We have been shaken, not stirred. Badly shaken.

We do have virtues and values like courage and compassion to guide us.

Susan David in her book Emotional Agility created the phrase ‘courage is just fear walking’. We are waking and walking every day along with our fears. We are courageous.

We are amazingly resilient when it comes to crises. We have our bad days but, so long as we are having more good days than bad days, we’re ok. If that switches and you’re having mostly bad days that’s the time to seek help and support from your family, friends and GP.

We are out of our routines and our comfort zones. We know we have control over our own thoughts, moods and decisions and that positive actions are the way to move forward. Actions create order, confidence and courage and a sense of achievement on completion.

Courage also rids you of the feelings of being powerless and lacking control. It’s easy to slip into victimhood when you feel powerless and to blame and shame yourself and those around you but that is a waste of your energy.

Your energy is precious and needs, particularly at this time, to be channeled into creating a hopeful day and future. We will all have days were we just wander around and cannot get into gear or where we have a whinge and whine or get sooky and sulky. That’s ok. Allowing yourself that space is self-compassion.

You are here for a purpose. These circumstances don’t change that. The one thing we are all here for is to love and be loved.

We do have a purpose in self isolation and that’s to save lives – ours, our loved ones and others. Life will be easier for us if we practice compassion – caring for ourselves and others with love and kindness knowing that we are all equally impacted, and we are all doing the best we can.

Yes, none of us feel the way we used too. Our lives have changed forever. We’ve lost our trust in our normality. We need a new normal.

Rituals and planning will help to minimise our down days. Rituals like cooking a healthy meal, setting the table for dinner, phoning a friend each day, watching the sun rise or set, walking to the gate to collect the mail. Small rituals that give you a sense of order and control.

Some check-in questions to help frame a plan for your day could be

  • Most mornings are you getting out of bed with a sense of happiness and hope? If not, what is the one thing you can do to change that?
  • Do you plan to achieve something during your day or are you drifting through your day? Just achieving one thing a day makes a big difference to your mood. You could set a goal to read 20 pages a day, connect with family or a friend, listen to your favourite music, walk for 30 minutes – what positive action can you do?
  • Are you sleeping well? If not, what have you tried? Ask your family and friends or your GP for advice.
  • Do you have a weekly menu to help you eat well?

Set times around daily activities to help motivate you to stick to your daily rituals and plan.

The definition of Self-care is ‘the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress’. Do you want to do that? A big fat ‘Yes’. You can do that – it’s within your control. Courage and compassion are the foundations of self-care and care of others.

Are you looking after yourself with exercise, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, hydrating with plenty of water, journaling, meditating, praying or simply taking 5-10 minutes to reflect and celebrate your wins? Nurturing yourself, your pet(s) or plants has major therapeutic benefits.

There is life after a crisis. We can make it to the other side better and stronger, more courageous and more compassionate.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

Helen McLucas ©2020