Do you know that old saying, "Life happens when you're busy making other plans"?
When things don't go according to our mental plan, stress is a natural result.
Your stress gets compounded by external factors (like a global virus) activating your survival brain's "fight or flight response".
What comes next is a mental, emotional, and physical cascade of symptoms.
Physical stress often manifests as headaches, heart palpitations, and increased pain in your body. Depending on how long the stress lasts, you may see the return of old symptoms such as low back pain or aggravations from old injuries.
When it's emotional or psychological, it can manifest as heightened anxiety including panic attacks, insomnia, anger, low motivation, and depression.
This is an unprecedented time in the world right now. There's a lot of uncertainty, and you're probably trying to stay as stable as possible given the situation. Extracting yourself from the stress cycle is important to shift you out of survival mode and back into a prosperous growth mode.
In other words, it's time to launch Plan B!
Plan B Steps:
1. Get Organized
When you're feeling overwhelmed, it's helpful to start by defining what you're sure about and listing out what information that you do have. This is something that you can control, and it's helpful to start here to lay a firm foundation for what comes next.
List out what you normally do during the course of a day either at home or in business. For example, if you're a business owner, then list any products or services you sell and how they're normally delivered to the public. Take an inventory of your physical goods, so you know exactly how much you have on hand to help those in need.
For those staying at home, try to stick to your routine as much as possible without adding too many extra duties right now. Give yourself a chance to get creative without whipping yourself into a frenzy by making sure each hour is filled with "to-do" tasks. It's also helpful to list your skills and strengths. You may be using them in a completely different way in the future.
2. Make a plan
The survival brain is reactionary. Logic isn't a high priority when faced with real or perceived threats to your safety. Your brain simply can't afford the processing delay in a life-threatening situation. However, the stress that most of us encounter is from perceived threats like the fear of what might happen if we lose our jobs, can't pay our bills, or can't control our circumstances rather than something actually life-threatening. Getting rid of your anxiety in the moment requires you to shift your mindset from survival to logic. This is where you begin to create your Plan B.
Once you've outlined the skills, strengths, and services you have to offer, then it's time to create new avenues to bring those to life. If you have a brick and mortar business, how can you create an online presence? Is there a skill you have that others lack? Sometimes we're unable to see how we can offer something of value to someone else. If you're stuck on what your strengths and skills might be, then get others involved. This can be a lifestyle or business coach, a Facebook group that's either for personal interests or business, and asking your friends and family if others would be willing to pay for information or services you provide. Once you know what you'd like to provide, then research how you might be able to reach others with that product or service. It might be online, personal delivery, mail-order, auction etc. Get those creative juices flowing!
3. Increase your self-care
I know, you're probably worried about other things instead of relaxing right now. However, it's crucial to relax so you're able to think clearly. When we get extremely stressed, we block the logical problem solving abilities we really need right now.
Here's a little breathing technique to help switch your brain from survival to relaxation. Breathe deeply in through your nose for a count of four and out through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this for 1-2 minutes. Getting more oxygen to your brain is both relaxing and stabilizing.
Self-care doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it's anything you do which helps you feel better. This includes a funny movie, bubble bath, maintaining your personal hygiene, taking walks outdoors, putting a puzzle together, reading a book, or drinking a nice cup of tea.
4. Reach out for assistance
Help is available to you in a variety of ways right now. The government is providing assistance to help you weather the coming months economically, many artists and business owners are providing free training so you can pick up some new skills, and doctors like myself are providing telemedicine sessions for your needs. Taking advantage of available opportunities doesn't make you weak. Asking for, and receiving help is a sign of strength.
We're all in this together. Someone out there is going to need what you have to offer, and you're going to need them. Although we're going through unusual circumstances, there's also the opportunity for incredible healing and growth.
I'm dedicated to helping you grow and heal through natural means of stress relief. You may be triggered more than normal during this time as an Empath because of your unique sensitivity. Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.) can help you reprogram your mindset to turn challenges into opportunities, and help you gain a sense of clarity and confidence.
Dr. April Darley is an expert at resolving stuck patterns of behavior through Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.). By identifying self-sabotaging behaviors, she can help you regain confidence, improve relationships, remove blocks to health, wealth and success in any area of your life.