Who do you trust? Who trusts you? The answers to these questions relate to how trust will make you strong during the coronavirus crisis.
Just today, I remembered my father, who destroyed a sacred religious object that my mother owned. I saw this as a kid. I didn’t trust my father then. His grabbing me by the hair and tossing me into walls also left scars. Decades later, I still do not trust this man.
He’s remained self-righteous about why he acted as he did.
These experiences cut deep. I rebelled against my father’s ways. I’ve lived my life to be trustworthy.
Trust means a lot now.
Every day, bad news bleeds on news broadcasts and social media about the tragedies related to the coronavirus crisis.
Why is trust relevant during the coronavirus crisis? Because many people are devoting so much time sheltering in place with family members and partners. The New York Times reported that “A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide. Movement restrictions aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus may be making violence in homes more frequent, more severe and more dangerous.”
Can we trust each other to act in calm and appropriate ways? Can you trust yourself to avoid overreacting and lashing out?
What can you trust?
I’ve learned that one thing we need is a Personal Energy Buffer — that’s extra energy.
Trouble shows up, and you need extra energy to think clearly and often to restrain yourself from a rash emotional reaction. (My father did not care to stop his rash emotional reactions.)
In movies, heroes take action. In real life, real heroes often stop themselves from lashing out emotionally.
How can you trust yourself? You need to strengthen yourself with your daily actions.
Look at your daily actions and people in your life.
Check in with yourself and ask, “Does this strengthen me?”
We need a Personal Energy Buffer. We need extra energy to think clearly and restrain ourselves from overreacting.
Here is a step in the right direction. Make sure to schedule some time to focus on three areas: Creativity, Connection and Compassion.
To keep up your morale, every day find a way to create something. Find a way to take some steps forward. Build something for the future. This is something that will help you feel better. It can positively affect your health. Being creative will help you maintain healthy levels of hope and vision.
Every day find a way to connect with someone you care about. Especially focus on connecting with Uplifting People. An Uplifting person is someone who can lift your spirits even in in a 9-minute phone call. Listening to a friend can improve your energy. Just yesterday, I listened as a friend read to me his first draft of a dialogue scene. I felt great by providing support. It’s valuable to combine creativity and connection. Find ways to do something fun with your partner or family members. These moments of connection warm up your relationships. For example, one family has a specific, tiny teddy bear for games of “find the teddy bear.”
Compassion for yourself can empower you to have more patience. Additionally, compassion for others is a great foundation for creating good relationships. Researchers demonstrate that good relationships improve the health and well-being of people. Good relationships help you feel more capable and strong. When you demonstrate compassion toward yourself, you make sure to do things that nurture your well-being. David, a friend of mine, found himself getting irritable with family members. So, one night, while his family members were asleep, he watched the feature film written and directed by Richard Curtis, About Time. He laughed, and he cried. He later told me it was a “good cry.” He released some emotions and felt better. His next day with family went well. Perhaps, you’ll take a break by watching a film that makes you laugh or even makes you cry. Safely releasing emotions helps you stay calm.
How can people find you to be trustworthy? It’s when you take good care of yourself so you can trust yourself to stay calm and present in the moment.
Make sure to have moments of your day devoted to a routine that includes Creativity, Connection and Compassion. Build up your Personal Energy Buffer. This is how you’ll be able to trust yourself to stay calm and avoid overreacting. When you do that, you’ll feel stronger. As people trust you — the good relationships will empower you, too.
May we all stay safe and well during this time of crisis.
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Tom Marcoux, Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach
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