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Positive Potentials In the Time of Crisis

In times of crisis, there’s room for incredible positive possibilities. Margaret Drabble sums it up beautifully: "When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”

The past few weeks have seen most of the world’s countries go into some form of a lockdown, with terms like ‘quarantine’ and ‘social distancing’ a part of our new vocabulary. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has shaken up life as we know it. Reflecting on the current global state, it’s common for feelings of overwhelm or anxiety to build.

It’s okay to feel bogged down by the uncertainty - our lives have been upended and the world is experiencing a collective shock. This is far from what we define as normal.

Article content:

  • Embracing a New World

  • A time to re-evaluation and reflection

  • Reconnect with the essentials

  • The joy of being with family

  • The human side shines through

  • The flip side of fear is love

  • Receive compassionate, confidential support

Embracing a New World

At points in our lives deemed critical junctures, positive potentials will show themselves – and we have the power to embrace them:

A time for re-evaluation and reflection.

While we may have been charging ahead at full speed before, the universe has given us an opportunity to hit the pause button. A chance to slow down, breathe and reflect. Reflection helps you sift through the chaos and organize your thoughts.

It becomes a useful tool for learning about yourself, for forming an understanding of your values and for growing. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some steps you can take to practice reflective work. This crisis has acted as a reminder that we do need to periodically step back from our busy lives and re-evaluate what’s important to us.

Some of us might be feeling stuck as we attempt to navigate through the ongoing pandemic. If you’re finding it difficult to organize your thoughts, know that you don’t have to struggle alone. Professional therapists can offer invaluable support and guidance during these troubling times.

Reconnect with the essentials.

What do you value?

During periods of crisis, we tend to shed what’s unnecessary and rediscover the things we truly hold dear.

With our once-hectic schedules reduced, plus all the other busy things consuming our attention put to a halt, we can be more in-the-moment - and experience what it really means to be human. This might present itself in the form of hands-on hobbies, like cooking or art, or in experiencing the beauty of nature.

A study led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter revealed that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces were likely to report better health and wellbeing than those who didn’t.

Reconnecting with the essentials helps us stay grounded, which in turn reduces stress and promotes healing. Think about using this time to connect back to what you love. Read books, admire greenscapes, make art, and rediscover life’s simpler pleasures.

The joy of being with family.

“I wish we spent more time together.”

How many times have we said this about our families, when life was in full swing and plans kept piling up?

Before the coronavirus pandemic, many of us missed out on countless quality time with our families - time we’ll never get back.

Parents around the world have been spending less time with their kids on average, and in one recent survey conducted by Centrepoint in the UAE, 46% of 5,043 UAE residents polled said they spent less than one hour a day of family time.

Now, with other activities put to a halt, there’s a beautiful opportunity to connect with loved ones again. To spend quality time with one another when you couldn’t before.

By spending more time together, you’ll certainly make new memories, and you’ll discover new things about each other that can strengthen your bond.

Take comfort in knowing that through all of this, we have new opportunities to connect with others on a deeper level.

The human side shines through.

We’ve seen the videos of doctors in Iran dancing to uplift patients’ spirits, or entire neighborhoods coming together to make music on their balconies in Italy. People are lending each other a helping hand. We’re seeing people holding fundraisers for their neighbors and volunteers sending daily deliveries of essential goods to at-risk groups.

Through all of this, with everybody facing difficulties, the human side is shining through.

Entire communities are coming together with empathy and compassion. Heart-warming moments are being created across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic shows us that in times of crisis, humanity prevails.

The flip side of fear is love.

Love is a universal language – humans are deeply rooted in love, it’s a part of our nature. It’s important to remember that even though there are feelings of worry and fear right now, the flip side of that is love.

There is so much potential for all around us right now to take better care of ourselves, our families and our communities.

Receive compassionate, confidential support.

If you’re feeling stuck, anxious or afraid through all of this, know that you do not need to struggle alone. Ayadi’s fully certified therapists are here to listen with an understanding heart and full confidentiality and offer professional support to help you navigate these unprecedented times.

Download the Ayadi app to talk to the therapist of your choice today.
learning to embrace uncertainty
The current state of the world is marked largely by uncertainty. Suddenly finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory, and not yet knowing what the future holds, can give rise to a number of uncomfortable emotions. When a world that once felt predictable becomes a world full of unknowns, it’s easy to feel out of control.

