COVID-19 got you stressed?
You're not the only one! All the coronavirus fear, anxiety, and guilt makes it hard to feel in control of important choices. Can you visit family and friends? Should you travel during coronavirus? Do you have concerns about returning to school during COVID?
You're ready to empower your choices. Here's my post and Youtube video for a guilt-free way to approach decisions, so you make the best choices you can!
One of my dear friends was deciding whether to go on a trip with her family... but was unsure because we're in the middle of a global pandemic. She says,
"I feel like I've been living in fear, anxiety, and guilt every single day for the last 3 months, and I'm so sick of it..."
You can tell she's frustrated. I'm sure you can feel some of that too with Coronavirus.
COVID is powerful in terms of health and social psychology. It's not just about being deadly, there's all kinds of peer pressure, isolation, shame, guilt, feeling selfish, judgment, and unknown about it. So naturally, there's enough coronavirus fear to go around.
It's the same process for weight loss
As the guilt-free coach for entrepreneur weight loss, I know fear, anxiety, guilt and shame are not the best ways to make decisions and lifestyle changes.
It feels too dramatic, awful, you hate it and build resentment. Then you stop doing things you think you should, because you feel like someone else is telling you what to do. You don't want someone else's rules to stop you from having a good time.
Then you feel mentally weak for not keeping up with it.
So here's how you empower yourself to take ownership of your choices. Even if you don't reach the same conclusions as anyone else, you'll at least know you did something to manage your frustration, and that you made the best choice you can. Then you can practice it with your other goals and choices.
But first, I gotta say...
Coronavirus is pretty dangerous
With my experience in public health, I've done contact tracing and community health outreach. Science-based is also one of Fit for Freelance's core values.
I can't emphasize enough the precaution you should take when it comes to travel, visiting aging adults in your family, and getting into crowds in public. As of early August 2020, 723,000 people worldwide have died from COVID-19.
9 steps to overcoming coronavirus fear, anxiety, and guilt
Acknowledge and accept that feeling. You’re allowed to feel uncomfortable with uncertainty, and to have concerns. Be mindful of the connotations, emotional load, and self-judgment you assign to yourself in your decision-making process.
Be thankful that you have this option to consider. This doesn't take anything away from the validity of your concerns. Reminding yourself that tons of people don’t have the choice means you don’t have to do anything or travel anywhere. If it gets too troubling, you can just say no and be done with it.
when you hear yourself use the words "anxious" or "nervous." Literally write or type what unknown fears you’re sensing. It’s like not knowing what’s in the dark- you want to identify what you can. You probably have a bunch of questions, like is it safe to travel during coronavirus? Does anyone you’re visiting have health risks?
Ask an expert in the subject, or do some reading from reliable sources. The credibility of your source is important, so choose wisely! I like to use the CDC's website for guidance related to medical science.
The research will give you more information on what you can do to protect yourself, what to expect, how risky some things are, etc.
Having clarity on your values keeps you centered on what’s important TO YOU, and helps in dilemmas. Knowing your comfort with risk and choosing your values simplifies the choices to become the person you choose to be. Fit for Freelance’s values are ownership, compassion, adaptive, science-based, and engaging.
What are your biggest values guiding your decisions? Family, safety, communication, adventure?
6) Talk to the other people who have a stake in your decision
Connecting with your community helps you overcome coronavirus fear, anxiety, and guilt. It's also an easy way to show them you care, and that you are taking the decision seriously. Connect with your grandma, family, and people likely to be affected by it. Listen, be thoughtful, and weight their opinions with your values.
7) Embrace accountability
We have to take ownership of our decisions and their consequences. Whether that’s feeling like you missed out, peace of mind knowing you’re not possibly the reason someone testing positive with COVID, or having a perfect, memorable time. This ownership makes it clear what you’re responsible for, and what you’re not. Ideally, this keeps you from internalizing guilt from others.
8) Trust yourself and your ability to adapt
Know and believe you will do your best in any circumstance. Even if your worst case scenario comes true, everything turns out perfect, or something between. Decide now to be accepting and forgiving of whatever happens next!
Finally, make a well-considered, compassionate, empowered choice!
Now you that you have a new way to make empowered choices, you can use it to overcome your coronavirus fear, anxiety, and guilt! Take a look at how this process can apply to other areas of your life.
You might also be wondering how to stop being so hard on yourself and your work. If you struggle with perfectionism, check out my post Anxiety? Perfectionism? How to Stop Self Criticism ASAP so you do your best, most enjoyable work with more compassion for yourself.