How to stay calm in unpredictable times
November • 11th, 2020
by Ulrike Homuth
Advice from our health & lifestyle coach Ulrike Homuth
The whole world seems to be upside down. We are currently experiencing a time that has never been seen in this form before. We are all equally challenged to deal with the virus and the circumstances it creates - some of us more, some less. And each and every one of us assesses the current situation differently, namely on the basis of our own conscious and unconscious experiences. Despite all the divisive opinions about what is right or wrong, we equally long for a solution. Because what is happening right now scares us and nobody knows in which direction the whole situation is going to develop.
But what happens when anxiety takes over?
Regardless of whether the danger is real because we are threatened by a wild animal, or whether it’s self-created because we worry about the future of our children or our business –anxiety always mean stress for our body. And when we are stressed, the areas in the brain responsible for romance and problem solving are deactivated! Instead, our reptilian brain takes over which is only familiar with fight or flight. Logical arguments are just a waste of time in that situation.
No wonder people who used to be friends before the pandemic now attack each other just because of different opinions! Logical thinking and romantic feelings are no longer relevant for our body compared to the threatening danger that the brain perceives due to the amount of stress hormones in our body. The same applies for immune function, digestion, reproduction and deep, restful sleep. The body in his wisdom shuts down all these function when he is in survival mode. Unfortunately these are exactly the functions we need most to stay healthy and confident, especially in such challenging situations!
1. Pay attention to your thoughts
Focus on what's really good in your life right now and be grateful for it. It can be so small, e.g. a smile from the neighbor, a delicious tea, a good conversation or something similar.
2. Stay focused
Especially when news, thoughts and feelings overwhelm you, it is important to concentrate on what is important to you. Plan your activities and prioritize them according to their importance. Switch off disruptive factors such as social media, telephone, news, etc. and plan separate time for it
That is by far the most important tip! Because when you breathe diaphragmatically, you calm your nervous system and that signals your body that everything is ok. Consciously breathe deeply into your belly several times a day, especially in stressful situations, and feel how your heartbeat calms down. Nothing can calm your nervous system as quick as deep, diaphragmatic breathing with prolonged exhalation.
4. Exercise regularly
Even if sports facilities and fitness studios are closed for the time being, it is important that you keep moving. Because all of your body functions need movement in order to function optimally! It doesn't have to be the marathon - a walk in the fresh air does too. The decisive factor for your health is not what you do now and then, but what you do on a regular basis. Find a form of movement that suits you and that you can easily integrate into everyday life.
5. Fuel your body with whole real food
Because what you eat does not only affect your health and weight, but also what you think, feel and do. With vitamin-rich, wholesome food, your cells get nourished and that makes you more balanced and satisfied, so that even the latest negative news won't upset you so quickly. Depending on the individual, warm, grounding dishes with lots of vegetables are just as suitable as green leafy salads, fruits and nuts as a snack. Try to avoid industrial sugar and reduce coffee and alcohol.
6. Create everyday routines
Routines make you feel safe in an uncertain world. Give yourself time for what feels good for you. Whether it's the daily walk, journaling, cooking, yoga or meditation. The decisive factor is not how long it takes, but that you make time for yourself every day.
In addition, I think it is particularly important in these times to be able to exchange ideas, without reservation or judgement. Unfortunately, I've already experienced many times how conversations can get very emotional when opposing opinions collide.
As a coach, I am there for you without prejudice - even at a distance via Internet or telephone. Special times require special actions, and so I adapt my coaching offer to your needs - in terms of content, time and price.
Feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will make an appointment for a non-binding, free initial consultation. You decide whether and how it goes on afterwards.
I wish you a lot of strength, health and confidence!
All the best,
Your coach Ulrike
Looking for more information about life in Munich and how to stay balanced? Ulrike will be hosting an Expat Talk on 5 December as part of the ExpatTalks2020: Servus Munich! Register now!