How to Keep Your Spirits High in a Crisis
“When a storm is coming, all other birds seek shelter. The eagle alone avoids the storm by flying above it. So, in the storms of life, may your heart be like an eagle's and soar above.” - Anonymous
The entire world is in an unprecedented time with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Borders are closed, events of all kinds are cancelled, schools and churches are closed, and restaurants and shops are empty.
The impact on your life is deeply felt. For some, vacations are cancelled, others have school kids at home 24/7, while many elders are in forced quarantine. Additionally, this pandemic is affecting countless livelihoods. Many people base their income on business that is not coming in right now.
Wherever you are, please know that I’m thinking of you and praying for you, especially those of you who are sick or feel alone in their struggle.
The reason for starting JOYVIAL was to show people ‘how to experience JOY in every aspect of their lives’. It’s our purpose for the rest of our existence. Practicing techniques to experience JOY in tough times like these is even more important. Let’s take a quick look at how fear impacts your life.
What Fear Does to Your Body:
Before we get to the ‘how’, you must understand ‘why’ it is so important that you let go of fear. Regardless if you are in a stressful situation or you solely think about being in that situations, your body reacts in the exact same way.
In moments of stress (that could be fear, anger, hurt, etc.) your body produces hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol over time increases your level of inflammation, and adrenaline restricts blood flow to vital organs such as your heart and your digestion.
Said in another way, your thoughts can make you sick. A recent Harvard study estimates that up to 90% of all doctor’s visits are due to stress related issues.
You Are What You Think:
I’m not advocating putting your head in the sand and ignoring the situation. What I’d
like to encourage is for you to take time to think through your strategy. How you plan
to handle the situation (e.g. how to manage your work while having the kids at home)
then release any worry about that situation.
You really have two options:
1. You can worry about the future outcome and spend all this time between now
and the future event being in fear,
2. You can stay focused on staying positive and enjoy life.
Deep down we believe that if we regurgitate the ‘what if’ – worst case scenario in our head over and over that we’ll be more at ease once that worst case actually arrives. That’s a myth. And because it’s a myth, the logical thing to do is to focus on keeping a positive mindset. As shown in the graph below, time will pass whether you are staying positive or worrying…
Top 5 Tips to Keep Your SPIRITS HIGH
2. Stay connected: Isolation can lead to depression. Even if we can’t meet with others in person, make time to connect with friends and family on the phone or a video call. Talking about your hardship is important. We all need to be heard and share how a crisis impacts us on so many levels.
Make a point to also talk about things that are positive. There’s always a silver lining. End your conversations on a high, leaving you and the other person feeling heard
and uplifted. Don’t underestimate the power of positivity.
3. Name your fear: I suspect you’ve experienced lying in bed at night and circling the same worries in your head over and over again. They seem so huge. By the time you wake up the next morning you realize how your view was disproportionately magnified. Talking to someone you trust about your concerns can have the same effect…speaking your worries out loud, you realize they aren’t as big as your ego wants you to believe.
4. Limit watching the news: What?! Yes, you heard me. It’s good to stay in touch with what’s going on. But, do you feel you are receiving value by reading every single article about a crisis or running the news station on your TV all day? Or, do you think it is adding to your stress level?
Over indulgence of news creates more worries. You hear how the crisis has impacted different people and your mind automatically starts to think “what if that happens to me”. Stop it! I read the news headlines once a day and if there’s anything factual (not drama) that is educational, I click on the link and read it…but most often it’s just one article of many in the news.
5. Have faith and live in the NOW:
I have faith that this too shall pass and that something wonderful will emerge because of the struggle we all experience. Faith implies trust without knowing what the final outcome will look like. We are most comfortable when we feel in control of life, but we all know that we are not.
Stay focused on the present moment. Find the nuggets that bring your family and friends closer together. See the beauty that is around us and within us. That’s the best course of action for moments of crisis.
Health coaching done via video conference and phone certainly can help at any time but especially during a crisis. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on where you are in life and where you’d like to go. Our executive health coaches are here to help you navigate life’s struggles and challenges to reach your desired goals. Call us today at 1-866-JOYVIAL or click here to schedule your free discovery session.