Coping with Covid-19

Founder of Bird Hannah Massarella writes about what we can do to fight fear.

It’s a really challenging time right now. Things feel uncertain, unclear, ever-changing and frightening. It’s easy to act from fear, and to panic buy and take drastic action. It’s easy and it’s understandable, we want to find a level of certainty amidst the ever-changing volatile world around us.

But the fear isn’t serving us. The fear is creating more fear, and more panic. So we need to find a different approach. At Bird and ACEVO we got our heads together to work out what that alternative approach might look like, and we’d like to encourage you to use a simple yet effective process.

Firstly, it’s about naming that you are experiencing fear, feeling it in your body. Naming what the story is – for me it’s been ‘I will lose my home and have no food to eat’. And sharing, with a trusted friend, colleague or group where you are on a scale of 1-10 with your anxiety, with a 10 being full anxiety.

Those three things to start with are hugely helpful. To stop and notice how you feel,  name any catastrophising stories that your mind is making up, and then share with someone the level of anxiety will indeed help to begin to shift it. Naming what’s going on is so very powerful.

The next part of the process is to find some kind of shift in perspective. It’s so hard right now to do this, I know, but finding a new perspective over the past week has been immensely transformative to the way I’m showing up to the crisis. Rather than sitting with my fear, I asked myself ‘how can I help?’ I shifted myself from a place of feeling powerless and like a victim, to a place of helping and serving. And it has proved so powerful. I have been thinking about how I can support others, I have been offering my time and thinking about what resources I have to offer – which in turn has shown me how many resources I do have.  It has made me feel more empowered, and more connected to other human beings.

It’s so important not to miss the first part of the process, you have to name how you feel, face the fear and own it a little. And then, space opens up for those other, more hopeful, more creative, more connected approaches, and in turn, you and those around you feel a little safer and a little more secure.

We can all get through this together. Humans are hard-wired to navigate challenges, they help us to grow and learn and connect and feel. They can be so hard, but they can also be a chance to get creative about how we view the world, remember trust and faith that things are happening as they are meant to, and to remember how to lean on each other just a little more.

In the next few days, we will be announcing dates for upcoming webinars to support you in building resilience and connecting with your peers.

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