“Accepting how things are, prepares us to take positive action”
We are all living through a global and unprecedented situation. There’s a lot we don’t know as the situation is changing all the time. This can feel overwhelming and will affect each of us in different ways – and that’s ok. To be resilient, we each need to understand the reality of our own personal circumstances and the things we may need to do. This will better prepare us to start taking positive actions, no matter how small, to give us a sense of moving forward with our lives.
Things I can do
- Work it through. Be prepared for new situations by thinking through some of the likely scenarios you may face and the decisions you may have to take. Mentally rehearse these and plan how you want to respond. It may be tricky to do this as we are entering uncharted waters, however it will give you a stronger sense of control and confidence, reduce your anxiety and enable you to feel more prepared. Writing this down helps you to visually work it through.
- Act where you can make a difference. Concentrate on the actions that you have control over and the things you can influence. Don’t waste energy worrying about or changing the things you can’t control. Take small positive actions to give you a sense of moving forwards.
- Good enough, is good enough. The situation we are in is new to everybody. You may not have time to do a perfect job and that’s ok. Accept that you will be faced with choices where there is no right answer and you may make mistakes. When faced with difficult situations, constantly replaying the situation in your mind is not helpful. Instead, remind yourself what you did achieve and what you learnt from it.
- Focus on today. Take each day as it comes as it is difficult to plan too far ahead during this time. Aim to concentrate on the present, rather than the past or the future. Focus on what you can achieve in the short term to give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
- Set small realistic goals. Sometimes we feel pressure to do everything at once, which isn’t helpful. Set small, realistic and achievable goals, both inside and outside of work to give you a sense of control. Achieving these goals will then give you a sense of mastery and accomplishment.
- Remember your training and experience. In times of crisis, it’s easy to forget you have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience. You have also been trained to a high level. Trusting in your training and experience will carry you through. Also, remember how you have coped with challenging situations in the past. This will help you to deal with the challenging situations you are facing now.
- Be flexible. You are likely to be asked to do things that are outside your comfort zone. Although it might be challenging, try to stay as flexible as you possibly can. Flexibility helps you to see things as positive challenges to overcome, rather than stressors. Focus on what you can change to make your situation more manageable.
- Be a realistic optimist. It’s going to be tough, but at some point, the crisis will be over. Be realistic about the present, and still look forward to the future.
- Stop, breathe, reflect, choose and act. Use this mantra to help you pause, think and gain perspective before you make a decision. You are more likely to make better choices.
Questions to ask myself
- What are the scenarios and choices that I might face, at work and at home? What can I do?
- What can I control, what can I influence, and what can’t I control? Where is my energy best placed?
- What challenging situations have I faced in the past, that will help me deal with the challenges I’m facing now?
- How has my training prepared me for this?
- How might I do things differently?
- What small action can I take right now that enables me to feel that I am moving forward?
- What realistic and achievable goals can I set myself?
- What have I achieved today that I am proud of?
- How can I stop, breathe and reflect before I make a decision?