I’m not an expert on social distancing, but I am an expert on inner power and extremely sensitive to watching these feelings of powerlessness and panic spread like wildfire during this time of fear, uncertainty, and unrest. We hear words like ‘devastating’ or ‘catastrophic’ or  ‘pandemic’ and it’s difficult not to fall into a panic.

Due to the quickly spreading coronavirus, we don’t know the immediate future in terms of travel, quarantines, availability of certain goods like toilet paper, schools/businesses shutting down for weeks, and that’s unnerving. No one enjoys uncertainty, but it’s a part of what we’re dealing with right now. No one knows how long it’ll last, or what it’ll entail.

We are in a worldwide time out. 

I’m going to learn how to use my Instapot; go through my books and see what I can donate; and fix things around my house. Oh, and put together some videos to help show people calming down is OK.

During this mandatory quiet time – we can either embrace what’s happening or fight it. 

We can learn how to work with it, or we can be afraid of it.  

Fear and fighting take a lot of energy which eventually depletes our natural immunity. 

Yes, it’s important to learn the virus symptoms and how to care for yourself and your family but it’s also important to keep your mental headspace clear. It’s a necessity. We have to make smart choices on what we let into our thinking and not be taken away by mass paranoia. 

Not knowing what’s going on in the world can create a type of anxiety – uncertainty anxiety. 

And with this uncertainty anxiety our body and its systems can fall into the worst case ‘sky is falling’ scenarios and fight, flight, or freeze reactions get triggered. As an adrenal stress expert I can tell you with certainty no great choices occur when we are freaking out. We will panic, get nervous, isolate ourselves, believe every cough is death, or start hoarding items. 

I’ve had to talk myself through feeling nervous, scared, and out of control. Do I have enough food? Should I venture out? Should we continue classes? How bad will it get? And every time I notice these thoughts, I pause and count my breath 3-2-1 to help me get out of adrenal response. Just as I demonstrate in this TEDx talk here. 

It’s time to take back your power. 

Get yourself back to center by controlling what you can control. Being able to control the rabbit hole your mind goes down will help you considerably during this time. I’ve been there, staying positive in the face of the unknown. We can do this. This is the time to support each other and come together. 

How do I know all this? Here’s a quick history: in 2014 I had a traumatic brain injury from a car accident and the only way to heal my post-concussive syndrome was spending almost 2 years in a “low stimulus” environment. Basically it means sitting in a quiet, dark room and decreasing all stimulus. Which meant no input like lights, sounds, tv, music, computer, social media, interaction, exertion, reading, etc. nothing straining my brain. I went from a Type A to Zen – a business owner/professional athlete to meditating and resting every day — all day long. 

If I can do it and not only survive but find a way to thrive – we can all do this over the next couple of months or so. 

Here are a few suggestions to start taking back your own power by engaging choice and creativity:

  1. Create. Think of all the things we’ve put off for that “rainy day” or “when i get a chance”; well now is your chance. Get back to the basics. Now is the time to take a look at all the “somedays” on your list you can do from home. Get creative and innovate ways to do what you need to do.
  2. Connect differently. Use FaceTime or group chats to connect. What’s App allows a group feature. There are great platforms like Zoom which will allow us to connect virtually with the people. Technology can create opportunities for us to connect if we use it. Get online in positive ways. Try not to spread fear, panic, or worry. 
  3. Read. All those books you love and haven’t had the time to go over again? Now’s a good time! Pick up your favorites or put the ones you’re ready to part with in a donate box. Your library might have an app allowing you to download books, movies, and even audiobooks? Instead of buying all the books I want to read, I just download them for 21 days instead.
  4. Learn. Udemy, Teachable, and edX, are all great places to choose a subject you’re interested in and take a course. I offer online courses on inner power and boundaries, if that’s of interest. Always wanted to learn a language? Now’s a great time to do just that.
  5. Write. Ever wanted to learn how to get your ideas into a book or ebook? There are programs. Now might just be a great time to take them. 
  6. Organize. Declutter. Get those donation boxes out and start filling them. Catch up on emails and clean out your inbox! Organize your files both digital and paper.    
  7. Fix things. “This is your rainy day!” Think of all those things you’ve been saving to take care of “when I have time” or “when things slow down”. Well guess what, they’ve slowed down. 
  8. Get outside. Sunshine is not only good for us, it helps with our immunity. Get free takeout and have a picnic.
  9. Move it, move it. Any kind of exercise is great if you’re healthy. It’ll help you keep mental control and work out anxiety that might show up.

I’d love to hear any suggestions you have – what are you choosing to do?