What can we do?
Calm begins as we look for small ways we can take control of small parts of our lives.
Ration our exposure
This is perhaps too obvious, but it should be mentioned right upfront. If you're dealing with a crisis, find some time to escape and if you haven't by now, consider limiting your exposure to the continuing relentless news cycle.
Focus on our strengths
Dreadful news can overwhelm even the most settled personality among us, making to seem nearly impossible to maintain a sense of control. But there's no reason to stay in a state of vulnerability any longer than you have to.
What we must do
- Social Distancing (actually it's more Physical Distancing than social) is a necessary thing to help keep our elderly and immune-suppressed well.
- Practice compassion and remember small things matter. Acknowledge people as we walk past and acknowledge them with a wave or a 'Hello' to show they are included in our thoughts.
- Pick up the phone to a friend or colleague, just to say G'day.
- Where you can, support the small business owners in your community. Pick up food direct from a restaurant, rather than pay inflated Delivery Service fees helps the restaurant business owner. If you can buy coffee from a coffee shop, grab a handful of muesli bars or protein balls before you pay the bill too, to help show you care.
- Neighbours, look out for them where you can - whether or not you agree with their religion or politics - smile, wave and be patient where you can.
We're all in this together.
There is reason to be optimistic
It's our common humanity that unites us as we all find ways to walk through this difficult time. It's our humanity and our expression of it, that our children (and grandchild) will watch and learn from too.
While there may be no guarantees of a better day, there is usually the potential for one. Starting to look for that potential can help restart our thinking and planning for it.
Making the most of this 'global pause'
The world will not be the same when this passes, and it will pass and perhaps so will our old ways of living an over-scheduled family life and state of perpetual busyness.
Many people are currently being forced to be 'less busy'.
- People will start to reconsider what is most important to them and what type of life they want to build and be part of.
- I think there will be a radical rethinking about the speed and relevance of an 'overscheduled family life' and a push back about busyness as a career.
And this is because busyness is the enemy of social cohesion. When we are frantic with busyness, we put off key decisions, we fragment our relationships and our children spend more time on 'the screen' than they do with us.
While the world has slowed down, we have the greatest opportunity to plan thoughtfully for the brighter future.
Hang tight. It won't last forever.
Of course, there are no guarantees.
But there are likely outcomes.
And one of the most prominent possible outcomes of the current crisis is that it will unfold into a better day.