I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.Nelson Mandela
There is no way around it, these are trying times, and the way likely gets harder before it gets easier.
So what should we do?
There are, of course, many small practical things to begin with. We can lay in a few stocks, make contingency plans in case we have to spend a few weeks at home, and make sure our friends, families, and communities are as prepared as possible.
But the larger and more important thing we all have to do in this moment is: take care of ourselves first.
This may sound like selfish advice. In a way it is. But it is also vital. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we care for others? You cannot give what you do not have.
How best to do this? Remember these two things:
Stress can make fools of the best of us, so seek to minimise it wherever possible. A good way to do this is to ask yourself what you can actually control.
There are a great many things outside our control at the moment. We must let go of wanting to change them and accept the situation as it is, because trying to change what cannot be changed is a sure path to madness.
But there are also some things we can control. It is on these that we must focus our energies. Taking care of ourselves is one such area. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Whatever works for you, whatever you need, do that. Drink more water. Get more sleep. Take care of yourself as if you were looking after someone you love. These things are small but their effects are mighty.
Know that there will be fear. This is natural. It’s a scary situation. But know that you are not alone. And also know that if you take care of yourself, you will be better equipped to do the right thing at the right time, no matter how afraid you feel (which is the true test in any tough situation).
The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.Cus D’Amato
These are hard times. Perhaps the hardest of times. But we will make it through if we stick together. And if we do it well, we’ll be the stronger for it.
The best way out is always through.Robert Frost
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