Most people are creatures of habit. We feel most comfortable when things go as planned or expected, when we make plans and are confident that they probably won’t change. The pandemic, however, continues to challenge us. New variants, changing mandates, and plans that feel more tentative than certain, can make us feel anxious, angry, and even helpless. Here are some ways to develop inner calm and manage the current uncertainties:
Be kind to yourself
We are often our own worst critics, especially when we are in a negative mental state. Part of inner kindness is having self-compassion, which means accepting yourself and your feelings in a non-judgmental way. Don’t be upset if you feel sad, worried, or angry. Instead, you can counter these emotions by expanding your inner understanding, acceptance, and unconditional love. Practice self-care and make an intentional effort to do things that make you feel happy.
Try something new
Trying a new hobby or learning a new skill takes focus off things that you cannot control. The opportunity to grow helps counter feelings of helplessness. It supports the building of your confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
Limit exposure to news
When you are stressed about something, it may be tempting to seek updated information by watching the news or searching social media. Compulsively checking for updates can make you feel more stressed and anxious. So, try limiting your check-ins and avoid the news during vulnerable times of day, such as right before bedtime.
Take your own advice
Ask yourself: If a friend came to you with this worry, what would you tell them? Imagining your situation from an outside perspective often helps to shed light on the situation. The distance can help change your frame of mind and add clarity to your thought process.
Think about the things that you CAN control
While there may be things out of your control, you can control how you respond to life’s challenges. For example, you have the power to feel inner joy; no one and no situation can take that away from you.
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