“Mom! we’re hungry!”
“Mom! Can you help me with my homework”
“Oops! I have a session with my client now…”
“Ugh! I need to clean the house again…”
A typical Covid-19 crisis morning…
I woke up one day finding myself in Toronto, after I’d decided to travel all the way from Beirut to be next to my eldest son during this critical period. Just like many people around the world, I am locked home with my two boys waiting for the Lebanese airport to operate again and allow us to come back to our hometown…
In fact, the unfortunate situation we are all facing because of this pandemic spread is the ultimate test for our focus and resilience. As a matter of fact, resilience is not a trait that you either have or you don’t, and it’s not built-in… Resilience should be developed!
Sadly, all things have changed in the past 4 weeks. The world is witnessing a complete lockdown. Schools have shifted to virtual learning, and kids are home schooling. Working moms are multi-tasking and still running work from home. And YES, the challenges of juggling all these roles and alone are enormous!
While it might seem like things are hopeless, the one and only thing we can control during this tough time is our mindset and our energy, because they matter more than status, money, or any materialistic thing.
Now take a moment and reflect… How are you managing your mental, physical, and emotional energy? How are you feeling about the situation? and why? What options do you really have? Are your emotions poisoning your body? Are your beliefs helping you? or they are hurting you?
Actually, we all feel the need to know what will happen next week or maybe next month, but no one is able to. Unfortunately, you may have started experiencing stress and uncertainty in the midst of isolation, but remember: we are all going through these emotions, we are all on the same boat, and we just need to know how to anchor this boat so we stop feeling sick, scared, or helpless.
Today, all I can ask you to do is a personal reset, for you have a window of opportunities to be selective about who and what you want to bring into your world. You need to accept the challenge and choose to come out of this stronger than before.
So, lucky women, healthy and safe with your cherished ones…if you find yourself to be dealing with some or all of the above, here are some beneficial ways to deal with your situation:
- ACKNOWLEDGE your dual role as worker and mother and ask for some space from kids, but also stay attentive to what they are doing. Hopefully, when this period is over your kids are going to know a lot more about your job and what it takes to do, and therefore appreciate it more;
- GIVE UP “control” by allowing for the “unusual” to happen and try to make fun of some situations;
- DEEPEN your self conpassion and be kind to yourself! Stop your inner critics when things are not perfectly done the way you want. Try saying to yourself: “May I be kind to myself, May I give myself what I need, May I accept myself as I am, May I be strong, May I be patient…”;
- CONNECT with others and talk to someone you love. Always remember: what we are going through is not social isolation but only a physical isolation period. Studies has shown that kindness chain boosts mood and add years to your life;
- FOCUS on what you can control. This deprivation of liberty is like a punishment for us as humans, so you just have to accept the things that you cannot change;
- TAKE A BREAK and do something fun. Talk out loud, dance, sing, laugh, and give yourself the permission to be silly sometimes;
- BEFRIEND all your emotions and don’t numb them just because you “must” be positive. Try to notice and recognize your current feelings about the situation; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Always remember you are not your feelings and when you recognize and allow negative thoughts to be present, they will change and pass. For those feelings will last longer when you fight them. Eventually, the more we push away, the more we get pushed back. Remember, what you resist persists!
- RETURN to your centre by being PRESENT. The “present moment” is the only real time that you have especially when you are facing uncertainty and things are out of your control. So, try to be mindful and well-grounded in the now moment by giving yourself a break from needing to think or plan;
- DON’T spend a lot of time on the news and social media and know the negative impact of fake news;
- DECLUTTER the house, design your ideal wardrobe, and remember, sometimes less is more!
- UNDERSTAND your needs and listen to your body. Exercise daily at home or go out for a small walk, which helps increase your hormones of happiness and release stress.
- BE GRATEFUL! There is always something to be grateful for…think of the less fortunate, and you’ll realize how privileged you are.
Personally, I won’t deny having shed tears sometimes, or having been drifted by overthinking and fear of catching the virus, and started worrying about my kids and how they will manage alone in a strange country away from family and friends. However, I had to centre myself, challenge myself, and shift the negative mindset to a positive one. I always kept reminding myself that “women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away”- Barbara De Angelis.
This too shall pass; this year is writing history and all you can do is your own part! It’s going to be hard, but if you focus on what you can control, you can then limit the harm. Finally, appreciate every moment, pray, and give when you can so when your head hits the pillow, you fall asleep with a smile of satisfaction, knowing you brought your best to the challenges of the day. Keep in mind, it’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you respond to it!
Beautiful women out there, heal your mind so your mind will heal you!
Stay safe, stay home.
By, Lina Cherry, Professional Life Coach
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