doing their best to become ‘comfortable’ with the new uncomfortable way of home life. The internet is our saviour in keeping us all ‘sane’ whilst we try to manoeuvre through these changed circumstances.

But humans need ‘touch’ – it’s that contact that keeps our spirit vibrant and positive.

However, since we can’t touch at present, let’s look at five simple ways to positively ‘reframe’ your thinking during these trying times. Shifting your mindset to the possibilities of a situation helps you not only while you’re in the midst of a trying time, but it also enables you to reframe future scenarios so you can thrive.

Five Ways To Stay Positive

  1. Add “yet”

When you add the word “yet” after one of these negative statements, it transforms it into a more positive one: “I can’t gather with my colleagues” becomes “I can’t gather with my colleagues YET.

“Yet” implies that there will be a future solution or resolution; the current situation is only temporary. Adding “yet” speaks to possibilities rather than constraints.

  1. Swap “have to” with “get to”

Has your to-do list become a to-dread list? Has that task, even if it’s something you like doing, become a point of stress, rather than a source of joy?

When you swap out an “I have to” with “I get to,” everything changes. “I have to create a new marketing plan” is an obligation, whereas “I GET TO create a new marketing plan” is an opportunity.

Having to do something feels like a chore; getting to do something feels like a reward.

  1. Turn “Yes, but…” into “Yes, and…”

When you’re stressed, it’s easy to come up with reasons why things won’t work or improve.

In these instances, your reaction to a suggestion might be to say, “Yes, but…” However, “Yes, but…” is discouraging, disheartening, and negative; it halts a conversation and any forward progress of an idea.

YES, AND…” is a builder that invites collaboration; “Yes, but…” shuts things down.

Cultivating a “Yes, and…” mindset means that you’re curious about and open to the suggestions of others, agree with at least part of what they say, and then find a way to build on their ideas.

  1. Find the good

When bad or unexpected things happen, it can throw us into a tailspin. When you find yourself dwelling on a tough situation, try responding by saying to yourself, “This is good because…” and then list all the ways why there might be a positive angle to the current scenario.

For instance, if you are in isolation and are working from home, you could say, “THIS IS GOOD BECAUSE I’ll keep myself and others safe, I won’t have to commute in traffic, and I get to work on that project I kept putting off.”

Finding the silver lining of a situation helps to reframe it as a positive and pull you out a negative mindset.

  1. Shift from “I’m going through this” to “I’m growing through this”

Collectively, all humankind is doing its best to find its way through this coronavirus crisis. We’re challenged, certainly, but we’re also offered two perspectives in which to view the situation.

Choosing to see your current circumstances as “I’m going through this” can be demoralizing and deflating. Going through something is passive; it’s happening to you. In this scenario, you are the victim, so you remain pessimistic and primarily driven by fear, resigned to the status quo.

However, those who cope far better elect to adopt an alternate mindset where they tell themselves, “I’m GROWING through this.” Growing through something is action-oriented, positive, and empowering. It means you’ll come out of your current circumstances with newly acquired wisdom, changed for the better.

Where Can I Get Help Now?

Reach out at this difficult time. Some solutions are:

– Stay connected with people using various IT methods (such as the simple home/mobile phone, email, SMS, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Messenger, What’s App, Houseparty and social media)

– Keep yourself busy – cook, garden, read, write, declutter your home/closets, sing, dance

– Look out for each other – shop for a neighbour or elderly family member, share your supplies if you have plenty, buy just what you need when shopping

– Exercise – walk, yoga, stretch, meditate

– Eat well – choose fresh food and produce over-processed food, add supplements as needed

– Play with your pet and children – unwind and laugh

– Watch funny movies and avoid the news

– Plan for the future – start that book you wanted to write, create a new website, plan that next holiday, focus on happy times ahead

– Seek medical help – get a Mental Health Plan for some counselling from your GP, see healthcare practitioners (such as naturopaths, osteopaths, acupuncturists) as needed to maintain good physical health

– Contact CentreLink for benefits and advice – such as JobKeeper payments, boosting cash flow for employers, early access to superannuation, SME guarantee scheme/loan

– Contact ATO for assistance with BAS

– Contact banks, landlords, utilities for assistance & renegotiate loans

– Contact support services such as:

Lifeline             13 11 14

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

Suicide Line  1300 651 251

Men’s Line     1300 789 978

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

If you need someone to speak with or any assistance with your health challenges, please reach out to me for support.

Stay safe and well….knowing this too shall pass.

**If you’ve got this far – thank you for reading and I look forward to bringing you more information in the future.

Now, enjoy some music to soothe your soul and reconnect your spirit to Mother Earth at this much needed time …