The Four Letter F-Word
No, not that one.
Like the pandemic surrounding COVID-19 affecting the entire globe, fear wreaks havoc with the entirety of our mind, body, and spirit.
The widespread social media posts, the frequent news updates from around the world, the empty shelves in grocery stores have caused heightened anxiety, fear and worry around the world.
Since all of this began, we’ve been reflecting on what fear can do. If unchecked, fear will slowly seep into the happy places in our hearts and minds, and derail us for days.
It’s common for people to have the impulse to control their external environment when their internal environment has run amok. This is perhaps why people lash out on others online, stockpile their closets with toilet paper and sanitizer, and behaving wonkier than usual.
Right now, we are in Maslow’s basement. We are focused on our physiological needs. When can we shop for food and supplies that is safe? While we can’t control the dozens of people in the grocery at the same time we shop, we can control our sleep and rest, and those of our family members.
Ideally, we we all want to access Level 2 of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is Safety. Mentally and emotionally, we want to get to level 3 of Maslow’s Hierarchy: Love and Belonging.
Yet in times of social distancing and self-quarantine, we might have to skip over working on self-esteem for a month or so, and hop right to level 5 on Maslow’s pyramid, so we can get creative about how we love and belong. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and What’s App are the conduit for how we can reach out and touch hearts and minds.
One client shared that she and her husband are celebrating her birthday with a Zoom dinner party. Another established a Birthday toasting. How can you get creative to honor someone significant?
In a time when we are all filled with fear and anxiety, remember that it comes down to the science of how our humanity is wired. The fear center in our brain is alive, and our anxiety is most likely heightened by the continual updates on the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Yet we also need to consciously seek out security, comfort, love, and come up with some of our healthy community-centric own solutions.
Take this time to find a new hobby away from screens. Communicate with your partner over a homemade dinner that you have prepared together or as a family. Connect with friends and family far away over FaceTime or set up a Zoom party. Practice gratitude for your own health and home, and recognize that we all have more in common than not.
Rather than have our fear connect us, let’s allow hope and love to connect us with one another.
Stay safe and stay well ☺
Poppy and Geoff