In this age of the Coronavirus, many things have changed resulting in anxiety, uncertainty, grief, and fear. The full impact of this virus is yet unknown, but we do see what has happened concerning it on a small and large scale. Businesses have closed, fundraisers and charities that help others have been cancelled, personal activities and events have been postponed or cancelled, and the outlets that we once had, like exercise, yoga studios, and other group interaction have not been readily available. This has contributed to isolation, anxiety, and grief. People are feeling more separated from family and friends causing depression and insecurity. With schools closing, children are missing their friends and parents are struggling to find balance and sanity with work and homeschooling, and just helping kids to get their work done. What a mess we have! In addition to Coronavirus, and other emotion filled events and actions in our world, we still have to deal with everyday life issues. This compounds stress so everything may seem harder to do.
How can we ease the effects of this discord in our world? I have always advocated that change starts from us; from within. Helping others and reaching out to others can really ease depression, anxiety and grief. We can gain more control over our lives by being careful, wearing a mask, protecting ourselves and others, washing hands and surfaces. We can also ease this virus’s effect by collective goodwill and generosity. We can work individually to fight negativity and promote change in ourselves and others.
How do we take personal responsibility for change? Here are some helpful tips.
- Distant yourself from negativity in the news. Watching news constantly promotes negativity and that negative energy is contagious. Be informed but not obsessed.
- Stay distant from negative self-righteous people. Their negative energy contagious. Many are toxic and over the top with their views. It is good to be passionate and fight for causes and rights; it is bad to be consumed by the negative energy around hate and anger. Rants and rages push many away, and cause stress within you as well.
- Focus on solutions (what you can do), rather than what you cannot do. Take personal responsibility for your choices each day, one day at a time.
- Understand others feelings and be kind. Everyone’s feelings, (anger or love), come from somewhere in the past. People who are angry have been hurt. Understand that and work toward healing not hate and separation.
- Start helping others individually. Call that friend that is alone, make someone a delicious meal or a banana bread. Send someone a card just to let them know that you are thinking of them.
- Listen to music and find your own form of devotion. Maybe it is a traditional God or deity. Maybe it is walking in nature breathing in the air and soaking up the sunshine. Maybe it is meditating in a quiet place, and coming into the present moment. Maybe you curl up with a pet and feel grateful for the things you cherish.
- Acknowledge people; be kind. There are opportunities daily, to make a difference in another’s life. A kind word and gesture go a long way.
- Limit distracting technology that distances you from the people that matter most.
- Create something. Write, draw, paint, cook, dance, play music. Creative expression has always been associated with a sense of well-being. Sometimes creativity expresses what words cannot.
As the popular quote from Mahatma Ghandi says, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. It all begins with you.