Now that the Coronavirus has caused huge changes to daily routines, I feel as if I had first been in shock and I have gone through a range of feelings, like fear, terror, anxiety, anger and sadness just to name a few. I also at times have felt positive and hopeful, but still it seems as if present life is nearly unrecognisable now compared to what it was a mere few weeks ago. Even as lockdown is being lifted, a huge range of thoughts and feelings come to me.
I Have So Many Questions
Will I be able to go out and safely enjoy life seeing people on the ‘outside’? Will having a meal in a restaurant or going shopping feel comfortable and safe ever again? What about going to work? How safe am I in the world now. What will our new life look like? It doesn’t feel as if this ‘new’ life can be the same as the life we have left behind. We may be starting over in a whole new way.
Here are Some Thoughts About Managing Uncomfortable Feelings in Times Like This.
When I feel anxious, I ask for all the help I can get. In asking for help, I am owning my vulnerability and powerlessness. I encourage others to ask for help too because when we admit our limitations, we somehow open a little space in our usual armour for new information to come in, so for help to come. I don’t tell people from whom or from what to ask for help because that depends on what is meaningful to them and what they believe.
People seek help from the Divine, nature, their Higher Self, an unseen world, loved ones in the Spirit world, and/or angels. They may consult their inner wisdom or they may ask friends and family or professionals for help or all of the above. The important thing is to acknowledge the feelings of powerlessness and find where you might have some choice.
I notice that people often find it extremely difficult to ask for help. I would suggest that getting used to doing so makes an enormous difference to a feeling of safety in the world. Many of us have learned that it was weak to ask for help and there was failure and shame attached to needing help. When we eventually learn that we couldn’t possibly have all the answers and it is OK to need help, then it is easier to be open to asking for help and receiving it. I was pleasantly surprised that many people are happy to help others when they can and sometimes all that I have needed was to be heard, for someone to listen to me expressing my feelings.
My difficult feelings, like fear, terror, anxiety, depression, anger, despair, grief and helplessness, come in waves. They don’t come in a logical sequence. At times I felt like I have been grieving for a world in crisis. I know that if I can name, at least to myself, what I am feeling and allow myself to feel it without trying to shut it down, then it will run its course and another feeling will take its place. It helps even more if I can talk about it to people I trust.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by responsibility. What if I become ill and unable to do my job? What if I lose my job? When those thoughts and fears come, I acknowledge my feelings but I also know that I am more than my feelings. As well as fear and anxiety I am also a person with intelligence, resources and choice, and all of that helps me to feel the feelings more comfortably. Then I share my feelings with others. Speaking my feelings frees them and me thereby helping me to feel more relaxed.
I become more comfortable and clear headed after I have expressed my feelings. Then I look at whatever is the most pressing thing that needs to be done now and take action on that. By identifying my priorities, I am moving from uncomfortable powerless feelings into knowing where I may have power from which to act. The more we practice becoming clear and articulate in identifying our needs and asking for them to be met, the more likely we are to get what we need. When I know what I need, I can begin to look at the questions I need to ask such as: What information and/or services might I need and from whom do I enquire about them? Getting any information I need helps me to feel more secure again.
I have for years found one of my most valuable resources in accepting my feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy is to have regular psychotherapy with someone I trust. With her help I have been better able to embrace my vulnerability as a resource that serves me when I allow it. In my regular weekly session, I can freely and safely express my feelings, thoughts and fears and begin to see what strengths I have. My therapist helps me to process my uncomfortable feelings and to keep me on track by challenging me at times.
Questions I Ask Myself When I Feel Threatened.
How do I feel about death, my own and the death of loved ones?
How do I feel about things that are out of my control?
What would it be like to seek the guidance that I need through asking for help (which may include prayer)?
How do I feel about living with uncertainty?
How can I comfortably accept temporary restrictions for the greater good?
Might we find meaning and purpose in our experience of the Coronavirus? I would suggest that it might be a teacher and we have things to learn from it? We are able to infect other people with it or be infected by them. Are there other ways in which we infect people? Could we infect them, for example, with hope, healing and positivity or with catastrophizing, fear and anxiety?
I like to think of this as a birthing process. Any birthing process includes a good deal of pain but I know that at the end of it, I will have a baby. I don’t know what we may be birthing in the world currently, but I am hopeful that we become more caring of each other and of the Earth, the natural world.
I would hope you could stay well and optimistic during this time.