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10 tips to ‘Calm the COVID Farm’ Anita van Rooyen

Being a teenager is hard, right? and now the fear of a global pandemic? Pah-leez! Although, secretly it feels a bit overwhelming too… and scary even.

So, what can you do to ‘calm the internal farm’ going on inside your head?

Here’s my top 10 tips:

1. Find your focus Where you focus goes, your energy flows… So, turn off the news and limit yourself to watching it once a day (at most!). Identify the feelings and atmosphere you actually want to create – maybe be calm and certain or fun and engaging, and might even be different things at different times of the day. By knowing what they are, you can focus on activities etc that support them.

2. Create certainty Things are changing at a million miles an hour, but somethings will never change, like love for your parents and friends, right? Create a list that you add to everyday of all of the things you can be certain of – the change in season, sunset, sunrise etc This allows us to remember that while there is lots of change, the important things remain.

3. Create structure and rituals

We build our lives on structure, so maintaining it now is ever more vital, especially things like bed, meal, wake up times and even simple things like showering! Create a timetable of will be done when and set reminders! It’s easy for things to just slip with those “ahhh, I’ll do it tomorrow” thoughts taking over. Find an accountability buddy to share in the structure together, by creating ritual of a video to check in that you’re both out of bed, for example

4. Create a gratitude jar or wall Find a good use for those sticky notes and dedicate an area in the house (the back of the toilet door works well) for everyone to write at least one thing or person that they are grateful for and why, or use a jar and a mini notepad block and read them at the end of the week. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to fear, so including gratitude every day in rituals like brekky or dinner is a must do!

5. Mind your language Remembering that the words we speak only convey about 7% of the meaning is even more important right now. Our tone and body language make up the other 93%. Create language awareness, and focus on love and gratitude before you speak.

6. Remember to have FUN! Even during pandemics we need to have fun! it’s ok to laugh and be silly – even in these stressful times. Simple things like online karaoke, concerts and dress ups for dinner with something as simple as a colour theme can bring laughter and fun in. Why not also facetime family and friends into it as well to spread the joy!

7. Together or apart? We have the choice, that this time can either bring us as a family and community together, or it can tear us apart. When we choose community, it means that we look out for others and not just ourselves. It means that we learn to share what we have with those that have less and in turn build our gratitude even further. Check in if your neighbour needs something and how you can be of assistance. Helping others brings joy and build connection to both the giver and receiver.

8. Grow something It’s very easy to forget that we actually will get through this… growing something, even if it’s just the green bits from carrot tops or avocado seeds, means that we are focusing on the brighter future ahead of us. Growing vegetables in pots, like quick growing lettuce seedlings etc, is even better and reminds us that when we nurture nature, she nurtures us right back.

9. Find the silver lining Reframing is a process to look at things from different angles to find something good in any situation. Acknowledging any fear first and then reframe it to find a ‘higher purpose’ for what’s happening. It’s a simple positive action with proven therapeutic benefit.

10. Use technology Technology is there to support us, but used unwisely it will be there to drive and magnify fear. Use it to connect to family and friends that you can’t visit right now. Include time in the daily schedule to connect to (at least) one person per day.

Anita van Rooyen is a Melbourne-based Human Behaviour Expert, Confidence Coach, Chief Confidence Hacker and Creator of The Corona Courses – two mindset courses to help people manage their fear and anxiety caused by the COVID19 ‘Pandemic of Panic’ and “Lockdown Meltdown”.

Anita has helped 1000’s of people, from CEO’s to students, manage shyness, ranting self-talk, procrastination, self-judgement and more through one-on-one and group coaching and her online programs.

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