This blog post was originally supposed to be about Our Easter Outfit Picks but our Nation came under attack by a nasty virus, COVID-19, that has literally shut everything down. In Louisiana, restaurants are only available for drive-through, schools and non-essential businesses are closed until further notice.
I am struggling and worried if my business can survive this shutdown. I am worried about my business, friends, and family. I am worried about other boutique owners. I am told that as a business owner that I shouldn't express my fear but encourage people to buy. I don't agree with that. I do agree that I should promote positivity, love, and self-care to get through this trying time. It is ok to show your concern because others have that same fear. It is ok to go stir crazy because you and your sweet blessings have been home for two weeks and cannot go anywhere. I reached out to Christy Pennison to help us navigate during this time. Christy Pennison, LPC-S, is a board-certified professional counselor and owner of Be Inspired Counseling & Consulting located in Alexandria, LA. She is passionate about inspiring hope through counseling to help individuals move forward and live fully. I hope this Q & A helps you as much as it helped me.
Q: How do you suggest we handle our new normal?
Take it one day at a time and remember this “new normal” won’t last forever. In times of uncertainty, it can be easy to stay stuck on the problem or crisis, but taking time to shift your thinking to focus on what you can do versus what you can’t can be a game-changer. If you love a good routine, create a new one that works for you in the moment. And, allow for flexibility. Give yourself compassion if things don’t go according to plan or if you didn’t get those 5 things on your “to-do list” done. Instead of focusing on many things, just focus on one thing at a time. Allow yourself to throw perfection out the door and stay grounded in the present.
Q: What are some tips to reset our mindset?
There are so many things going on right now that we can’t control. A way to shift the mindset is to focus on what you can control. Can we control Coronavirus? Heck no! But can we do things to keep ourselves safe? Yes! Make sure you are getting outside and moving when you can. There’s nothing like a good walk to get out of your head and into the present. If you feel anxious, practice “brain dumping”, write all of your thoughts down on paper and then shred it or throw it away. Just getting your thoughts on paper can go a long way. Lastly, talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself. Say only kind things and encouraging statements! Fill your mind with positive messaging to help move yourself forward instead of getting stuck in your head.
Q: Is self-care important?
Self-care during this time is not only important, it may actually be more important than in our normal day to day life. We are in uncertain times and experiencing significantly more stress than normal. Take time, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to do something that your mind or body will thank you for. Utilize this time to find an activity you can do that helps you destress and relax. This can be something you can even do with your family. Call it “power hour” and get each person to do something they enjoy for one hour. Trust me, it will go a long way in helping maintain your sanity during this time.
Q: What should we do when we feel overwhelmed?
When feeling overwhelmed, first acknowledge that what you are feeling is a normal reaction to everything that is going on. Accept how you feel, but don’t let yourself stay there. Take some deep breaths and do something to help distract your mind and relax your body. My personal favorites during this time are doing online yoga or practicing progressive muscle relaxation. Also, reach out and talk to someone. Talking to others about how we feel can also help us get our thoughts out of our heads. I don’t know about you, but normally just talking about it helps me gain a new perspective, allowing me to feel less overwhelmed.
Q: Should we take a step back from the media during this time?
If reading news articles or getting more information about coronavirus are causing you fear, anxiety, or stress, limit the time you are consuming this type of information. As I write this, I am looking out my window to a beautiful spring day. I would have no clue that anything was going wrong in the world unless I plugged into the news or social media. Remember, the things we allow in our mind can cause us to have unhelpful thoughts which lead to overwhelming feelings. So if you are thinking and feeling this way, do yourself a favor and take a break.
Do you want to know more about Christy or follow her blog, visit beinspiredcc.com.