It’s not news that we are witnessing and living in strange times. Today’s world resembles scenes in those apocalyptic and post apocalyptic movies and one can almost see the aliens marching into town and vaporizing all who stand in their way.
I guess though, that seeing a physical enemy might be better than having to deal with an invisible one such as a Virus and/or it’s deadly counterparts- fear, ignorance and chaos.
I, like everyone else, have gone through my fair share of crises and today I will like to share with us what I have learnt, in the hope, that someone, just one person will be helped.
1. DO NOT PANIC
Panic may be a natural reaction to troubles (I am fortunate to be clearheaded and energized when trouble comes) but it is never a good one. In fact, it makes the situation worse. Panic is driven by fear and ignorance and a lot of people find themselves in a worse situation than they originally were because they panicked. We may recollect that investigations after the Bomb-blast at the Ikeja Military Cantoment in 2001 revealed that more people died from panic driven actions than the bomb blast itself. We are already hearing of the deaths of people who panicked and took the wrong medicine in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
In times of crisis, do not yield to panic, take time out to assess your situation (you can do this in a split second), refuse to listen to the voices in your head urging you to take action- any action. If the danger is not immediate, clear your head, look at your different options and then take calculated steps. If the danger is immediate still have the presence of mind to think before you act.
2. GET RELEVANT AND APPROPRIATE EDUCATION
I am an avid reader and I am always amazed that with “Google” at one’s fingertip and the fact that all the information one needs is just a click away. ‘Allegedly’ educated people never get informed about stuff they are going through. They never read up, never ask questions, don’t look for second, third and even fourth opinions, never verify information they receive through simple checks, never acquaint themselves with their surroundings, daily medication- its use and side effects etc and seldom have a world view of issues. The saying that “what you don’t know wouldn’t kill you” is a big lie. What you don’t know has the capacity not only to kill but annihilate you.
When Mr Aisi was diagnosed, I read about multiple myeloma till I knew it in and out, I read about conventional and naturopathic medicine and was familiar with all the drugs and their side effects. In fact, all his doctors thought I had a medical background because I knew so much about the disease that when he died one of them asked what I was going to do with all the knowledge I had. I must, however, sound a note of caution, we must be careful about the source of our information, not all knowledge is beneficial or even helpful. We must be prepared to analyze, sift through and weigh the information we get.
3. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM TRUSTED, VERIFIABLE SOURCES
There is no point getting knowledge if you don’t obey it but guess what? A lot of us know what to do but don’t do it. A good example can be seen with the advent of covid-19. One of the main ways to stop the virus is to self-isolate especially when you have just returned from abroad but we are seeing people who know what to do but are not doing it either because they are irresponsible, foolish, selfish or have wishful thinking that they cannot be infected by the virus because of their beliefs or faith. When in a crisis, it is important that we follow the instructions of people who have gone through the same crisis and if the crisis is unprecedented as in the COVID -19 pandemic we should follow the proven experts in the field of disease control and not our colleagues, friends, WhatsApp chat admins or an unlearned and misinformed government official.
If for example you are on medication for an ailment, don’t play around with your prescription because you feel better, think you have faith, listen to someone who may or may not know what they are doing because you may end up harming yourself.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
The whole world is going gaga and rightly so and every second news about Covid -19 is being posted on social media, like I have said, it is good to be informed but there is the tendency to get fixated on the news; because bad news is easily spread, that’s what we get to hear more often and this in turn gets us anxious, frightened and fearful but we must take care not to allow all that we hear turn us into fearful freaks. The truth is things are not always as bad as they first appear to be. So even in the crisis, take time to care for yourself, analyze your thoughts, do things that make you happy- it may be as simple as reading a novel or listening to a song or watching comedies, prayer or meditation. Be more physically active, exercise does wonders for the body and brain, control your thoughts and disallow fear, anxiety, worry from having the upper hand by fixating on the positive. If like me, you tend to be a pessimist or realist ensure you meditate on the positives in the situation.
5. FIND THE GOOD IN THE CRISIS
‘Twas Napoleon Hill that said that “every seed of adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit”. When we are in the midst of adversity we most often cannot see the seed of equivalent or greater benefit and it can be very difficult yes nigh impossible to see what good can come out of trouble. But with the benefit of hindsight, many people have been able to look back at the dark times in their lives and seen the light. Sometimes we miss the light because many times it does not look like the good, it may not be spectacular like a miracle, nor bring us back to where we were before our lives were disrupted but there is good in every situation and it is our job to look for it and nurture it. Find it, it’s there.
6. TRUST THE PROCESS
Life is a process, good doesn’t come just because we wish for it however, if we follow proven guidelines it will come. Healing and growth of all kinds take time and perseverance. We must believe in the process and follow the instructions and as sure as day follows night our desired dreams will come true.
7. HELP OTHERS
This for me has been one of the best ways to get out of a crisis situation. I have found that in helping others I help myself. This is true in every situation I have found myself in marriage, sickness, grief etc. It doesn’t matter how little you may know; it will surprise you to find out that someone doesn’t have access to that little knowledge. When we help others, we become less self-absorbed and find that we are not as overwhelmed as before by our situation. Often times, we discover in helping others that our situation is often better that we thought it was and we will become thankful for what we have.
Finally, remember you may not be able to control your crises but you can control your response to it. Don’t let your fears defeat you.