by Deborah Berryman (featured in Circus magazine September 2020)
Let’s be real. Being human is hard right now. I’ve found these last few months a real struggle – especially as a small business owner with so many difficult decisions to make. We’ve all had to deal with much uncertainty and disruption, along with concerns about health and finances – both of ourselves and loved ones. And this is countless levels of hard.
We know the journey through and out of this pandemic lock-down will be tougher than our journey in. But what other choice do we have? As we find our way through, it’s quite natural to feel some fear about the future and how things may change or be done differently. We’re dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, plus anxiety around the possibility of a second spike.
Change can be scary, especially when it’s ‘thrust’ upon us and we feel unable to control it. We like to feel that we’re in control and we admire others who seem like they are. However interestingly, so-called ‘enlightened humans’ like monks, yogis and meditators practise giving up control and surrendering to ‘what is’. This is the great paradox. Being able to accept this is how it is for now, while keeping hopeful and working with hard intent is a powerful life skill. Fear is an emotion that gets in the way. If we let it take over, we lose clarity and stay stuck. By staying calm and clear, and not letting fear overtake our thinking, we can move and even flourish with change.
By staying calm and clear, and not letting fear overtake our thinking, we can move and even flourish with change.
Here are some mindset tips to deal with the sort of changes that are happening to and around us at the moment:
1 – Human beings are incredibly adaptable. Think about how you’ve dealt with changes in your life before. Life is always changing and evolving and we do go with it. Note how you coped and maybe even grew personally through uncomfortable or difficult past situations in your life.
2 – Rough seas make better sailors! Whatever we’re going through at the moment, we can grow through. When you’re focussing on change think about it as opportunity for personal growth, to become happier, healthier, stronger or more fulfilled in some way.
3 – Focus on what you can control. This pandemic has really illuminated the fact that there are some things in life we really can’t control. The only thing that we can fully control is our mindset and how we feel and think. One of the best ways to keep our mindset positive is to practise gratitude every day. Each day note at least five things you’re thankful for in your life. This practice each day is simple and has been life-changing for many people.
4 – Don’t skip the self care; exercise, yoga, reading a good book or watching a movie, doing things you enjoy. Relaxation techniques can be so effective if you find yourself fearful or anxious. Check out the Free Relaxation Guide on our website home page to learn some great techniques to reduce anxiety.
5 – Keep talking and connecting with others. If you’re really struggling, reach out to someone you can trust. Just having someone listen to your thoughts and feelings can really help. We’re all going through similar worries and emotions and talking about it can help us to not feel so isolated or alone.
6 – Lastly, stay informed but don’t obsessively check the news. Once a day is enough to keep updated with guidelines and developments. Take each day as it comes and be kind to yourself.
The world is not being gentle with us right now, and maybe that’s a good thing. Nonetheless, I hope you’re being gentle with yourself as you face what’s in front of you.
Sending you love, Deborah