“Fear makes us stupid!”
The dictionary defines ‘idiot’ as a stupid person. While the word is not socially acceptable, it serves a purpose here.
Fear and uncertainty are not your friends.
When we are fearful, we catastrophize. Without knowing it, we make a lot of ‘doom & gloom’ scenarios up.
I task you to help yourself and, help others make friends with reality. Refuse to get sucked into panicking. Deal with what has to be dealt with.
It’s difficult to keep your thinking straight when you are busy sanitizing your environment, hand washing, practicing social distancing and, stockpiling. And yet, you must!
Before I lay out the survival tips, I would like to add my personal view: You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Choose to be part of the solutions.
Survival tip #1. Self-Care is of the utmost importance.
Rule for losing oxygen while flying: If there is a loss of oxygen, put your mask on first. You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself.
You know the drill: Engage in healthy practices and do your best to develop and sustain routines that bring you comfort and provide a base of stability.
Survival tip #2. Practice self-compassion.
Be very gentle with yourself. Anxiety and fear are primal and can fly and bounce around our minds and bodies to make us miserable. Emotions come and go, return and disappear and – You want to trust that they will dissipate and that you DO NOT have to act on negative emotions.
Survival tip #3. Keep informed.
Seek out the facts, even the frightening one. Anxiety and fear flourish in a vacuum. We fantasize and make up junk constantly so, feed your mind with the most relevant facts. Stay up to date on new developments.
Survival tip #4. Abstain from blaming and shaming.
When you confront scarcity, you may launch into “survival anxiety.” Survival anxiety prompts you to blame others. When you blame others, you give up your personal power.
The antidote is to hold on to your humanity and realize we are all in this together.
If you do blame, ask yourself if it motivates you to solve a problem. If not, find your compassion.
Survival tip #5. Prepare for the worst NOW!
Use fear as a motivator to prepare.
Author Lee Child’s character, Jack Reacher’s mantra is, “Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.” This couldn’t be more applicable today.
If ever there was a time NOT to procrastinate, it is NOW. Being passive and not doing what you need to do breeds fear which fuels inaction, frustration and depression. Get going! Move.
If you are unable to find supplies, keep looking. If you feel you can’t stop touching your face, just STOP IT!
I guarantee you can train your subconscious to do anything you want. Use positive affirmations.
Record a short, positive suggestion in your iPhone and listen to it several times a day: “I will be aware when I start to touch my face and, STOP! I will sanitize and wash my hands whenever I touch something. Regardless of my need to be close to others, I will keep my social distancing to six feet.”
Survival tip #5. CONNECT, CONNECT, CONNECT.
Albert Einstein wrote, “Our separation of each other is an optical illusion of consciousness.”
In my book, “Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind,” I write explore the ‘Illusion of Separability.” The principle is simple. Despite what you think or believe, we are all connected. If ever you had a doubt or considered it, the Coronavirus has driven this fact home.
What you do and say affects me. What I do and say affects you.
On the unconscious level, we all need to connect. You don’t have to isolate yourself mentally or spiritually. Technology has given us the miracle to stay connected. Check in on friends, neighbors, family and young people. Call, email, Text, Skype, Zoom or use Facebook live.
A simple email can make a world of difference to both the recipient and the sender.
Survival tip #6. Have the courage to ask for help.
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it.
My wife has always said, “We are not here to see through each other; we are hear to see each other through.”
You and I do not have all the answers and we often operate by what I term ‘the arrogance of assumption.
Seek out other clear-thinking people to give their opinion and share their information.
6. Refuse to let fear and anxiety become another pandemic.
As a conscious human being, your challenge is to do everything you can to manage your anxiety and do our very best not to pass it on to others.
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men;
and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads,
our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
― Herman Melville
James Mapes is a best-selling author, speaker, award-winning performer and high-performance coach.