Much has been written about emotional intelligence at these testing times. However, I still wanted to reiterate certain points and thoughts here.
The COVID-19 pandemic threat is real and it is absolutely understandable to be concerned and take all the precautions of washing hands often, staying home and practicing social distancing..However if you let your emotions to get hijacked by it, that will only make the situations worse.
The uncertainty, anxiety and fear of the unknown can really be challenging giving us sleepless nights and making us feel helpless. However here are few things we can do to increase our self awareness and feel more in control:
1. Do an emotional audit to practice self awareness:
At times like these, there will be moments which can trigger an unproductive reaction…where there will be a series of low emotional states.. and loads of negative self talk… take a moment close your eyes and try to notice how you are feeling…
· What are you feeling? (is it anger, helplessness, fear, frustration). As soon as you name your emotion and feelings your emotion starts to disengage the emotional brain(amygdala) and re-engages the logical brain(pre-frontal cortex) which will help you experience greater calm in the moment.
· Whats the feeling telling you about yourself and the situation? Notice your reaction to better navigate the emotion.
· Are you getting in your own way and what do you need to do differently?
Consciously processing your emotions through the above way helps you stay grounded and helps you get into a better emotional state.
2. Reach out and share for support
Instead of keeping your emotions building up inside you; share with others who might be feeling the same way. You will realize how connected and supported you can feel as we all are in it together.
3. Use your time creatively
Make a list of all the things you always wanted to do and make best use of the additional time you have. As we are social distancing and are more alone than we were..make calls to all the friends you haven’t connected with. Do video calls with family, friends sing a song for them…or just recite a poem or some amazing lines of hope..and see how you will break yourself from the feeling of isolation.
How about reading a book, learning a new language, upgrading a skill thorugh Udemy or Coursera or joining a Zumba class online. As soon as you engage yourself in these you will get back some control and the satisfaction derived from learning something new will be awesome.
4. Practice discipline around intake of news
Ensure you avoid reading any sort of forwards, news, vidoes related to COVID-19 in the first hour after you wake up and the last hour before you go to bed. Be intentional about reading and circulating information about COVID only at a certain time of the day and only from reliable sources. You will not only feel better and be more positive during the day by doing that but will also be playing the part of a dutiful citizen by reducing the panic and the unnecessary loop of fear and stress.
6. When you cant go outside, go within
This is the perfect time to get physically and mentally well and build your immunity through mindful eating, getting all the Vitamins and eating more fresh and home cooked meals.. (In the absence of cooks and maids,home-made Khicdi can do wonders not just for your health but bonding with your family by cooking and cleaning together…Re-establish the bond with your partner and kids and truly be present for them. Sometimes just standing in your balcony and enjoying the cleaner air or exchanging a sincere eye contact with a neighbor can be so refreshing.
Also with the external sounds having lowered around you, are you able to hear your inner voices more..go a level deeper to connect with your innate wisdom. Consider meditation, think of all the resources you have to go on a journey of self discovery..to truly understand who you are..your values..your mission…how you will make a difference when all of this gets over and you would have become more self aware.
Lastly develop the attitude of gratitude..Every day make a list of 3 things you are grateful for..it could be as simple as having a safe house, aloving family, water in the tap to wash your hands..anything..the smaller the things you are able to pause and be grateful for the deeper level of contentment you will experience.
This too shall pass. Prayers and love for all.