It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think.
If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.Patrick Rothfuss
Our Cauldrons and Cupcakes community is a group of highly sensitive souls – and your empathy, deep capacity to connect into and feel the emotions of others and the energy of the times, and your caring hearts, can make it hard to manage in times of peak stress or when emotions (yours or other peoples) are running high.
When you buy into the fear and panic around you, you amplify that energy in yourself and others.
What would be more helpful is for you to find a way to tap into love, into calm, into mindfulness and into peace.
As I have said before, and will no doubt say many times again, COVID is a long-haul event. This is no short duration inconvenience. We are well into our second year now, and there is no end in sight.
You could fight against that truth, or wish it to be different, but that’s what it is. For now, all we can do is adapt as best we can, be prepared, help and support each other, and then make decisions and take actions based on current circumstances.
One of our community recently posted this message:
I’m trying to stay positive but in the last week or so I getting sucked into the dark vortex of covid. Well meaning friends keep telling me that dark times are coming and to be prepared. At first I ignored but find myself getting more and more anxious. Some of things I’ve been hearing is foods shortages etc – so I have been stocking up. I go from knowing that all will be well to getting anxious – what if they’re right. HELP.
I’d like to address that message here, because I believe it’s a situation many of you find yourself in.
Tips for Managing In These Times of COVID
- Be prepared. In any emergency, or in preparation for one, it is prudent to have things in order and to be prepared. Usually, we never need to act on our preparation, but it brings us peace of mind. Most Australians are used to natural disasters. In fire season we have already decided what our strategy will be if a fire threatens our home. We will have a box of our most precious items packed or easily found and ready to take with us if we evacuate. We will have a torch, water, batteries, spare food, a radio. For a flood or a cyclone (typhoon/hurricane) we might have different preparations. For a pandemic, you can be prepared too. Have some extra long-life foods put aside – including a few comfort items, keep your medicines and toiletries updated with a few extra weeks of supply if possible, have extra face masks and hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies for your home. You can build up your stores gradually, and then you know you’d be able to ride out several weeks at home if you had to. If you might need to home school or work from home have a plan for this. Think about your finances, and have a plan for coping on a reduced income or with fluctuating income.
- Always know where your important papers are, including wills, health insurance and relevant medical records prescriptions, identification and insurance documents. This isn’t just important in a pandemic – it’s good advice for a less chaotic life.
- If you need to be in lockdown or isolation, have a plan for staying connected socially. No-one does well for prolonged periods without some form of human interaction. Have some hobbies and other things that engage you and give life meaning too.
- Don’t buy into fear and panic – there’s so much of it about. When you hear bad news, or terrible predictions sit quietly with the information and ask yourself what is the worst that might happen, and whether you can do anything about it. For example – it’s true, a pandemic can affect supply chains. In fact, many supply chains have already experienced disruptions (and many have then adapted!). But… farmers will keep growing food, bakers will keep baking bread, manufacturers will keep making things, transport and postal services will still operate. It just might be slower at times, or the demand might temporarily outstrip supply, or you may need to seek an alternative. Be patient. Have a plan. Think about your options and alternatives. Humans are resilient and innovative, and we find ways forward. It’s what we do.
- Follow health directives. They are there for a reason – to keep you and the community safe and to limit the spread of disease. Wear a mask, practice good hygiene, wash your hands often, socially distance. Sign in and use QR codes if that is asked of you. Vaccinate if safe to do so. Think about how your choices and actions will affect you, but also how they may affect your family, friends or workplace. We need to look after each other.
- Limit your exposure to the negative aspects of social media. You’re a highly sensitive soul. It’s stressful when other people are agitated, angry, panicked or anxious. There is a lot of misinformation around right now, and when it comes from friends and family that can be destressing too. Choose a source of information, such as a government web page, television or radio station or an online media site that you trust, and use that for updates if you have active COVID in your area. But don’t watch it constantly or have it on in the background because part of you will stay amped up on high alert unnecessarily. Consider unfollowing people whose views upset you or make you feel anxious or more negative. Don’t scroll through and read all the negative posts. I can’t tell you the relief I felt in unfollowing or blocking certain conspiracy theorist people on social media and reclaiming my online space as a safe and calm space again.
- Remember that the majority of people in the world genuinely want to help others. There is an unseen army of helpers – ordinary people just like you who work in health care, aged care, mental health, community services, government departments, food production, business, emergency services, philanthropy, science and so many other services who are thinking about how to limit the spread of the pandemic, how to keep you safe, how to feed those who have no food, how to look after your mental health, how to solve problems you are not even aware of, but that could or do affect you. It’s a team effort. Community matters and has always mattered. Maybe there is an area where you can help out too. Don’t try to change the mind of someone who doesn’t hold or respect your viewpoint. Move on.
- Remember your own resilience. You have overcome problems and difficulties before, and you will do so again. So have humans throughout history. Think about the things that are worrying you, and then ask yourself what you can do about them. Come up with some plans. Trust in your ability to figure stuff out. Stay connected to others. You might not know how to do something, but one of your circle might. It’s not up to you to fix everything, but you can take responsibility in you small corner of the world and for your own life.
- Support your Soul. Take time for meditation, for walks in nature, for journalling or art or baking or movies or whatever else helps you to be more fully yourself. What extraordinary times we are living in. Seek out beauty and peace wherever you can. Bear witness to this period in history. Honour your own truth, and live by your own values. Feed yourself a diet of inspiration and affirming quotes, stories, music and art.
- Practice kindness. For yourself and for others. It makes life easier and more bearable for everyone. Where you can, help others. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
We have already come though over 18 months of this pandemic. We have already lived in dark times. Eventually, like everything, this too shall end. Until then, find your new normal, work out how to live in that space, and once you have that figured out, go back to nurturing yourself, your relationships and your dreams. Anchor love and light. Be kind. Be calm. Radiate peace.
Gentle hugs. I’m sending you strength for the journey. Know that you are in my daily prayers and meditations, Nicole xx