When we are being threatened, we have to know firsthand whether we are experiencing fear or anxiety.
CORONAVIRUS IS A THREAT.
FEAR IS A SURVIVAL MECHANISM.
When we see people starting to stockpile paper goods, toilet paper, Lysol wipes, hand sanitizers and enough food to feed the military, that is survival mode and fear getting into action. If there is no real or present threat, then what we are feeling is anxiety.
As the days and weeks continued the Novel Coronavirus affected more people, a feeling of dread over anticipated events turned our anxiety into fear of fear.
Fear Gives You Two Options
Even before we began watching the news and getting reports of the worsening problem, fear had already alerted our brain and nervous system to tell our body you are in a dangerous situation and you must act according to it.
Fear is present-focused and short-lived. When there is a specific threat, you have two options, get into action to escape the threat by running and hiding, or stand firm, use defensive behavior, and fight.
At 35 years of age, I suffered a nervous breakdown. A single mother with two mouths to feed, working two sometimes three jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food on our plates, fighting my way out of a bad relationship, diagnosed with pernicious anemia and fibroids the size of grapefruits growing in my womb, not eating and definitely not sleeping. I was existing in survival mode.
When my body could take it no more. Fear rose up. But I had no energy to stand fight. Instead, I ran and hid. Within my mind. For six straight months.
We are now at week 11. The threat continues and is more real than ever. Many people are afraid, but we have to be careful. We have to face our fears and see them for what they are. We have to ask whether it is anxiety or irrational fear. Or, is it both?
When we understand what we are facing, we can take action and plan for the expected and the unexpected.
Can we attain balance and be successful in this Covid-19 Pandemic?
Can we truly face our fears and find freedom from crisis?
My answer is YES.
If you have a plan that incorporates three things: Determination, Time Management, and Communication.
Determination has to be a big part of your plan to get freedom from crisis. Why determination? Why now? Determination enables us to persist in the face of difficulties.
Right now, our options are limited. The government has put restrictions in place to ensure our safety as the coronavirus continues to be a threat. That plan takes care of our immediate concerns.
Determination allows us to realign our actions and take control especially when we are cut off from any other possibilities.
With determination, you are able to find solutions that can alleviate the pressures from both outside and inside. There are already a lot of disappointments and disillusions. There will be many more upsets and challenges. You have to make committed decisions that allow you to deal with each situation.
One thing you can do is plan for your future after the pandemic. Allow yourself to create and visualize what next. I suggest a vision board.
A vision board is a collage of images, pictures and affirmations of your dreams and desires. It’s a source of inspiration and motivation. In addition, each person in the household can create their own. You can even create theme specific boards, such as a career board, wealth building, retirement or relationship board.
HOW TO CREATE A VISION BOARD
STEP 1: Decide on the theme of your vision board by looking at the different areas of your life that are important to you. Is it your education, returning to college or just planning going to college? Is it starting a career or a new business? Is it planning for a family and home? Take 5 to10 minutes to jot down all these things. This will be used later when you start to college imagery and items for your board.
STEP 2: Start looking for images, words and other items that correspond to the goals you jotted down. Best places to find strong images and words are magazines, stickers, newspaper, and online catalogs. Take your time to do this and allow the images to inspire and motivate you.
STEP 3: When something grabs your senses, cut it out and put it to one side. The vision board is a tool to help give you a bright, fun, adventurous future. The images and words you choose should allow you to see it, feel it, and embrace it. You are putting together something tangible that you want to come into your life. Take time and enjoy your search. Put your collection in a folder or a large envelope where you can easily find when you work on your vision board.
STEP 4: Collect the items to make your vision board. Here is a short list, but feel free to add other things as you progress.
Big piece of cardboard or corkboard
Glue stick or thumb pins if you are using a corkboard or fabric board
Fabric or ribbons
Colored Masking Tape
Any other items to decorate, such as sequins, glitter, etc.
STEP 5: Now you begin the creative part of arranging your words and images on the board. There is no right or wrong way to arrange the items. It is your vision board so you decide. Remember, to make it fun and exciting because your senses are an integral part of making your visions come to life.
STEP 6: Once you are happy with your layout, then you can begin to glue the items on your vision board. It would be good to leave some empty spots for adding other images later. When you have finished sticking the images on and they are dry, turn over the cardboard and put the date and your location on the back. You will be glad you did in years to come when you have achieved or visualized into reality everything on your board.
STEP 7: Now you are ready to put your vision board at a special place where you will be able to see it and take time to review it on a daily basis. As you pass by your vision board, stand and enjoy the images and words. Allow them to activate your senses. Use your imagination to experience everything on your board. This allows your subconscious mind to take over and bring your goals, dreams, and desires into your life. The stronger the feelings, the faster the manifestation.
