In a Time of Crisis, How Do You Take Control?

Yesterday I set out to write about how to take control in a time of crisis; how to turn the crisis into an opportunity and then seize the opportunity.

I really did set out to write that, but I didn’t. Instead, I ended up writing about my kids, and how they’re adjusting quite well to this odd new normal of:

  • School at home.
  • No playing with friends
  • No birthday parties
  • No Sunday dinners with my parents
  • No Wednesday dinner with my in-laws
  • Daddy at home all day
  • Mommy at work

But writing that makes a natural lead in to this. My kids are thriving because I screwed my head on straight and took back control over my emotions, my mental state, and my house. How did I do it? And more important, how can you do it?

Let’s try again.

HOW Do You Take Control?

The first step in taking control is framing. A negative statement is a road block, where a positive statement is a signpost. Any condition can be stated negatively, or positively. For example, one of my yoga teachers likes to say, “Don’t tell yourself you have a bad back, tell yourself you have a resilient back.”

Reframe the negative to a positive.

One of my boys loves baseball, but can’t throw very well, so he says, “I suck at pitching.” This is a negative statement, doing him no good and giving him an excuse to never be pitcher. I tell him to say instead, “I don’t throw as well as I want, so I know where I need to improve; I’m going to practice throwing.” A positive statement giving him a sign post on the path to improvement.

To take control, first reframe the negative into a positive. This isn’t a crisis where I’m stuck at home waiting for the world to end. It’s an opportunity to grow closer to my family, and to learn new skills so when it ends, I’m better prepared for the new normal.

How DO You Take Control

The next step is found the verb, “To Do.” You DO something.

So what are you going to do?

I began with breathing exercises to lower my stress and calm my mind. I was able to assess the situation more calmly, think of options and decide on a course of action. Over here I described a few of the things I’m doing during the crisis.

How Do YOU Take Control

You, YOU, YOU. You are the key. No one is going to give you control, you are going to have to take it.

  • You have to decide.
  • You have to take action.
  • You have to plan your path forward.

How Do You TAKE Control

Again, no one is going to give you control. You are not going to receive control, so you must TAKE control.

Assess your situation, find your options and take back control.

Start small, with a two minute breathing exercise, or a 10 minute walk. Find something in your control that you can work on and do it. You can’t control the world, but you can control your

  • diet
  • exercise
  • stress levels
  • connections to family and friends

Pick something and take control of it. Start small and build up; success begets success. One success, no matter how small, will improve your mindset, and help you to another.

In a world gone mad, control is impossible, at least control over the big stuff is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t control anything at all. So go inward, think, find one small thing that you can control and seize it. And then, build from there.