Like all unexpected crises, the current COVID-19 will pass, and life will move on.
Cultivating patience during a time of disaster is challenging, though not impossible.
There are several suggestions in this blog that may soothe frayed nerves and help you regain composure and a sense of resilient tranquility.
Tip #1 - Keep a routine
Especially if you are forced to work from home, or are temporarily unemployed, routines give you a semblance of normalcy.
Wake up at the same time you always have; set up a space for your computer that is as functional as possible.
If you usually get up and take a shower or exercise, continue to do this even if that means modifying or tweaking your routine a bit. If you wear makeup, put it on, fix your hair, and keep up your grooming habits.
Tip #2 - Allow yourself time to step away
Allow yourself the time needed to step away from the computer or whatever you are doing.
Lookout at the trees, the sky, a bird singing, pet your cat or dog, take a deep breath and find something you are grateful for each day.
Recall a happy memory, allow yourself to feel that joy you experienced, knowing that this difficult time is temporary.
Tip #3 - Play soothing music
Music is a powerful source of healing. Find the genre that most speaks to you and play it while you work or while you close your eyes and breathe.
Music therapy has been well documented to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, and to lift sagging spirits.
Tip #4 - Cut down on the caffeine
When you are trying to stay calm and clear-headed, too much caffeine can sabotage your efforts. Switch to half caffeinated half decaf, drink herbal tea.
Stay hydrated drink plenty of water, if you are not naturally a water lover, drop some lemon or cucumber slices in there or infuse the water with your favorite fruit.
Tip #5 - Be kind and forgiving to yourself
When you are under duress, it is natural to feel a bit sluggish or less enthusiastic, give yourself permission to take a twenty-minute cat nap or meditation.
There are wonderful guided meditations that can help you rejuvenate. When you treat yourself with kindness, you cultivate patience within and with others.
Tip #6 - Find the silver linings
Challenging times always come with lessons. Maybe you don’t have to fight traffic now because you are working from home.
Maybe you have more time with your partner, and maybe you are learning new ways to share time together, perhaps you’ve discovered a new appreciation for something you took for granted.
Acknowledge and appreciate those silver linings and watch how they lift your mood.
Tip #7 - Laugh, joke around, and keep a sense of humor
Laughter will stave off built-up tension and can help just about any situation. A little levity goes a long way to lighten up your mood and helps you to cope. It’s like a pressure relief valve.
Whether you watch a funny movie, a stand-up on television, or call a funny friend, be sure to get a healthy daily dose of laughter.
Tip #8 - Develop a practice in breathing
It may sound silly, but when we are under stress, breathing often becomes shallow and rapid, rather than long and slow.
Consciously make an effort to take ten slow deep inhales (count to four or five as you inhale, do the same on the exhale) you will notice your body begin to relax. Release any body part that is still tight. Doing this on a regular basis throughout the day will ease tension and help with crankiness.
Like all things in life, cultivating patience during a crisis takes practice. But this is the time to keep at it. As you practice patience, when a challenge comes along, it provides you the opportunity to put your tools to work. This will be an enormous lesson and confidence booster that you can remain calm no matter what the circumstances.
No one can take that away from you!
This blog was written by Mara Fisher, LCSW, MCC.
Mara is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Master Certified Coach. She is also a Certified Imago Therapist and Advanced Imago Therapist.
Mara's career has grown out of a gift of intuition – which she's been aware of since childhood – and a natural inclination for using that gift to help empower others. Guiding and coaching feel as adventurous to her as the way she's lived her life. Born in New York City, Mara took European trips in her youth and has lived in England, France, and New Mexico in the United States.
Mara believes the boldness and confidence she gained through taking risks and expanding boundaries have contributed to her personal and professional successes. She loves seeing the joy in her clients when they find the courage to challenge themselves and transform their lives as well.
Mara has been a perpetual student, always exploring her inner self by learning new skills and techniques that help her to understand herself, other cultures, and what it is that makes us human. She applies that learning in a way that enables her clients to live fully in the present, to face the challenges in their futures, and to live their dreams.
For nearly three decades, Mara has focused on methods that help her clients realize that they already have answers to their questions. Instead of letting them give their power to her because she can often intuit what is going on in their lives, she can help them claim their power and solve their own problems.
Today Mara serves clients all over the globe through telephone and email communications. Her approach with each individual is uniquely shaped by who the person is and by their circumstances and needs. Tools and techniques selected for each client come from the expertise she's built during her career.
Check out Mara's website too!