When we are in crisis mode, our brain is trying to deal with the immediate threat response. When you work on creating your vision board, you are visualizing an exciting period in the future. And it doesn’t even have to be fancy or big. What it should be is exciting, adventurous and fun. I believe that life should be filled with many adventures.
Even in this crisis, working on your vision board will shift your brain from thinking threat and fear, to long term planning and focus on how you want to feel.
When you make up your mind to create solutions and set goals you have set in motion the core foundation for increasing your chance of success.
Determination is like a flame that ignites your success. One thing about determination, it will motivate you to action.
When I came out at the other end of my nervous breakdown, I asked myself what next. Am I going to continue on the way it was before? No. That was not an option. Things had to change.
Determination, added to my willpower, was how I began the long road to recovery.
Then I learned about time management.
Time management is tantamount to living a balanced, stress free life because it removes the juggling and indecision. Time is valuable.
I am sure everyone is pulling at you, wanting your undivided attention. This is your new norm. Yet, you have to cope.
Your 24-hour day must be divided up many times in order for time to be utilized effectively. Every minute has to be spent wisely, without being restrictive.
Each person in your household, including yourself, must establish their territory as far as time is concerned. You can develop a method where everyone feels they have your undivided attention at all times. It will take work on your part, but you can achieve this
You have been observing their personalities. You probably already know their likes and dislikes, how they operate, what upsets them, what makes them happy, and what triggers their different moods.
The next step is to use this information to deal with each person, individually and collectively.
These past couple of months you have been secluded, in the same place, 24 hours 7 days a week. I know you’ve learned a thing or two about the people you live with, whether family or roomies, and yourself. 24 hours is very different from 3 hours in the morning and 3 or 4 hours in the evening.
Plus, you have added more titles to the ones you already had, teacher, boss, disciplinarian, entertainer, chef, waitperson, counselor, therapist, and so on.
Now you evaluate each individual and assess how much time you need to devote or spend on them.**
You have to set boundaries and your family and friends must abide by them.
Even if it is just you, in isolation. You too have to determine when you are most productive and when you are not. What time do you go to the supermarket or post-office? Do you even have to, when you can order groceries and stamps online?
These are the kind of things to consider when implementing time management.
The keys to effective time management are 1) being able to see the whole picture, 2) establish selective control, and 3) delegate the tasks.
Make sure to evaluate where you are wasting valuable time and identify the areas in which you consume time on unnecessary and encumbering tasks.
Now delegate the different jobs to the right person. Remember to give clear instructions on how to handle and complete. If necessary, train them on how you want the job done.
And this is where communication comes in.
If you want freedom from crisis, communication is vital. Are any of you mind readers. I know I’m not.
I remember how many times, in order to avoid confrontation or arguments, I used to put off communicating how I felt until the time was right. Unfortunately, I learned there really is no right time.
Failure to communicate causes breakdown that leads to confusion, frustration, and anger.
I wish I knew this when I would walk around the place murmuring and complaining all because I was afraid to verbalize my feelings.
It is always better to talk about a situation, even if it means being uncomfortable.
If you are a family, may I suggest that you implement a family conference hour where everyone meets, usually over a meal, to discuss the things of importance to each person. It’s a time to have open, respectful, family dialogue with each family member participating. Communication involves exchange and it is not one-sided.
If it is something that needs to be discussed with only one or a few individuals then hold a mini conference.
During the gathering, be receptive by giving each person your full attention. Don’t let your mind wander off or become distracted. Most people, and especially children are very perceptive and can sense if you are not listening to them.
Listening takes practice and time, but it is worth the effort.
When you take time to listen patiently, you are showing the other person respect. I have learned to pay attention, not only to what others say, but hearing what they really mean. A person is willing to share information if they feel the listener has his or her interest at hand.
And communication pays off. If the person knows you listen to them, they in turn are more ready to listen to you when the need arises.
Freedom from crisis involves finding courage to implement a plan that will benefit every person involved.
It takes strong determination to make decisions that will enable an effective and positive outcome. That outcome ensures that no one comes out filled with ongoing anxiety or fears for their future.
By instituting time management, you are initiating boundaries and establishing rules that make for smooth running instead of chaos and confusion. All this is done through effective communication with regard to each person’s comprehension of the situation they are experiencing.
If you face your fears, see them for what they really are, unrealistic and unnecessary, you will have taken the first step to finding freedom from crisis.
Be Safe and Be at Peace.
We hope you enjoyed the article on Facing Your Fears in a Time of Crisis. Please feel free to leave us a comment below if you did or if you have any lingering questions!