I have seen panic and terror in the eyes of people on the streets. My not for profit has still been out serving the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing those sleeping outdoors, and praying for the sick at the Free Clinic. People need hope. You and I need to remain calm.
Tonight I am sharing an email blog post from my business website written in response to the coronavirus. I hope it blesses you!
How do we navigate through the challenging seasons of life without breaking down or completely losing it?
I believe it requires some focus and intentionality to maintain peace, hope, and even joy in the midst of uncertainty.
Our world is responding to a global crisis. Due to the easy access to information, people are inundated with bad news, negative reports, and are not being provided much hope (an expectation of good). My desire is to provide you with some hope and tools to navigate through the season.
An acronym for hope can be, “Hold On Pain Ends.” I want you to note that just as the seasons in nature change, so do seasons in our lives. There can be seasons that feel like a winter and others that feel like a spring or summer.
In the beginning and middle of hard times, it can be challenging to have a vision of better times or an expectation of good. As stated before it requires some focus and intentionality.
I want to share with you some tips that helped me during a 17-month long challenging season. It was one of the most difficult seasons of my life and just ended last summer. We expect the current global crisis with coronavirus to be much shorter. 🙂
These are some tips that helped me tremendously.
Tip 1: Limit exposure to negativity.
What we feed grows, what we starve dies. Find something positive to read, listen to, and positive people to talk to about your thoughts. In this current situation, you may need to avoid watching the news. We were not created to take in so much negativity and bad reports. If you are a person of faith, focus on meditating on the promises of God.
Tip 2: Start a gratitude journal.
One thing that I believe helped me keep my mind right during my 17-month challenging season was taking time to document things I was thankful for each day. Gratitude helps our brain produce feel-good hormones. Start by thinking of 3-6 things daily. Anything good that occurs, write it down. Focus on the good. It could be 1. I have clean water. 2. I have food. 3. I have a friend. 4. Someone cares about me. Be intentional about gratitude/giving thanks.
“A National Institutes of Health study found that when you express kindness or feel gratitude, your hypothalamus floods your brain with dopamine. This gives you a natural high, motivating you to do good and express gratitude even more.”
Tip 3: Practice kindness.
Just as stated above about gratitude, expressing kindness releases dopamine (feel-good hormones) in the brain. Not only does expressing kindness help the brain get out of stress hormone mode (fight or flight, cortisol, and immune system suppressing hormones), but it also helps get the focus off self and off things that cannot be controlled.
Many of us are working from home, some have been laid off, or the business is suffering. There is minimal to no control over what is occurring externally. We can exercise our will to be kind to others. We do not have control over every event. We do have control over how we respond.
Some ideas: Find someone to reach out to and ask them how they are doing, if they are okay, be kind at the grocery store, share, cease hoarding (operating with a scarcity/poverty mindset), be a blessing, ask neighbors if they need anything.
Tip 4: Write out your thoughts and feelings.
Thoughts and feelings trapped inside the head can lead to less than rational realities and behaviors. People are panicked, therefore they are not using logic or rational thought. It does not make sense for me to purchase 20 gallons of milk that will spoil or 500 rolls of toilet paper. Scared people show you their worst and operate under a “me-first mentality.”
When the thoughts and feelings are written out, it helps significantly. Once you write it out, read it. What is the story you are telling yourself? Process your thoughts and feelings. Before you react, press pause, and get your mind right. Just because others are panicked does not mean you or I need to panic.
Tip 5: GO outside! Fresh air helps.
Even though many events and venues are closed, the sidewalks are not, the backyard is not, and the freeways are not. It was such a blessing today to go outside. I saw people riding bikes, taking walks, and walking their dogs. It is good for the mind and body to get moving. Exercise, talk a walk, go for a drive.
“…taking a walk outside will help the brain produce endorphins, which are neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood. Both being outside and walking can work together to create positive changes in the overall state of mind.“-Advanced Neurotherapy.
None of us will bypass all adversity. The key is to learn how to navigate well through adversity. We may have an array of thoughts and feelings regarding the situations, that is human and normal. We process those thoughts and emotions. We seek solutions and look for what we can do.
The other key is to learn to manage our responses to adversity, challenges, and hard times. We do not have to allow others to pull us into their storm. We can pull them into our peace.
This too shall pass.
Hold on pain ends.
Keep your mind healthy by focusing on positive things.
Focus on anything that is going right.
Focus on what can be done.
Look for ways to help and bless others.
Process your thoughts and feelings. Write it out.
Get some fresh air.
Get moving if you can.
Take time to rest.
Continuing to keep you and your families in my prayers. We will get through this together!
P.S If you know someone suffering a hardship/food crisis, check out the grocery giveaway through my not for profit Operation God is Love. USA residents are eligible.
Go to http://www.OperationGodisLove.org and nominate someone by March 23, 2020.
Founder and CEO of Lamb Enterprises LLC, Empowered & Free, and Operation God is Love