1) REMEMBER there is a plan for all of this – even if it ain’t yours – and that Someone is always in control – even if it ain’t you.
2) BOLSTER your faith and trust in G-d. Faith is the awareness of G-d’s Oneness, there is no (true) existence aside from Him, so He’s the sole cause of everything. Trust is the conviction that everything He causes is ultimately good, even if we can’t humanly comprehend why.
3) BE FLEXIBLE. Anything can change in any direction. Instead of resisting, try rolling with your circumstances and make the best that you personally can out of them.
4) EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY. Exercise your vulnerability and try to be okay with not knowing. Our sense of all-knowingness is really just an illusion. Only G-d knows. Literally. Focus on what is within your control, do your part and do your best, then to G-d leave the rest. He has not abandoned us to some independent entity called COVID-19; we’re forever in His hands.
5) STRIKE BALANCE. Be practical and stay down-to-earth, but it also helps to maintain a higher, spiritual outlook. Take all the necessary precautions, like following CDC guidelines and wearing personal protective equipment when you go out, but don’t obsess yourself into anxiety or compulsions. Maintain yourself physically, in hygiene and fitness, but also take the time for real soul-care, including Torah-study and Mitzvah-observance, prayer and good deeds. Stay informed by credible sources, but take breaks from the constant news-feed, in order to maintain mental and emotional wellbeing.
6) BE SENSITIVE to your triggers. This pandemic may evoke negative past experiences embedded in your psyche. Communicate with the inner child, compassionately, reassuringly. Your feelings are real. You will discover your time to heal. This is only a step in the process. You’ve got this.
7) TURN INWARDS. Capitalize on limited activity or distraction, for introspection. Consider where you often invest your energy, time and resources. Perhaps you may re-examine your values or re-order your priorities.
8) SHIFT your focus to others. In negativity, worry or survival-mode, we tend to hyperfocus on ourselves. When we extend concern or support to another during these trials, it benefits others (and helps us cope too). There is so much we can do for those also struggling or less-fortunate, like phone calls, inspiration, a warm meal or medicine left on their porch.
9) BE GRADUAL. Take life one day at a time. While you might want to take on the world and solve all its problems, that position isn’t vacant (thanks, G-d). You doing ‘small things’ doesn’t have a small impact.
10) DO something you love each day, develop your talents, or devote yourself to a long-waiting project – even better when these activities can be shared to uplift or benefit others!
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