Over the last few weeks since it became clear as to the seriousness of the situation facing us right now I have been busy supporting my personal clients who are dealing with major anxiety and my business clients with how to put a plan of action in place to avoid the possible collapse of their business. This is as well as putting care contingency plans in place for my mum who lives with us and is in the high-risk category. It wasn’t until late last night when everyone had gone to bed, and I was on my own, did I have time to reflect on what actually was happening in the world right now, and how it was affecting every single one of us in some way. For the first time if I’m honest I felt a little emotional because this was a situation I wasn’t in control of, and I was watching so many of my friends, family and colleagues go through some very tough times.
These are unprecedented times and we are in an unknown situation where aspects of our life are not in our control, and when this happens we look to take control back in another way.
It’s always interesting to see how people react in times of crisis, the reactions we have seen of people panic buying and stocking up are not unusual, human nature is that we are driven to want to protect ourselves and those we care about.
There is no rule book on how we deal with these things as individuals and our thoughts and feelings will often lead us to behaviours we would never expect of ourselves. Fear and the anxiety of uncertainty can cause a lot of stress, particularly if you are someone who already struggles with anxiety.
Those of us who work with extreme crisis around the world will have seen these behaviours time and time again, but what also shines through in these dark times is the resilience of people to adapt to a situation with time and support, and the pulling together of a community when faced with an unknown faceless enemy.
We can’t control the outbreak of this virus but we can control how we respond to it and how we positively cope over the next few months.
So what can you do to cope with this crisis and bring some control into your life.
Below are some of the practical suggestions you can take right now;
Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones by following the advice by health professionals and the latest government advice.
Be aware of what is going on but don’t overwhelm yourself by constantly watching the news or looking at social media about the crisis. Try to keep some normality in your life right now.
We can often feel helpless in crisis and feel the need to do something. If you are in good health and not putting yourself at risk reach out to those around you to offer support.
There are many charities and community groups asking for volunteers to support the vulnerable and elderly at the moment, seek them out and offer your support.
If you live alone or feel vulnerable ask for help from friends and family and local groups, many are now offering support, don’t be afraid to ask.
Use or set up social media groups in your local community to allow people to stay in touch, and to ask for and offer help.
Find new ways of communicating with friends and family for a while, use the phone, online video services like Skype and zoom.
Find out from your local small businesses if they can offer a delivery or mail order service and share with others, you will also be helping local small business that will be struggling through this as well.
Find out if your local pubs and restaurants are offering any food delivery services, some are – share to your local community!
If you are worried about how you will cope financially whilst this is going on speak to your bank, mortgage provider, credit card companies to see if you can take a holiday from payments, many will offer this, especially now.
If you find yourself on a low income you may need to consider claiming benefits, again don’t leave this, contact them to find out whether you are entitled to claim for anything.
Contact a free debt advice service for help with planning over the next few months if you think you are going to struggle.
Even in the most challenging of situations, we will always have an element of control, take time to find yours.
If you would find it helpful to have some support to find your control in these crazy times contact me for a FREE coaching session.