There is a LOT of change and uncertainty at the moment. Elections in Australia and the USA and Brexit rocking the world. We are reminded at every turn that change is afoot and it can be very unsettling, even downright terrifying.
At best, all the thinking, analysis, reading and talking about these events leads us to be well informed and active citizens. At worst, it becomes just another horrifying spectacle, leaving people stressed and distressed, with nothing to show for it except sleepless nights.
With this in mind, here are five steps to getting your head and body in the right space to be sane and useful.
- Stick to the facts e.g. Britain has voted to leave the EU. Nothing else has happened yet and at this point, it's the stories you are reading and telling yourself that are distressing you. Remember, you don't know how this will play out. It may be better, it may be worse, but you'll be too exhausted to act if you wear yourself out early.
- Check in with your body when you are taking in media and social media. If you are feeling contracted, stressed and heavy, feeling flat etc. you need a break. Our bodies haven't evolved to differentiate between imagined fear and real fear, so you need to look after yourself in terms of what you read, watch etc.
- Notice what the changes or proposed political changes make you angry or hopeful about. Get really clear. What do you fear most? Social division, growing inequities, suffering? What do you hope for? Fairness, generosity, inclusion, safety?
- Decide how can you act in your own life, community and country to promote the values and outcomes that you hope for and fight to reduce the opportunity for the changes you fear? Take one small, imperfect step. Then another and another.
- Practice inclusion, generosity, and cultivate a mindset of abundance (i.e. there is enough for everyone), rather than giving in to fear, greed, stinginess and scarcity. These positive practices are soothing to our systems and create constructive positive outcomes for communities.
There's never been a better time to be an informed, active citizen.
Your role is important. Your action is important.
It is never too late to improve the world.
The best antidote to stress and outrage is action, so go get em!
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.