How to Stay Strong in the Fog of Uncertainty
My friends and I had a virtual hangout tuning into John Lennon’s 80th ‘birthday cast’ celebration. We were not thinking about how to stay strong in the fog of uncertainty but shifted after seeing many similarities with what is going on today.
- Human rights demonstrations
- People crying when Nixon won the election
The same hopeless (will we get through this?), loomed. But we agreed what makes today harder is the required isolation. The uncertainty of this pandemic hangs like a thick, debilitating fog.
Reflecting, we all felt weakened, vulnerable, spent. Some of us struggle more than others to maintain strength, some sense of feeling grounded or predictability.
Brainstorming — humans are always seeking ways to make things better (if a little fertilizer works, then adding more is be better).
Maybe directed and measured moment-to-moment choices will root us, create comfort and predictability? But at the same time, intention can seem trite, too planned out or artificial.
Then there’s the natural resistance from making better choices like switching from couch potato to exercise buff or some other flash of inspiration like a new diet….. a New Year resolution.
True. With a new, healthier choice comes the thought of pain and punishment. The no-pain, no-gain push makes quitting more appealing than persisting.
On the other hand, if we made smaller choices that were less like a prison sentence and more like self-care, wouldn’t that help create predictability and give us a foundation?
That feels better. Yes, micro choices are doable and support self-care.
Here are 6 Micro step tips to make and keep your Self strong
- Slow down. Insert pauses into your day. Breathe. Pay attention to your breath. Makers of the Calm app advise do nothing for 30 seconds. Just 30 seconds can give you a sense of grounding, the depth within.
- Since the gym is closed or at least a scary, unsafe place, adapt — workout in your basement, garage, or walk. My clients, friends, and peers have been using bands,chairs, and stairs as an alternative to strength training. You already have all you need to just do it!
- Make meals celebratory and fun. Enough said.
- Relax your way to strength. Look for something inspirational. I watched David Attenborough-A Life on Our Planet. It’s not only inspiring you come away with things you can do (something larger than yourself) to improve life on our planet.
I was engrossed watching John Prine’s birthday celebration. Oh Boy, you could feel the love………
- Read. Comic books are reading, so is the Parade. The idea is not to make it grueling. The idea is serenity, joy, relaxation, and enjoyment.
- Try meditation, yoga, or a stillness practice… at your own pace. You can’t do it wrong. It’s about your discovering and knowing.
The ability, skill and will to stay strong in the fog of uncertainty is real
This kind of skillful living is possible. If you think that all this is fantasy or rose-colored glasses dreaming, take a lesson from the first patient admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey last spring when they were overwhelmed with 456 COVID patients.
Doctor James Pruden is the medical director for emergency preparedness at St. Joseph’s. Yes, as a doctor and COVID patient, below is the advice he shared on 60 Minutes for us going forward.
“Learn resilience. Maintain physical strength. And your cognition. Think. Problem-solve. It’s not woe is me, but okay, how can I do it better the next time? And we can do it. There’s strength in this community. There’s strength in the world around us. Look at that strength and build on it.”
Applying micro choices to Dr. Pruden’s inspiration is our flashlight in the fog.
More from Brian Braudis
This article first appeared on Medium……..
© Brian Braudis 2020, All rights reservedTags: Choices, Micro Choices, Self, Skillful Living, Strong