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Coronavirus: Nervous about stepping out to the world?

The memories of our once carefree and frivolous nature have for now, been stored away in the confines of our minds. Instead, we have been rightly advised to take care of ourselves, by adhering to social distancing rules whilst wearing mandatory face masks, and for the most part staying at home.

The prospect of easing restrictions of what seems like the longest and probably most challenging time in our living memory, is met by great excitement and longing for the majority. However, some are feeling an uneasy sense of dread with an equal measure of anxiety layered on top. 

The 4 A’s to prepare for the changes to our lives after lockdown:

1. Acknowledge

It is important to acknowledge and not suppress your feelings or thoughts. Suppression often leads to amplification, making the primary issues seem unmanageable.

Confront your thoughts and feelings by seeking support from a professional and or a trusted confidant.

Scheduling in a ‘worry time’ is a cognitive behavioural technique which helps to avoid incessant rumination about the situation by working through the worry in an objective manner.

2. Accept

Acceptance of any given situation is something that cannot be forced. It is instead about perspective, the lens from which we see the world. It may take time and introspection, but ultimately, when we decide to accept this new world after the coronavirus, we can create fertile soil for different and resourceful ways of thinking.

3. Avoid

Forward planning whether on paper or in your mind helps to lighten any load. This Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) time-line technique helps to diffuse emotional anxiety. If during the planning stage there are situations or people that begin to make you feel uncomfortable, then take pre-emptive control. You can do this by practicing saying “No” to demands made of you; or by circumventing situations such that you feel may place you in harm’s way. If the unfavourable situation were to arise then you can be confident to deliver the outcome you practiced or prepared yourself for.

4. Alter

Control the controllable. When you feel overwhelmed, alter the things that will make a difference to how you think and hence how you feel.

De-clutter your headspace by putting pen to paper, write down your thoughts.

From a glass half full perspective, the unprecedented clear blue skies across the world accompanied by the obvious existential threat just a cough or a sneeze away, Covid-19 has gifted all of us with a great pause, where we have had the time for introspection and reflection.

There is one thing that is certain, this virus which measure 60-120nm in diameter has changed the world forever. Consequently, as a society we have modified how we think, behave and interact with each other, perhaps deliberately or unconsciously. As the days and weeks pass by, these modifications are set to evolve, much like the virus itself. However, when we purposely sculpt each passing day with optimism and the framework detailed in this article, our new normal will surely be something to look forward to and not to be feared.

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