When facing situations like we have recently, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated. No matter what the experts say, there is really no way to predict the future. What if, instead, we focused on what it takes to be resilient? Care to Change’s team of professional counselors recommends remembering what we call the Four Cs to keep us strong ad focused.
1. Stay Calm
We all experience unfamiliar feelings that cause us to be anxious, and this doesn’t make us bad people. It means we’re human. Instead of letting those feelings take control of us, it is important to eliminate any toxic influence that gets in the way of feeling peace and joy. One key to staying calm is focusing on what we can control, like how we treat others and what think about. Focusing on gratitude and being intentional in seeking beauty will help us stay more present and calm.
2. Seek Courage
While we can’t control outside influences, we can choose who we listen to, watch, and read during this time. Instead of reading negative social media and watching hours of gloomy TV news, choose to read and watch things that inspire courage in you. Look for leaders who are making bold decisions and promoting acts of service. Listen closely for how they are thinking, and follow their lead in your personal life, taking bold steps to focus on helping others around you.
3. Show Compassion
Everyone has a story behind their unique thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It’s why we all react differently to situations. Instead of judging others, it is a great time for us to be compassionate and provide support whenever we can. We can help others in simple ways, such as calling to check on people, arranging to deliver meals for them, or even just smiling and saying hello to those we encounter. Similarly, let’s be honest about how this affects us and give ourselves compassion too. If we aren’t as productive as we’d hoped to be, or we feel especially tired or grouchy, it’s ok. We’re all experiencing stress right now, so be gentle with others, and yourself, too.
4. Strengthen Community
No matter what our background is and no matter what neighborhood we are from we’re still all in this together. Let’s continue to stick together and let’s stay connected with people in our lives while we transition back to the “new normal” over the next couple months. Share resources with each other. Support relief funds as you are able, and listen for what your friends, neighbors and family members still need. We’re far from this ending and staying connected to community is key in building resilience.
What’s next? Need help?
If your relationships are being negatively affected by what you’re experiencing right now, if you feel like tough times are overwhelming you, if you are experiencing persistent negative thoughts, difficulty sleeping or trouble concentrating, or if others are telling you that you are especially irritable or angry a lot of the time, do yourself a favor and reach out for help. Visit CaretoChange.org or call or text us at 317.790.9396 to speak to someone. We are here to help, and together, we’ll come out stronger than before.
Jared Jones combines the use of cognitive and behavioral strategies to help young people who struggle with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations.