Choosing Action Over Anxiety During COVID-19
The world is in chaos. COVID-19 hit fast and hard and the ripple effects will be felt for a long time to come.
What does that mean for your family?
Are you wondering how you’re going to go to work and pay your bills? Schools are closing, lockdown orders are happening, and many are without work.
Your fears are not unfounded. The situation is dire for many.
It’s okay to be scared.
But it’s not okay to let your fear keep you from taking action to find solutions for your family.
We can’t control what’s happening around us, but we CAN control how we handle things from here on out. What we do (or don’t do) is what’s going to determine how our family fares through this time of crisis.
We don’t have all the answers and we won’t pretend to. But, what we can tell you is this - you can let this make you, or you can let this break you.
The choice is yours.
Here are 4 steps you can take to find relief for your family during this worldwide pandemic.
1) Clear your mind
First things first - you’ve got to clear the cobwebs.
You’ve got a lot on your mind. Likely, your head is spinning with worry.
Have you ever heard the phrase “paralysis by analysis”? Basically, it means feeling overwhelmed to the point of shutting down because too much is happening around you.
When you hit that point, you aren’t thinking clearly. You need to do whatever it takes to center yourself so you can think rationally and make sound decisions.
Make sure you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, fed your hangry belly, dressed for the day, and gotten some fresh air.
Once you do these things, you are in a much better headspace to look at the big picture and formulate a plan of action.
2) Set up for Success
You’ve taken the first, and most important, step in helping your family thrive in the face of hardship. You’ve done what’s necessary in order to take on this project with a clear head.
Well, now you’ve got to give yourself space to brainstorm (and discuss with your partner, if applicable) without distraction the steps your family is going to take to overcome these obstacles.
As a parent, you know finding pockets of quiet within your day doesn’t always come easy. It’s important that you set aside this time though, even if you have to get creative in making it happen.
What are some practical ways you can do this?
You can set the kids up with pizza and a movie, take a family drive (supply kids with snacks and entertainment) and talk while in the car, or wait until they are in bed for the night.
Whatever you do, you need to buy yourself an hour or two with minimal interruptions to figure this out.
Pro tip: bring coffee and snacks! Things are always better with coffee and snacks!
3) Make a Prioritized List
Now to the nitty-gritty.
It’s time to actually put a plan in place. You have a clear head (and coffee and snacks!), the kids are occupied, what next?
Once you are all set up, the first step is to do a massive brain drain. Get all those worries out on paper. Write down EVERYTHING you can think of.
Worried about your mortgage? Write it down. Running low on toilet paper? Write it down. Do you have a family member in the high-risk category? Write it down.
Now, you’ve got to let it sit for a minute. Take a break. Drink some water, replenish your snack stash (you know you need sustenance at a time like this!), and then come back with a fresh head.
After a quick break, it’s time to tease through the list and figure out what to tackle first.
Once you start shifting things around, make sure each task is clear, actionable, and listed in order of importance.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
There you go. Literally as simple (note - we said simple, not easy!) as 1-2-3!
Now you’ve got a plan.
4) Do the Work
With a plan in place, the only thing left is to do the work. No, it’s not easy. But it has to be done.
Do you maybe need to cut some things from the budget? If you are struggling financially, this is a great place to start.
If making budget cuts isn’t enough, it’s time to take more drastic measures.
Call your mortgage company, utility providers, and creditors - everyone you pay money to each month. See what you can work out. Apply for assistance if necessary.
You can also contact churches, charitable organizations, and even reach out on social media. Our community has banded together to bring food and supplies to people who can’t afford it or can’t risk getting out amongst the general public. Many other communities across the nation are doing the same.
Do some research and see what resources you have at your disposal.
Are you facing a loss of income? Put your thinking hat on. It’s time to get creative.
If school closures mean that childcare is an issue, ask your boss if it’s possible to telecommute.
If working from home with kids underfoot is difficult, try adjusting your schedule so you can work early in the morning or late at night. Or prep activities they can do independently and complete your work in short bursts.
If your job has been downsized, you may need to consider another source of income. See if you can find remote work. Check job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter and use terms such as “remote” or “freelance” in your searches. Rat Race Rebellion and The Mom Project are also great sites catering specifically to the work-from-home crowd.
If working remotely isn’t the right fit, check into stores like Costco, Walmart, and Amazon. These places are hiring like crazy to handle the influx of new business coming their way. If childcare is an issue, see if you can work opposite your spouse. If that’s not an option, reach out on social media and see if an out-of-work teacher is available to keep your child. Or if there’s another mom in a similar position, maybe you two can work opposite shifts and alternate watching each other’s kids.
Bottom line, you’ve got to think outside the box.
Nothing about this situation is normal. Therefore, all conventional rules go out the window. Right now, we’re thinking about survival - that of our family and the community that surrounds us.
Remember….this isn’t forever. Let’s come together and do what we need to do in the short term, hard as it may be.
Action vs. Anxiety
Which will you choose? Ultimately, it’s your call.
Here’s our take.
Don’t just sit back and wait to see how this all plays out. Be proactive. Take the right steps NOW in order to make sure your family is taken care of.
Action is the key to overcoming anxiety.
Please be sure to share with others who may be struggling as well. We’re here for you and we’ve got lots more to come on this ever-changing situation.
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