I’m one of those people who is always excited every December. December always excites me because, for me, it means that in just a few days, a New Year will come and it will bring fresh hope. It gives me a feeling that everything will be better. This was the same sentiment that I had last December 2019. 2020 seems to be a very promising year not only for me but for everyone else.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
And then January 2020 came and one of the volcanoes on the island where the city where I live in is located erupted. Taal volcano which is located just a few hours away from Manila erupted. Luckily for me and my immediate family, we’re quite far from the worst-hit area. However, one of my cousins and her family live very close to the danger zone. They had to evacuate immediately for their own safety. Fortunately, no one in her family was harmed.
A couple of weeks passed and everybody was still monitoring the situation of Taal Volcano when news about a respiratory illness that was first reported in China appeared in our news feed. The first person infected in the Philippines was confirmed last January 30 and the first death was confirmed on February 2.
Rumors of lockdown started appearing online by mid-March and a month-long community quarantine was finally announced last March 15. And an extension was announced last April 8. Here’s a Timeline of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic Situation in the Philippines by Wikipedia if you’re curious to know more about our situation here.
Last week I got the news that a friend of a friend in his mid-30’s got infected and is getting treatment. Luckily, his body is strong enough and seems to be doing well. Unfortunately, not all have strong bodies to resist the virus. On April 14, the auntie of a very close friend of mine died. Her family members did not have the chance to say their goodbyes as her body needs to be cremated as soon as possible.
As days go by, stories like this sadly become more common as more and more people get affected directly and indirectly by the pandemic. Day by day, our news feeds are inundated by a lot of worrisome information. The number of infected people is increasing and the number of people who die from the disease is also increasing. On the other hand, the number of recoveries is also increasing. Unemployment is also increasing in a lot of countries. And rumors of social unrest are starting to surface and a lot more issues that we are all worried about.
This is indeed a very tough time that we all did not expect to live through. However, it is what it is. And just like the previous generations before us, we will get through this – probably scathed, probably bruised but definitely not broken.
I’m quite optimistic that with the help of each other, we will be able to survive and thrive in the “New Normal” society that we will enter to after the quarantine is lifted.
Here are 10 Things that We Could All Do to Survive Trying Times:
Try to Stay Positive and Acknowledge What You’re Feeling
I know that this is easier said than done regardless of the differences in our current situation in life. Acknowledge what you feel. Do not bottle it up. Let it flow naturally as long as you’re not harming yourself or anyone else. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. And at the same time learn how to manage your emotions. Remember that like any other circumstances in the world, this too shall pass.
Once you have acknowledged your emotion, try to think through how you can help yourself cope with it. And also, if you’re in a good position emotionally, try to think of ways on how you could help your family members and friends cope up with the emotions that they’re feeling right now.
Staying positive is also one of the best ways to cope up with trying times. It strengthens one’s character. The next time you encounter a similar situation, you’ll be more ready to face it head-on.
Reach Out and Talk
If you are having a very difficult time coping up with a very stressful situation, do not hesitate to reach out to your trusted friends and family members. Let them know what you are feeling. And also, bear in mind that as they are concern with your well-being, they are keen on giving the advice to help you get through this situation. So hear them out as well. Remember that communication is a two-way street.
If you think that you are not prepared to take any advice but you just want to talk and be heard, let them know right away.
In case you are alone in your apartment, take advantage of the technology that we have today. Call your friends and family via WhatsApp or Viber or Facebook.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to, there are certain hotlines in your country that you can call and reach out to.
Think of Something to Look Forward To
One of the things that I always do to help myself get through a difficult situation is by giving myself something to look forward to. This helps me see past the current situation that I am in.
For example, I have been staying at home for more than a month now due to the community quarantine, I have been planning in my head where I’d take my family after the quarantine is lifted. I’m thinking about where I could take them for lunch or perhaps dinner once we are allowed to go out. This may be a very simple plan but it gives me something to look forward to.
I’m also thinking a few months far ahead to keep myself excited. I’m thinking about where I would go next summer (2021).
