Life is uncertain, and Covid-19 has compounded the uncertainty. Many people are feeling anxious, unsettled, and stressed.
According to Eliz Greene: Under stress, our brains depend on instinct rather than rational thought because the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking is busy dealing with the psychological reaction to stress. This reaction not only impedes productivity, but it can also create a paralyzing loop of anxiety.
Signs of Stress
Cognitive signs of stress include indecision or poor decisions, lack of focus, muddled thinking, and making unusual mistakes. We may also be eating or drinking more than usual and physical signs may include trouble sleeping, headaches, increased heart rate, reduced libido etc.
If you are stressed be kind to yourself and recognise it as a natural and normal human response to uncertainty.
What can we control?
There is much about the Covid pandemic that we can’t control, such as the local and global economy; local and international border restrictions; whether hospitality outlets and retailers survive; the financial effect on our jobs, businesses and investments; the long-term effect on children; whether we or loved ones catch Covid… the list is extensive.
Relentless Covid-19 news and social media increases stress.
But focusing on what we can control empowers us. We can choose to:
- Limit our exposure to news and social media
- Reach out and connect with friends and family by phone, Zoom etc
- Get vaccinated, use the Covid tracing app, physically distance, and wear a mask
- Go for a walk, stretch, enjoy the sunshine, sit in nature and breathe
- Enjoy a hobby or read instead of watching excessive TV
- Upskill and/or work on the business
- Celebrate progress and small victories
- Practice mindfulness and gratitude.
Make contingency plans
We should hope for the best, but plan (or at least consider) the worst. Knowing that if the worst happened you have a plan reduces anxiety.
Research the help and support available such as who could look after your business or family if you have to self isolate; where and how can you apply for financial support; how to conserve or improve cashflow (both business and personal); ways to overcome obstacles so you can remain productive and enjoy life.
Covid-19 disruption will wane, and life will return to a new normal. The new normal will be different, having experienced the pandemic we will be different too. Focussing on what we can control and being grateful for small victories will empower us and help to keep us calm.
Summer holidays are creeping closer – make some plans and stay positive.
“Relax. Worry is infamous for being inaccurate.”