I pride myself on being an extremely optimistic person. The mentor. The motivator. It’s my purpose, and my mission in life. But I have to admit that lately, I have been on a ride that has me buckled in so tight, I can’t get off it. It’s bumpy. It’s scary and I kinda wanna barf. I’m calling that carnival nightmare, my soul sister, “the Coronacoaster.”
The Coronacoaster is that mish-mosh of different feelings ping ponging inside each of us. It’s something we as a society are experiencing on a collective level. No matter who you are, if you have breath in your body, you are undoubtedly feeling at least some of this: One day you’re filled with overwhelming gratitude standing in your kitchen baking cookies with your kids, hours of family time you may never get again. The next day you’re sitting in the parking lot of the supermarket, wearing a mask and latex gloves, crying hysterically while watching conspiracy theory videos and figuring out how to build a backyard bunker. Can we say Doomsday Prepper?
Urban Dictionary online defines “Coronoacoaster” like this: Coronacoaster. n. The feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, and helplessness surveying news and information concerning humankind’s possible demise from covid-19. I’d say that pretty much describes it. On top of all those feelings, I am in this self-induced holding pattern of nothing being certain. There is no “normal”. We cannot make plans. It is difficult to dream and aspire. No vacations can be planned. You can’t say where you’ll be in three months, never mind tomorrow.
Life as we knew it will probably never be the same—and maybe that is okay. Maybe this ride is teaching us some deep spiritual lessons. Don’t misinterpret that as me being negatively toxic or spiritually bypassing your very valid feelings. All I am saying is to hold on tight to the edges of your seat. Buckle up like a mofo and commit to ride this ride. Use these ten ideas to help the next part of this rollercoaster be a little less volatile and a lot more rich.
1. Celebrate the little wins
Celebrating the small wins enhances your motivation no matter what you do. It’s so easy right now to feel scared, overwhelmed and down on yourself. There is science behind this thought process though. When you accomplish something, it activates the reward center of your brain, allowing you to feel a sense of pride. More specifically, the neurochemical dopamine is released and energizes us with feel-good emotions. This chemical helps you to experience the feeling of getting rewarded, and can hook you on wanting to achieve even more. These modest behavioral changes will set off a positive chain reaction for even bigger developments later on.
So go out and get yourself a bottle of Vueve and toast yourself even if it’s just to the fact that you didn’t punch a baby or hit a kitten today.
2. Control your mind and your thoughts
“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.” – Earl Nightingale
If you are exposing yourself to toxic news, scrolling through social media endlessly, or if all the people you text with and talk to are obsessed with negativity, propaganda, and doom then your life will be just that—doomed. Limit your interactions with anything that puts you in a mood other than one that is empowered and forward-focused. We cannot blame anything outside of ourselves for the way we feel right now, not even a virus. The virus is in our minds right now and we must do everything in our power to pluck it out and then replace the empty space with love, happiness, and high vibrational thoughts of success, and the continued attainment of a worthy ideal.
3. Master yourself or be mastered
Mastering yourself means knowing what lurks around every corner within you. Take the time to take an honest look at why you feel frustrated, angry, sad, anxious, or any of the other unpleasant thoughts and feelings that occur. Then choose to tame what’s happening inside of you. Don’t get hung up on the belief that other people or outside circumstances are responsible for why you think and feel the way you do (if you catch yourself doing that, go back to number three). No matter what happens to us—even a global pandemic—we have a choice in our attitude. This is true mastery: choosing an attitude of resilience, surrender, and acceptance even under the most difficult, tense, or unfair circumstances.
4. Learn to serve, give value, and be of service
You are not the only human experiencing the Coronacoaster right now. By getting outside of yourself, and using the outstanding tools you already have to help others, you in turn help yourself. When I feel hella crazy and I want to throw in the towel the best thing that I can think of is to reach out to someone who I know may need a pick-me-up. I may go live on social media and do a complimentary sound healing or some kind of motivational moment. You don’t have to do the same; your offering could be to a child, a student, or a coworker. Maybe you help others by preparing a meal for an elderly neighbor. Hopping on a call with a coworker who is mentally struggling. Watching a friend’s child because she is an essential worker and has no childcare. However you choose to be of service, remember one thing: Karma is a boomerang. Whatever you sow you shall reap. So be someone who lends a helping hand and who is not part of perpetuating the problem.
5. Learn from adversity
Ask yourself this: What is the silver lining in this shitshow? For me there have been many. Mind you, asking yourself this question is going to make sunshine shoot out of your back end. It can help you for a brief moment to see the bright side of things. When you do, it begins to shift your internal energy from grey to light. Zig Zigler said, “Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life.” Now, Zig may have not experienced a global pandemic in his day but his words are true today. This too shall pass and we have to make sure we are not wasting our time sitting around and waiting for things to be different. This time on the Coronacoaster has broken me way out of my comfort zones and made me think outside the box in every way possible. Relationships. Business. Health. Happiness. What is this time teaching you?
6. Ask yourself how and who are you spending your time on and with
Wasted time is worse than wasted money. If you are spending your time with people and/or in situations that are not serving your highest and greatest good, is it really a worthy venture? I say no. So many of us are operating right now on autopilot. We’re just getting through the day. Just trying to survive. When you are in survival mode it can be really difficult to slow down for a moment and ask yourself if the time you are investing in other people or tasks is helping you live your dreams. So slow down homie and take a moment to ask: Are the things I am doing and the people I am doing it with helping me be the best version of myself at this moment? Whatever answer you come up with will guide in what to do next.
7. Control your environment
Your environment is a direct reflection of what is going on inside that melon of yours. This is a great time to clean. Tidy. Declutter. Organize and prepare yourself and your family for smooth sailing ahead. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything in one weekend. Just start with one drawer, one cupboard, one closet shelf at a time until your home and surroundings reflect the love, self-worth, and contentment that you should be feeling on the inside.
8. Take care of yourself first and foremost
Exercise and move your body every day. Nourish your body with high-performance food. Fast. Sleep and rest. Meditate daily. Take your supplements and vitamins. Hydrate. Take time for self-care. If your cup is full then you can top off anyone else’s. What more can I say?
9. Get dressed for the day even if you don’t have to go out
As quarantine stretched on, I began looking like the lady in Mary Poppins who feeds the birds. Remember her? My business manager and I made a vow to each other that every day we would get showered, get dressed, and put on a little lip gloss and at least a swipe of mascara. I started doing this and it instantly made me remember who I was before I decided to give my ticket to the evil carnie and step onto the Coronacoaster. Getting dressed and ready for the day shifted my energy. It made me feel strong and powerful and even more Ambitchious.
10. Strive for contentment, not happiness
We think that we should be happy 24/7. Here’s the truth: unless you have a severe mental illness or are taking some good-ass drugs you are never going to feel happiness all the time. The goal should simply be to feel a sense of contentment no matter where you are and what you are doing.
The problem with happiness is that it is fleeting and temporary. Contentment is far longer lasting and more permanent. I don’t know about you but I would kill for a little more permanence in my life, especially right now. I desire to have a long-lasting, deeper feeling of satisfaction, “enoughness” and gratitude. For centuries, we have been sold this bill of goods that being successful is about feeling happy all the damn time. That just isn’t a plausible reality not now, and in fact, not ever. If we strive to feel content every single day—even if that means being okay with not being okay—then isn’t that a pretty big win?
It is life’s stressors, dramas, hard times, deep pain and heartbreak that inevitably make us who we are. The Coronacoaster isn’t a fun ride, but in the end it will be worth the cost of admission and if we choose to live with intention and purpose, at the end of this pandemic we will be better. That is one thing I know for sure.