Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of much needed positivity with you. A mentor once taught me the equation E + R = O (Event + Response = Outcome). Although we do not have the ability to change the event that we currently face, we get to choose our response.
Our response to today’s events will affect the way we feel and those closest to us. Our responses affect the way our family feels and may view today’s challenges. Our most dominant thoughts are seeds that we spread on others…Do you want to be a fear spreader or a hope spreader? How do you want to be seen? Do people “feel better” after being with you?
All human beings share the same six basic needs. They are Growth, Contribution, Significance, Variety, Certainty, Love and Connection.
The current state of affairs could feel uneasy because it may be perceived as a threat to our six basic needs. Or, we may need to shift our perspective to see how the current situation may actually serve us. Tony Robbins says, “Whatever we focus on we feel”. So what are you choosing to focus on?
Allow me to briefly share how we can all meet our six basic needs at this time:
1) Love and Connection: This will be the easiest of six needs to meet right now. In fact, when we look back on this time, this may actually be the silver lining. We’ve been living in a period of hurriedness, long work days, distraction and often disconnection due to technology and demands on our time. Take advantage of the slow down. Put your phone down and really connect with your family. Play games, go outside, watch movies, bake, make photo albums, start a garden. Hug them, tell them that you love them.
2) Contribution: Current events may have pulled us away from our volunteer of contribution activities. There are just as many ways to contribute now more than ever. Certainly we can all make an “extra” donation to a charity of our choice. We can also offer to go to the store or run an errand for a parent or senior. We can donate food to the food bank or adopt a family in need. There are so many in need right now and so many ways you can meet their needs and your basic need to contribute. We are all in this together and we must take care of each other.
3) Significance: During times of uncertainty, true leadership emerges. Anyone can lead when everything is going well. People need leadership now more than ever. It may be your family, employees, congregation or neighbors. Choose to be a leader by setting the “tone” of positivity for those around you. “Spring always follows Winter”. This will end. People will remember how you showed up during this crisis and that is “significant”.
4) Certainty: This is the human need that gets affected the most during a period of “uncertainty”. We all need to know that, “everything is going to be ok.” How do we create certainty for ourselves and our families when we simply do not know some of the answers? First off, focus on the “facts” and what we do know. Choose what you focus on. “Stand Guard” and protect your mind from the negativity that can gnaw at it. By focusing on established facts, positive messaging and not opinions on Social Media” it provides solid footing.
We can also control what we can control. What do we always have control over? Ourselves. Our thoughts and behaviors. This is why so many people bought toilet paper at the start of the Pandemic. It provided people with a sense of control and certainty which has a psychological payoff. Here are some actions that we can do to create certainty. We need to have the same routine every day, especially if we have the kids home. Get up, get dressed, make the bed, eat breakfast, get the house/school work done and then go have fun.
We need to show up consistent and dependable with our moods and our words. We all need to use this time to take care of our health. This will definitely help meet this human need. If we have a daily exercise routine, make good food choices, take our supplements and get adjusted it will provide you with a sense of certainty. We will feel that although, we do not know what will happen “out there”, we certainly know we are taking care of “in here”.
5) Uncertainty/Variety: There is no shortage of uncertainty right now, but it’s not the type we particularly care for. As humans, we have a need for variety and unknowing. This is why we enjoy watching movies and sporting events since we do not know the outcome. During a time of “social distancing”, we will quickly feel that our “variety” has been taken from us. Here are some ways that we can create variety in our lives. Brainstorm with your family a list of “different” activities that you can do in the next two weeks. Change your workouts regularly and frequency. Perhaps, you start something new that you’ve been meaning to try. A new workout, a new book, yoga, pilates, painting or a hobby. There are countless ways to create variety and quell boredom.
We can find variety by tapping into our creative side which can be quite healing during these times. My wife is an Art Therapist and I’ve personally witnessed the power of creativity to reduce stress, provide comfort and allow people who have neglected their creativity to tap back in. If you want more information check out her website Wild and Free Painting.
6) Growth: Today’s events give us a significant opportunity to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. A disruption in our schedules and routines gives us an opportunity to read the book or take the online course that we’ve been meaning to get to but have been too busy. Many of us have projects and goals that have been set aside for another time. This is the best time to get started. Just imagine the sense of accomplishment that we will feel when have that project started or completed. We have a unique moment to learn something new and grow ourselves.
Many people will turn to their faith and spiritual practices as a healthy coping strategy. Let’s use this time to practice our individual faith, practice or learn how to meditate.
There has never been a bigger incentive than right now to “grow” our physical health. We know that people who have comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac and pulmonary diseases are most susceptible to a poor outcome in the unfortunate event they contract a virus. This should not be the time to sit on the couch watching movies and consuming calories. Instead, we must take advantage of the extra time to raise the level of our health.
There are simple steps that can be taken in just 3-4 weeks to lose weight, lower blood pressure and effect blood glucose levels. There are also well documented “immune-boosting” behaviors that can be done at home. Dr. Tasmin Cordie and I have started sharing these tips daily on our Facebook page. You can also check out Dr. Cordie’s Immune Talk https://youtu.be/qWQUhpkepys and 10 Research Studies in Chiropractic and Immunity https://getwellnj.com/immunity/.
Now is a great time to make sure that you have a chiropractor and nutritionist/function medicine doctor who can guide you on lifestyle recommendations. Thank you for allowing us to create a little respite of health and positivity for your to come to for care.
Stay Well and Stay Positive,
Dr. Arbeitman 🙂