Many of us see the world around us as being, for the most part, stable. We find this idea of stability comforting, and losing touch with that sense of control can prompt fear, anxiety, anger, confusion, and even loss as we grieve parts of our lives that no longer exist in the way we thought they would. But in all of this discomfort lies a hidden treasure: an opportunity to grow our powers of acceptance and adaptability. When we step out of the familiar territory and embrace the unknown, a world of possibilities opens within us.

The good news is, however uncomfortable it may be, this process and the emotions that come along with it are completely normal.

Article content:

  • The Unknown: A Normal Part of Life

  • Ways to Work Through Uncertainty

    • Feel your feelings

    • Identify what you can and can't control

    • Reconnect with the essentials

    • Embrace the upsides of developing new skills

    • Get the support you need

The Unknown: A Normal Part of Life

Facing unknowns is an inherent part of life. Learning to be okay with uncertainty is an extremely beneficial life skill to develop. In fact, the ability to tolerate not knowing is directly linked to our ability to feel content.

Instead of avoiding our fear of the unknown and suppressing the feelings, it brings up for us, what would happen if we stayed present with that feeling? Uncertainty is simply a stage within a larger process of change. We move out of our comfort zone, into uncertainty, and finally into a new, more evolved stage of being. But this requires us to work through our fears rather than allowing them to control the outcomes.

Let’s take a look at some ways to approach this process.

Ways to Work Through Uncertainty

Feel your feelings.

Becoming aware that a situation is out of your control can bring up fear, anxiety, and sadness: emotions we’re normally taught to suppress. Instead, try allowing them to be there without resisting them, as resistance only traps fear and causes it to grow. Practice being compassionate and nonjudgmental towards yourself as you experience your emotions.

If this is your first time doing this, the practice can seem counterintuitive, as we’re largely taught to believe such feelings should be avoided, or mean there’s something wrong with us. If you’re not sure where to begin, a certified mental health counselor can help guide you through this process.

Identify what you can and can’t control.

Predictability is an illusion we create for ourselves. The reality is that much of life is beyond our control - things around us can change at any time.

Take an inventory of what’s going on in your life at the moment, and try to determine what’s in your control and what’s not. We don’t have control over what happens in the world, but we do have control over how we choose to respond. We can choose to constantly check the news and fixate on worries about the future, or we can choose to prepare ourselves to the extent that we realistically can.

For example:

  • You may not be able to go to the gym, but you can work out at home.

  • You may not be able to find certain sanitary supplies, but you can practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding touching your face.

  • You may not have control over your family members’ decisions, but you can check in with them regularly to see if they’re taking the recommended precautions and make sure they have

  • everything they need in place to do so.

  • You may not be able to go outside right now, but you can make sure to get sun, take in views of the outdoors or listen to a playlist of nature sounds each day.

  • External factors may be in flux, but you can establish a daily routine that helps you get into a rhythm and accomplish tasks when you’re feeling well.

Reconnect with the essentials.

Use this as an opportunity to reassess the fundamentals of your life that matter most, such your relationships and self-care. You may find that your priorities have shifted to more truly reflect your values, and that many of the sources of your anxiety were in fact not that important to you in the larger picture. For example, you may realize that spending more time with your family helps you feel grounded, and that it’s worth it to you to forego those extra hours at the office.

Embrace the upsides of developing new skills.

When you’re able to grow your tolerance of uncertainty, you also grow your adaptability – your internal resources for adjusting to new circumstances. This kind of resilience enables us to switch gears more easily and approach the future with a more open and optimistic mind.

This doesn’t just apply to the coronavirus; uncertainty is bound to recur at various stages throughout life. If you use this challenge as an opportunity to add tools to your mental wellness toolkit, they’ll be there to serve you for the rest of your life – and they’ll be ready next time you need them.

Get the support you need.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and worry about the future, Ayadi can help you build the tools you need to thrive in this phase and beyond. Our experienced counselors are here to listen to what you’re going through and offer their compassion, understanding, and guidance.

Download the Ayadi app to connect with a certified mental health counselor today.