From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only did everyone face the fear of the virus, but it triggered worries and anxiety amongst us. In such unprecedented times, we face the threat of job loss, financial insecurity, liquidation of businesses, and even the loss of loved ones for some.
And since we all still have to carry on despite these trials, here are five tips to help you become mentally strong during this time of crisis.
Calmness is an inside job. Most of our thoughts are filled with what we see, absorb, and choose to remember from our lives. Imagine the amount of load we have inside our minds accumulated through the many years of unpleasant memories and experiences.
This could potentially come down on us all of a sudden so this is where meditation comes in. We need to be able to purge these thoughts and quiet the mind for at least 20 minutes to an hour a day.
Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and collect all the unnecessary thoughts that bother you and toss them into an imaginary receptacle for disposal. It might sound non-realistic for some but it really helps to disassociate yourself from these things.
Learning from the Navy SEALs who have one of the most difficult trainings in their profession, the 4 x 4 x 4 technique is advisable to do daily upon waking up or during instances when you feel stressed out.
Inhale for four seconds through the nose, hold it in for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, then hold your lungs empty for another four seconds before repeating from the start.
You can do this for five minutes or until you feel relaxed or refocused once again.
Turn adversity to opportunity
Consider looking at the situation from a different perspective. Reframe and see it differently from the aspect of either context or content.
This means you could take an active look at how you are interpreting external situations and see these “bad” events as a challenge for you. You could react to it by finding a way to improve it or improve yourself to react better towards it.
The point is to not let something negative consume you completely.
Try to list down at least three things you are grateful for each day as acknowledging such things creates a virtuous circle of positivity.
It doesn’t have to be something grand. Small victories still keep one’s morale high — even if it’s just the fact that you have breakfast on the table is already something to be thankful about.
Do not let your ambitions be crushed by external forces such as other people, your leaders, or even a worldwide pandemic. Continue to create your goals — whether long- or short-term. Plus, know what to accomplish each day and be determined not to quit more so when things get a bit challenging.
We are indeed going through challenging times. Not just because of the pandemic, but also due to all the negative things happening in the world right now.
It’s easy to feel defeated and the urge to give up is just around the corner. But making it through this challenge can make us better and stronger than ever before. This is why we need to be reminded of how we can be mentally tougher through these simple things.
We are all in this together and we can get through this together as well.
Fabi Carino is a thought leader and an organization development and human resources executive. She is presently the country HR director for Dentsu-Aegis Network Phils., a multinational media and digital agency.