Maybe there’s someone out there who doesn’t need to calm down now, but for must of us, we’re dealing with a lot of upset right about now.
The simple fact is we are stressed out, and now more than ever we need to stay calm.
No single experience is the same. But we share the insane stress of living in an unprecedented time.
Remember when we lived through 9-11? When for a couple of weeks, everything we knew in American stopped. How traveled changed forever and civil rights lost during that time have never been reclaimed. But we got through it.
Less than a decade later this big scary monster of The Great Recession devoured IRAs, 401ks, our mortgages, and our belief in endless opportunity. But we weathered it. We thought, whew. Made it through the big one.
Little did we know.
How to Stay Calm, Step 1: Admit You’re Not
So now it’s a Global Pandemic. The entire world is shut down. We peer out the shades of our house waiting for “normal” to return, but we already know normal will include masks and gloves, social distancing, restrictions on travel and new ways to “go to work.” Normal looks to be anything but.
Panicked yet? I know I am. Admitting the panic helps. Like Step 1 in AA: Admitting ‘I’m out of control’ starts the path toward finding control.
I’m not alone. I check in friends and if we’re honest, we’re wondering how do I take care of all those around me and not totally lose my Sh#@T!?
So I’ve spent a great deal of time telling myself to just Calm the EFF Down.
Because sometimes you have to drop an F-bomb to cut through the noise, am I right? (Hey, there’s a time and a place for everything.) So rather than just say “calm down,” which never does anything other than incite more panic, I’ve put together a 21-day Calm the Eff Down challenge. Let’s join hands (6 feet apart) and let’s stay calm together.
How to Stay Calm, Step 2: Get Real
Now that we’ve admitted we’re feeling all this sh!t, let’s keep getting real because during a pandemic, it seems everything is on the table, for very good reason: anger, frustration, irritability, lethargy, depression, anxiety–oh the anxiety!–and general malaise. There’s also good stuff mixed in to be sure–some days are great, and then the next day can be really, really tough. But, for now let’s just agree that our feelings are all over the map and we are freaking entitled to our feelings. Your feelings are yours. And they are ok.
Even though feelings don’t feel neutral, they kind of are. They’re understandable reactions to pretty crazy circumstances. Wishing you didn’t feel that way or feeling bad about yourself because you’re feeling a certain way won’t help. How you feel is not the thing to control. Feeling it and learning to control what it does to you, well, that’s where this challenge is going to move the panic needle back to reasonable levels.
The 21-day challenge is already underway. You can listen to each day’s challenge of the podcast right here, starting at episode 170 on April 20. Listen to just one a day. And connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Share your comments, thoughts, challenges.
I’ll be writing more in the days ahead. I’ll be offering tips, inviting guests to my podcast and sharing many other resources along the way. We already had a podcast with Carey Davidson, author of The Five Archetypes, who provides us great insight into knowing ourselves so that we don’t inadvertently add to our own stress.
We are focusing on relationships next, which I know you won’t want to miss. Let’s face it, those people we love are way up in our chili right now!
So are you ready? Let’s go.