Use FEEL4 to get through COVID-19

First let me just say, I am thinking of you and your family at this challenging time.
What a difference a day makes ♫
The latter is an old saying, but wow how it resonates right now with regards to the COVID-19 situation for all of us. Every day brings with it huge global change and now more than ever the principles of FEEL4 are needed to get us all through it.

FEEL4 stands for four steps: FOCUS + ENERGIZE + ENGAGE + LEARN. So let me break down how they will help you cope with the daily challenges COVID-19 will send your way, but specifically the loss of a loved one.

Your FOCUS has never been more important. You should start to make yourself acutely aware (at all times) of what you are focusing on. One simple rule is, if you are starting to feel down and discouraged, you are focusing on the wrong perspective.

Let's focus on one real life example. I woke up feeling a little panicked. I have been noticing my anxiety has tried to grow since this all started. The biggest anxiety is the fear of losing a loved one. This fear can easily become a main focus from the moment I wake. Thankfully I have had years of FEEL4 practice now and so I have learnt to use the power of Yin and Yang and positive thinking strategies to flip the anxiety to something that feels easier to live with.

The moment I start to think I might lose a loved one, I instantly flip the negative thought of a "potential" death to the "actual" fact that right now, my relatives are alive and well. I fill my mind with one focus: *I am so lucky to feel such incredible love for them; it shows just how much I have been blessed to have had them and still have them in my life*.

Perhaps you have lost a family member to COVID-19 already? Maybe you are thinking: "How should I feel now my relative who I love has gone and I will no longer see them!?".

For those who have read the book you will already understand the principles of positive thinking and FEEL4 to be able to answer this kind of query. The reality is, all of us will have a different positive perspective to find, depending on our own unique situation. In the case of losing a relative, you have to tweak your feelings to focus on something positive that still resonates with you right now.

So for those who lose a loved one, think about the heartache you are feeling and realise that there is a GREAT reason you are feeling such pain. That immense tear jerking pain is called "LOVE" and guess what. LOVE NEVER DIES! Love connects and that means you are still connected to loved ones even if you cannot see them anymore to talk to. Focus on the many happy memories, ones at the time of them happening you may have thought weren't anything special. It may be you remember waking up every day and driving them somewhere. You may have hated the drive, yet now (with them gone) it makes you smile fondly and wish you were back in that moment.

The point is, if you can become aware of what you are focusing on and how you are feeling, you can start to colour your moments with a more positive outlook.

Oh I still understand. Words can seem so easy to write compared to the actual pain - but what is VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT for you to understand is what I am telling you is the key to happiness in any situation. No matter the situation you face you always have the power of CHOICE and you can always CHOOSE to focus on things that make you feel better. Those two words are the very catch-phrase of FEEL4: Feel Better!

And now let me bring you onto the second step. To ENERGIZE. Energizing is about enforcing your focus. So sticking with the scenario of losing a loved one, once you have adjusted a focus to be grateful of having known them and feeling the wonderful impact they have left you to carry on with, you should energize yourself with the power of the love you *still* feel for them. Use it to your advantage. Maybe you want to start a charity. Maybe you want to finish off some building work they were always on at you to do. Maybe you want to start a business that will make them proud. Whatever you want to do use the energy their life has given you to succeed.

Energizing is also about keeping yourself in a healthy physical and mental state. Again use their loss as fuel to workout in your home (if you cannot leave it). Set yourself a daily habit of working out. Ensure you also relax your mind with meditation, maybe you want to close your eyes and visualise what they would be telling you to keep going. Again if you are having these visualisations just make sure you are feeling positive. Of course, after you have naturally grieved (which you must do, that is not depression that is about digesting the loss) you should not be using such sessions to fuel depression and get into a downward self defeating spiral.

The third step is to ENGAGE. Just get stuck in as soon as you know what it is you have to do. List out what steps you need to take and do them! If you are self isolating at home then plan ahead. This is an opportunity to plan like you have never planned before. Use your innovative mind to be creative at what things you can accomplish at home. If you find you get stuck for things to engage with then don't be afraid to ask others for their advice. There has never been a better time to network online, or via the phone etc to ask people questions.

And finally the fourth step. To LEARN. You are always learning in life. There are more poignant lessons now than ever. Your lessons should be showing you a better way to do things. If you have, for example, set yourself a goal to keep fit and you find you have pulled a muscle, then learn to perhaps stretch before you work out in future, warm up your body, watch YouTube videos that instruct you how to train at home if you don't have any experience of exercising. Your lessons learnt should be helping fine tune all of the other steps to make you feel better every day.

I hope this advice helps you cope with COVID-19. I realise it may be hard to fully fathom the power of FEEL4 from this one post. FEEL4 can help you with any part of your life. You can use it to break down any situation you have and goal you want to succeed at. The only limitation is your mind.

We are all in this together and I feel this is a great opportunity for the world to come together. If we all think this way (make it our focus) then guess what, it will come true!

Author: Christian Jacques Bennett



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