Are you panicking that you cannot buy any toilet paper in the store anymore as all the shelves are empty? Or, are you one of those lucky ones who acted quickly and built a mini toilet paper fortress at home already?
Are you worried about what the Coronavirus can do to you, your loved ones, your job, your income, the economy, the world as we know it? Are you stressed out, overeating or unable to eat, wanting to calm yourself down with your “go-to-strategy” that may not be as healthy but kind of works?
You know that you shouldn’t stress out as much because the more stress you feel, the more cortisol (stress hormone) your body produces. The more that happens, the weaker your immune system becomes. The more vulnerable your immunity system, the less you can focus and the worse you feel. The less you can concentrate, and the more you are prone to illness, the higher the chance of your nightmares to manifest. (reduced income, illness, etc.)
Your logical mind knows all that… but what to do with those intense emotions that tell you to decorate your walls with emergency water bottles and toilet paper rolls? How do you stay calm and rational in the middle of a crisis?
I have helped many of my clients (myself included!) get through challenging situations that included all three primary triggers that many of us currently experience (health, money fears, things out of our control), and that helped me find a system that works for me to calm me down and get through a challenging time in my life or business.
I invite you to try it on, and tap into your own creativity to find the best fit for you – so not only can you get through this crisis in the best possible way but also empower others to do the same.
Ready to hear what works for me and my clients in the crisis mode to release the strong feelings, regain your brainpower and calmness and be able to show up for yourself, your loved ones, your clients? Read on!
Surviving the Crisis System (FEReRe)
FEReRe stands for:
1) Feel it
Let’s break down each of the steps.
1) Feel it.
Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to process. Don’t numb the emotions (by food, alcohol, etc.). See, instead, how can you SAFELY express them.
Do you want to cry? Scream? Complain? Be angry? Furious? What is the safe space you can feel & release that emotion without harming yourself and others? Pause and answer that for yourself.
How long? For you to be able to still function, stay healthy and show up for yourself and others, set a time limit on your “scheduled feeling release sessions.” It could be 5-10 minutes in the morning in your car. If you have children, tell them, “I’m going to go to my car for 10 minutes, I need some ‘me-time’. so I can be a better mom/dad for you.” If you don’t live with anyone – you can still choose to go to your car – to create a mini RITUAL around your safe emotional release.
Tell yourself: “I’m going to go to my car, and fully feel whatever I need to.” You can freak out there. Bitch, moan, cry, scream, or just write all out on a piece of paper that you put into a dumpster once you are done. Then, after 10 minutes of doing that, go back to your home, and you will be able to focus on what matters most, and work on improving your situation, and serve others.
What this work for you or what kind of mini-ritual can you implement in your own life/work? What kind of structure can you set up for yourself so that you can show up fully for yourself and others no matter what chaos is in or around you? So no matter what particular crisis you are going through (Coronavirus or anything else), you have a healthy strategy that can help you get through this? (Also, please, check-in with yourself. If you are unable or afraid to safely release the emotions, or you have a history of mental illness, please seek the support of a professional. There is no shame in that, the opposite – it shows you take your wellbeing seriously and are taking full responsibility for it).
This step is about empowerment. You are empowering yourself to be able to switch the focus from what doesn’t work and what is horrible, stressful, fear-producing, anxiety-creating, or panic-feeling generating, to something that gives you a break from that and even gives you more energy to get through this challenging phase.
What can you focus on instead? Ask yourself: “What is the opportunity or blessing in this situation? What am I learning or getting out of this?”
Is it perhaps that you can develop your (self)leadership skills that will help you overcome whatever obstacles happen in the future? Or perhaps you discover that you can support many people in this situation through your unique talents or resources that can uplevel your professional life and income? Or really deepen relationships with your loved ones or create a stronger community around you? What else? What kind of blessing or opportunity can you find for yourself?
What is your big reason for getting through this crisis?
On one level, it could be your work, serving others to the best of your ability, or merely surviving through the crisis in the most peaceful and healthy way possible.
What is your deeper big reason? It could be love for your loved ones. It could be love for the future version of yourself that needs you on your “A” game today. As Brendon Burchard asks: “Who needs YOU on your A-game today?” In your personal or professional life? Who needs you to strengthen your ability to deal with stress and stay as healthy as possible when things get out of your control? Answer to those questions can unlock additional energy from within you that will help you cope with whatever is to come and take necessary actions to improve your situation.
Once you shift your focus, remind yourself of your ‘why’, the last step in this stage is to ask yourself the following question: “What kind of action can I take today to make things better for myself or others? What needs to happen? When? How?” Write at least one thing that you can do today to make things better. Just pause for a moment. What can you do today to grow and contribute to others today, in the midst of a crisis? At this point go, and take the action. If you still find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself who could support you in moving forward. Asking for help and support is not a weakness. It is being responsible for your situation and wellbeing.
Rest has two important meanings.
The rest of the things. Focus only on what truly matters. Eliminate any unnecessary tasks, activities. What is not truly important to getting you and your loved ones through this, drop it. Postpone it. Please put “the rest of the things” on the back burner and be OK with it. You will be able to get to it once the situation gets calmer. And it will. Focusing only on what matters will create a space for the second meaning of “rest.”
The second meaning of “rest” is to relax, bring about ease and release of tension. What makes you happy? Do you need to browse the internet for funny memes to get some laughter in your day during a crisis? Who do you love talking to that always makes your day lighter? What resources do you already have available that can help you relax? Release tension? Is it a nice strength-training workout that you find on YouTube that helps you sweat the stress out? Or Zumba dance video? Or is it going to the car again and have a 10 min “me-time” to feel and release? What else is already in your reach and available? (Even it is not the toilet paper? How about napkins?)
Repeat the process until the crisis is over.
Feel Safely – Empower to refocus and take a productive action – Rest. Create mini-rituals for yourself that help you Feel Safely, Empower, Rest. Make it a fun game for yourself or with your family/friends.
You can get through it. You have the ability to refocus in a healthy and productive way and escape the grasp of panic, unhealthy actions, and habits. You can get through this and make something better out of it.
Remember, “shit happens.” And also that “shit” is used as a fertilizer for something better and healthier to come. Use this time as a fertilizer for your future.
Once you refocus from “OMG, this is awful! It REALLY STINKS!!! I cannot breathe!” to “Hmmm, this stinks, wow. Let me cover my nose for a moment. I cannot even flush it right now; it is just clogged! What can I do about this? How can I make something better out of this situation? What can I learn from this? What blessings or opportunities are hidden in this situation?”
A new logo for my company Consult to Success has a phoenix in it. Reborn from the ashes. (less stinky analogy and appropriate for California?). How can you become the Phoenix, and renew, recover & thrive again even when you get diminished through the crisis?
I have full faith in you. Test the process, share with others, and know, that you are not alone in this. There are many people who want to help. You can receive the support and also become one of those supportive people. Share what works for you with others. Become the leader in your life and your community who can share the message of empowerment through any crisis.
You have what it takes! Even if you cannot see it sometimes through the fog of crisis or fear.
To your success in getting through any crisis in the most healthy way and to you thriving again —
© Lucie Tesarova, Board-Certified Business & Life Coach