3 ways to maintain emotional strength during this time
We’re all facing huge challenges right now during this time of coronavirus, and so today I’m sharing with you three things that often help me stay calm and focused. I hope they’ll help you too.
1. Use ‘noise’ to help you concentrate
At the moment many of us are worried about what’s going to happen, and we may be constantly asking ourselves a lot of ‘what if’ question.
What if this lockdown situation continues for a long time? What if I run out of money? What about my family? What if…? These are serious questions, and they can start to consume us.
If we’re working from home – or indeed trying to concentrate on anything – and yet our heads are full of worries and questions, it can be very hard to concentrate.
When I’m working (e.g. writing something, replying to emails, creating something, etc.) I often listen to an audio track of the sound of rain. The frequency of the sound on the recording is specifically designed to put my mind into a kind of ‘flow state’, and it really helps me stay focused. I personally find it much more effective than listening to meditative music.
Some people use audio tracks of binaural beats for this same reason. Essentially, your right ear receives a different frequency sound to your left ear, the brain interprets it as one sound and that sound helps you get into a specific ‘state’.
A quick search on YouTube will bring up lots of free recordings for you to try.
2. Write a letter to yourself
I’ve been writing letters to myself once or twice a year for some time now. Once I’ve written them, I seal them and I make a note of the date I will open them in the future. Effectively, you’re writing a letter to your future self.
This can be a wonderful way of recording what’s happening right now, both for you personally and all around you. It’s also a good way to write about how you’re feeling and to capture any insights you want to share with your future self. It could be anything at all that’s in your mind or in your heart.
If you find a blank page daunting to write on, you could simply think of three things you’ve learned over the past two weeks – about yourself or about the world – and write those down.
You could also do this by talking to yourself. Use a voice recorder app to store your thoughts.
Writing to yourself is like having a confidant, a safe space to share your thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams, and a place to record your feelings and ideas. It can be like a pep talk for the future you.
When you open the letter in the future, you’ll find it interesting to realise how much you’ve probably changed or grown. It’s also really interesting to see how you interpreted things when you originally wrote the letter and how differently you might see things now. That in itself could provide you with useful insights in some way.
Start the letter “Dear …<your own name>… and then simply write it. Write it by hand if you can – it makes it more personal. Then put it in an envelope, write the date you’ll open it in the future and add a note in your diary to do that. In ‘normal’ times, I usually date mine a year into the future, but given the pace of events right now you could make it just a month ahead.
3. Remember that today will end
Some years ago now, I went through a terrible time of grief and loss, and I remember that sometimes it was all I could do to get from one minute to the next.
A friend of mine shared with me a piece of wisdom at that time that has also seen me through subsequent difficult times:
She encouraged me to remember that today will end and tomorrow will be different – even if just in some small way. Tomorrow may not be better, but it will be different. Sometimes that’s enough to help us get through.
We’re all unique individuals and we each find our way through things in our own way, but I hope this is helpful to you.
I’d love to hear how you get on with these three ideas. Feel free to leave a comment below.