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There’s Hope To Be Found In Tough Times. Here’s How…

Compassion is more important than ever 

June 06, 2020 | 4 min. read

Remember when things were normal? Maybe you wish you hadnt taken small things for granted?   

Youre not alone. Everyone is experiencing something similar: a sense of loss, of helplessness, of what do I do now?  

However. Helpless doesnt mean hopeless, and the reality is that we are neither. Here are some ways to arm wrestle the bogeyman of fear and uncertainty into submission. 

Anticipate the good stuff    
Theres a reason why you keep thinking back to the past – it keeps your focus away from the future. And for some that future currently resembles a dystopian hell. The economy might collapse. You might lose your job. There are protests all over the world. People might get hurt 

Its important to recognise this for what it is. Anticipation. Normally you reserve your anticipation for fun things like holidays, and instead its now full of worst-case scenarios. But thatall that they are.   

When those images surface, match them with positive ones. Finding this balance in your thoughts is an important and powerful thing to do. Anticipation is a real gift – dont let it be hijacked.   

The present is a gift  
Take a deep breath and bring your thoughts back to the here and now. Take a good look around you – theres your lava lamp. Theres that hilarious mug your colleague got you. Theres that loose tile you still havent got around to fixing.  

Youre in the present and that future that youre imagining – bad or good – hasnt happened yet, and maybe it wont. But right here, right now, you are safe. And most importantly, youre in control of your world. 

Don’t fight what you can’t control 
You cant stop people from spreading negativity and fear. You cant stop joggers from swerving all over the pavement like they own it. But you can avoid negative people and limit your news intake. Or cross the road to avoid the jogger.    

Getting upset about the things outside your control is a no-win situation. If you have a problem and get angry about it, youve then got two problems. Instead, let that negativity whizz by you. 

Find acceptance – and meaning  
Theres a well-known set of stages for dealing with loss, and its easy to see how they map onto the current situation. The phases of denial, anger, bargaining and sadness can happen any order – theyre a framework rather than a map. But the final one is the trump card. Acceptance.    

This is the reality, now how do I deal with it?  

And thats the one a lot of people are finding themselves at. Were discovering that its possible to work from home, or socialise on Zoom. And from that, we can go a step further and find meaning.  

Compassion is king  
Were in a situation thats unpleasant, but temporary. It doesnt feel that way though, and were not used to this sort of collective discouragement. But the fact that we know everyone is going through the same thing just makes it easier to be empathetic and compassionate.  

If your colleagues, friends and family are being snappish or short-tempered, you know the reason – and that its not directed at you. Now more than ever is the time to reach deep into your pockets and throw out compassion like confetti. It will make them feel better… just maybe not right away. 

Don’t forget the me-time  
But dont forget to be compassionate to yourself too. Its not just okay to understand your own feelings, its crucially important. Bottling things up just isnt going to help – if youre feeling angry or sad or just a bit cranky, take some time out and give your emotions some actual motion.  

Whatever form that takes will depend on you. It might be a workout, a home karaoke session or just having a little weep. All of those are fine. 


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