Time to Think Outside the Box

TV Television

In a time of radical, unpredictable and unimaginable change, fear, division and uncertainty can strip us of our power.

These 9 SIMPLE TIPS could help free and empower you during lockdowns and the associated pressure.

  1. Support One Another

Everybody has a different point of view, and this is a good thing. We are all individuals and we all have our own unique way of dealing with and processing this new reality we have all found ourselves in.

The important thing is to understand that most of us are in some form of shock. People can behave impulsively, compulsively and unpredictably when they are in shock. Fear and division can drive this kind of response to shock. And fear and division can be curbed when we feel heard and supported.

  1. Avoid the Great Divide

It’s tempting to blame or condemn others but this will only disempower all of us.

Judgement creates division. And being driven apart will tear us apart. We need to avoid the trap of name calling, an "us versus them" mentality and nasty sentiment directed at those who may have a different outlook. We need to replace this destructive force with understanding and compassion for our neighbours and fellow human beings – even if we feel they are misguided.

Every one of us is more likely to calmly consider healthy choices when we feel a sense of cohesion. The last thing any of us need, especially at the moment, is self-righteousness, bigotry and anger.

Allowing people a supportive space in which they can be heard, in which they feel free to think and in which they feel safe to question is the only way they will be able to process their situation and come to comfortable and sensible conclusions. Nobody will respond well to being dismissed and devalued.

Open respectful discussion is the hallmark of intelligent progress.

WE all need to come together in solidarity through these challenging times.

  1. Fill Your Cup

It can be overwhelming juggling the extra demands at this time such as work pressure or working from home, inability to work, changed work conditions, children at home, inability to socialise, lack of recreation and for many lack of affection and lack of connection.

It’s extra important, therefore, to make time to fill your cup and do something every day that inspires you, makes you laugh, gives you comfort or fulfils you. If you’re at home with family, you may find a way to give everyone some special time to themselves, and rotate a part of the home for those individual activities.

Working together to help those around you feel supported in whatever way serves them is key. Talk. Listen. And provide care and compassion to those you love or live with.

Fill your cup and ensure those you care about are doing the same.

  1. Notice Your Focus

As the serenity prayer says, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

If we focus on the best way to change what we are able to change, we will feel empowered. If we focus on all the uncertainty and all the things we are unable to change, we will feel disempowered. It’s actually that simple.

Remember, what we focus on grows.

Let’s focus on love, support, integration, unity, kindness, empathy and compassion. This will then be what we grow more of.

  1. Limit TV Time

Watching the news can generate enormous fear, a sense of overwhelm and it can have us focus on everything we cannot change.

For this reason, it’s important to limit television time to 15 minutes a day – especially anything that makes you feel worried or scared.

We all know that the food we eat affects the health of our body. Well, in the same way what we consume mentally can make us sick at a time when it is especially important to stay healthy.

Watch and do what makes you feel happy, inspired and healthy.

  1. Resist the Fear Trap

Fear can be stifling, paralysing and suffocating. It can prevent clear thinking and drive irrational, angry and even violent responses. Fear can tear us apart individually and collectively at a time when we need more than ever to stand strong individually and collectively.

Lack of control is a fearful place to be in. Feeling like we don’t know what will happen exacerbates fear. So it’s not surprising so many of us feel we have been caught in the fear trap.

However, we need to understand that we cannot make good or logical choices from the place of fear. And the only way to step out of fear is to step into connection, love, support of others and focus on the positive steps we each can take on a daily basis.

It’s also important for those who have children or teenagers in their care to understand the long-term effects of fear. As parents, the best gift we can give our children is unconditional love, kindness and gentle assurance. They literally depend on us for this.

  1. Retain Healthy Connections

It can be tempting to spend hours on Tik-Tok, Instagram, Facebook or various other forms of social media – but the problem is these platforms provide disconnected connections.

We don’t really connect to the people we are reading about or whose stories we are watching. Often we don’t even know them.

This can create a perpetual cycle of disconnection, and can lead to disassociation and a sense of hopelessness.

We are fortunate to live in a world where we can communicate with those we love and care about any time we choose. Real connections matter now more than ever. We need to stay in touch with those who matter most to us, regularly.

Pick up the phone. Talk to someone you care about. Tell them how much you’re looking forward to giving them a hug.

  1. Reflective Perspective

Remember this will pass. We are all living in incredible historical times, and one day we will be telling our grandchildren inspirational stories just like those who survived wars and the great depression.

Provided we respect, protect and support one another, and provided we maintain cohesion and stick together, we will become stronger as individuals and as a human race.

We could even look back on our new or current reality as a blessing in disguise – a way to bring about the healing we need, the healing we’ve managed to put aside or avoid most of our lives.

Sending you love, strength, peace and connection.

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Disclaimer. Lyn Megan Macpherson is not a medical doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist, and does not claim to be one. She therefore holds no legal liability for the choices of readers who are encouraged to make informed decisions and seek medical advice if required.

Lyn Macpherson
Lyn Macpherson


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