With all the coronavirus chaos, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Consider the following your new c-words, with a very different connotation.
KEEP CALM… YOU KNOW THE REST
Remember a time in your life when each day felt like a snowball rolling down a hill, collecting and growing and speeding up to become a mammoth beast that felt completely out of your control? You used all your 11:11s, fallen eyelashes and blown-out candles to hope for one thing: that life would just pause. Layoff. Give you a break. Well, a genie has to have their fun too, right, so although it might not be the most orthodox solution, your wish is granted.
The eye of the storm, the dark before dawn; whatever you want to call it, this is your calm amongst the chaos. Do as much as you’d like or nothing at all because your type of tranquil is the only accepted mode to be in. Napping, breathing exercises, meditation and yoga will have you freezing with the chill, but if they’re not your vibe, then that’s completely fine too. There is time and this is yours, so spend it however you’d like. Tick-off that list of movies that’s only been growing, dust off the unread books sitting on your shelf or, just be. Exist. The world will keep on turning, but, for right now, you don’t have to keep up. The only item on your agenda is to find your Zen and thrive in it.
WITH A CARE IN THE WORLD
Take care of your business, particularly outside your 9-5. Now is not the time to cut ties. If it’s a loose end, it’s being tied up with the expert skills of a scout.
Care for yourself. Care for your family. Care for your friends. Care for your neighbours. And maybe even spare a care for your foes. Caring is a strength; emotional connections may create a potential bridge for pain, but it’ll have to make its way past the happiness marching through on the daily. Albeit extreme, the current situation has only proven that humanity is not self-sufficient. So, show your appreciation to those who are part of the equation that equals your life, no matter how integral their role or mundane their appearance.
What’s happening in the world may seem grim, but the measures being taken are merely proof that the world cares. Did it have to take a pandemic to make it happen? Ideally not, but here we are, and we care. You may be surprised to realise how many people make your life how uniquely yours it is, until you are made to take a step back, 1.5 metres away.
It’s an important value in life generally, and one in which many of us find difficult, despite communication being more accessible than ever. Put down the paper cups and string, it’s time to get real about communicating with others and importantly, with yourself. Pick up the phone – whether it’s still on a hook, in your pocket, or in a box with an orange lid just up the road. Alexander Graham Bell would be so impressed, right? The saying goes “communication is key” and I hate to admit how spot on it is. Once you rattle the key, give it a little to the left, bit more to the right, the door can swing open.
While you’re in isolation, it doesn’t mean technology is and this is your metaphorical key and door. Finally send that text, check-in with that friend, make that phone call you’ve been putting off. If you’re not reaching out and talking to those around you for their sake, do it for yours. Two minutes on the phone can do a lot to lighten the load on the mind. Saying something outloud, even to yourself is considered communication and it 100% counts. Otherwise, subtle communication can help play a part, too. Words With Friends, trivia apps, Messenger games and more, greases up the lock so it’s easier than ever for it to turn and the door to open, both ways. Need I mention FaceTime? That one should be a no-brainer.
SIMPLY, JUST COPE
The current situation we’re enduring is uncharted. We’re rolling with the waves, seeing the ripples and going again. And, with that, it’s integral that we all understand it’s okay not to be okay. Often, the waves don’t conform like we wanted or dreamt of, but that doesn’t define how wet the water is. It’s okay to simply just cope and take each day as it comes. Although it’s cliché, the notion has merit. Whether it be a job loss, personal loss or general anxiety, it’s okay to feel deflated, lost and experience a sense of grief.
You’re not alone – the numbers show that. The silver linings of simply just coping is that every day is an achievement. Every day, you’ve succeeded in something – whether it be a minor decision, taking action, being able to have a laugh or using a mechanism to relieve stress that you’ve been practicing. There’re so many successes that can happen within 24 hours and whole lot more to hit out of the park in the 24 after that. Wake-up and hit reset because if any singular day can make a huge difference, those days are nigh. If you’re coping, you’re not failing and therefore, you’re succeeding.
Help? Need somebody? Reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or our resident clinical psychologist (who you may recognise from our Expert Columns) Dr John Barletta on 3356 4400.