If you are employed or if you have a business, you can also use this time to create a new target for yourself on your chosen endeavor. It may be taking on a new career path or getting promoted in your current employment or if you have a small business, think about how you’d like to expand it.
Explore your Creative Side
Most people think that it’s hard to be creative if you’re going through some tough times. But remember that this is just one of the human experiences that we all go through. Cliche as it may sound, life is really like a roller coaster ride. On some days, we feel like we’re on top of the world, and in some days, we feel very horrible about everything.
Try to engage yourself in some creative endeavors. Sometimes, difficult times bring out the artists in us. A lot of people have written songs not only about the best days of their lives but also about the trying times that they have been through such as getting heart-broken or losing a family member or a friend.
Remember that inspiration takes many forms. Exploring your creative side also keeps your mind busy and away from what you’re worried about even if it’s just for a short period of time.
Learn from It and Focus on What is Within your Control
Once you have acknowledged your emotions and after you have learned how to manage it, try to learn from the current situation that you’re in. For example, one of my main source of income suddenly stopped because of two main reasons – (1) no one is buying non-essential items during these times and (2) I could not ship the things that I sell online due to the community quarantine.
So, I’m using this downtime (while I’m stuck at home) to think of my mini Business Continuity Plan and I’m also using this time to read and learn from other people on how I could better diversify my income.
Again, we may be in different situations in life, but try to approach your situation objectively and try to learn from it using these basic questions as your foundation.
- Define your current situation
- Define why this situation became detrimental to you
- Define the cause of the situation (Is it within or beyond your control?)
- Define which aspect of your life got affected the most (emotional, financial, etc)
- Identify possible solutions that could help you improve your situation for the short and mid-term
- Identify possible courses of actions that could help you avoid being in this kind of situation again
Related Post: 10 Things to Do When You Lose Your Job
Avoid Engaging with Another Toxic Situation or Toxic People
If you’re in a difficult situation, it would be best to contain the problem and not aggravate it further by making sure that you’re in your best mental state to face it. One of the things that I do to avoid aggravating the current difficult situation is by avoiding another toxic situation and toxic people.
Like for example, as of the time of writing, we’re all currently in lockdown due to the pandemic. I’m minimizing my exposure to social media and news websites wherein I often see hateful comments of people against each other. There’s a fine line between criticism and just plain rudeness. Apparently, a lot of people seem to be forgetting that.
I also try to avoid communicating with people in my personal circle that I know talks a lot but does not walk the talk if you know what I mean. Instead, I try to expose myself more to people who I feel have better coping mechanisms in situations like this.
Emotions are contagious. So be sure that you are aware of what you expose yourself to especially during these tough times.
Take One Step at a Time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed especially in trying times like this one that we’re all into. And when one is overwhelmed, we tend to make wrong decisions that might make our situation worse. Remind yourself that although getting out of an awful situation in the fastest time possible is the ideal choice, it may or may not be the easiest way for you.
Healing takes time. Recovering from a difficult situation takes time. So remember to take one step at a time. With the help of our family and friends, we will surely come out of this better and stronger.
Choose to be Kind
Whenever we experience some trying times, we tend to be more emotional and hard-headed. It sometimes feels that the whole world turned its back on us and that we’re all alone dealing with our problem.
I had past experiences wherein I was very emotional and I was always angry and hateful. I sometimes found myself lashing out to the very people who were always there helping and supporting me all throughout my ordeal which is my family.
I forgot that even in difficult situations, I still have my free will. That even if I didn’t choose to be in that kind of situation, I can choose how to react to it. Sometimes, I forgot that even if I’m hurting, I can still choose to be kind.
Sometimes we blame others for what we’re going through, but more often than not, even if we don’t admit it out loud or even if we don’t admit it to ourselves, we blame ourselves for what has happened to us.
There are a lot of situations wherein we know that we could have avoided it if we wanted to. Sometimes, it’s best to remind ourselves that we cannot change the past. It is what it is. And the only way to heal is to acknowledge our mistakes, forgive ourselves, and move forward.10 Things We Could Do To Survive Trying Times Click To Tweet
I’ll leave number ten to you guys.
Feel free to share a tip or two that could help us survive these trying times.