During situations of crisis like the one we are facing now, it is common for various fears to arise. And the fears will vary from person to person. There is a laundry list of things that could take a toll on you, such as becoming fearful of you or someone you know/love catching the virus, not getting alone time as you are now constantly surrounded by those you live with, financial fears with the uncertainty of the economy, or even being fearful of the fact that you just became a homeschooler overnight!
At the end of the day, you need to remind yourself this: It is okay to be afraid.
It’s also okay to be mad. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to recognize that you feel stuck and that everything seems to be unraveling around you.
Did you catch that? It is okay.
Our emotions in themselves are not wrong. In fact, they are a God-given gift. The choice that belongs to us is what we do with our emotions. Each emotion has a need:
Fear needs safety.
Anger needs to vent and needs change.
Sad needs comfort.
Shame needs validation.
Joy needs to be shared.
If we don’t feed our emotions what they need, they will only grow and fester.
Amongst all the chaos, try and focus on the following acronym:
R- Receive grace for yourself. As a result of your emotions, you are probably going to make some less than great decisions, which then result in less than great outcomes. When those times happen, remember you’re only human and you deserve grace too. Receive it.
E- Encourage yourself and others. There is plenty of negativity circulating around right now; try not to feed into it. It will only bring you down in the process. A great way to take your focus from negative to positive is to love on yourself and others those around you (figuratively speaking of course) and pass along an encouraging word. Love has a special way of pushing off fear. Which helps us align our concerns with realistic perspective. See our next article about (Casting Your Fears next).
C- Community. As humans we were designed for connection. It isn’t normal to cut yourself of from society, no matter how entertaining Netflix 2020 may be. Put in the effort to stay connected to those around you. There are plenty of great apps to facilitate this, such as Zoom, Marco Polo & House Party.
E- Externalizing What we Need to Bring to the Surface. It is one thing to feel an emotion, and an entirely different thing to recognize the emotion and state it out loud. Practice it. An important thing to note is that it is okay, once externalized, to put your feelings in a box for certain times of the day for the sake of others. If you are a leader in your business, for example, or even a parent to your children, there are going to be times and places where those emotions need to be tucked away simply because you have others watching you and learning from you. Schedule out times in your day to sit and meet with yourself, asking questions like: What am I feeling right now? Why may I be feeling this way? How can I meet this emotion’s need in order to move on?
I- Introspection. How are you handling your stress during this time? Try and practice mindfulness in order to be aware of your behavior patterns throughout the day. When you feel stressed, do you find yourself standing in front of your pantry looking to food for comfort? Or maybe you go take a hot shower. Use introspection in order to recognize these patterns.
V- Validate yourself. Do not live in shame. Shame breeds contempt. Practice by writing “I am…” statements; truths about who you are. Repeat them and believe them.
E- Embrace change. Whether you like it or not, change has certainly made her presence loud and clear. Our days have been disrupted, our routines, our finances, our social schedules. We are being told what we can and cannot do. This type of change can be disheartening, however, this is beyond our control. The best thing we can do right now is to embrace the change by leaning into it, rather than against it. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and for the discomfort to produce growth.
To get support during this difficult time, reach out! Consider getting involved in local support, or join a “Plugged In” group. Discover this Women’s Connection & Growth group which helps women to find inner healing, identity growth, and profound teachings on navigating emotions…and take your new found freedom back into your personal world.
Last but not least, we’d love for you to share your feedback. What is helping you during this time?
--Co Authors: Jessica Jeans, L.M.H.C. & Lauren Preusz