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Trying to control COVID-19 uncertainty through stockpiling

We find ourselves in unprecedented times where no one knows the outcome of the situation we are now living through. Our routine has been significantly disrupted and a new social protocol has made us feel distressed and worried about our jobs, financial security and the health of ourselves and our loved ones. We are struggling on all fronts.

How do we manage and protect ourselves from the onslaught of this pandemic? It is a situation we have no control over. We do not feel safe, we worry about not having enough food and other basic necessities, and of course we fear contracting this virus, falling ill and worse case scenario not recovering. We feel utterly at a loss and cannot control the situation and its outcomes. The psychological consequence of these sudden drastic changes to life as we know it is panic. We channel this negative energy into stockpiling anything and everything. As long as we have the means and access to goods we can engage in this buying frenzy to distract us, numb our feelings, or regain some sort of control. However, this can only be sustained for so long, and as the empty shelves testify it is quickly running its course.

What do we do when the supplies run out, when food and supply rationing kicks in? Already, the most vulnerable in our society have even less than before with food banks running low. Staff in the service industries working up to exhaustion to help and support us, our families, friends and colleagues in need, have themselves families to feed and found empty shelves devoid of any sustenance and nourishment to keep them going.

Trying to control uncertainty through stockpiling is not the way forward and does not have to continue. We do have a choice over how we respond to challenging situations. Knowing you have a choice on how you respond and allowing you to make informed decisions puts you back in control. To access this space, you need to find a way to calm uncertainty and move beyond panic. This can be done in four steps:

1. Recognise what is going on

2. Allow the experience to be there just as it is

3. Investigate with kindness

4. Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with this experience

Take a mental break, find a quiet space and give yourself some psychological sustenance by listening to the meditation below.

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