Solitude Survival Strategy #1: One Day at a Time

In this time of uncertainty, it's natural to feel wobbly. Try the Bifocal Approach to navigate these times with poise and grace.

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During this coronavirus lockdown, a lot of us are struggling with a perfect storm of emotions. Everybody is feeling it differently, but most of us are going through a mix of fear, uncertainty, and a general sense of disorientation as all the cards of our daily lives are thrown up in the air, and we have no idea how or when they are going to land.

How do we navigate these uncharted waters with poise and grace?

1.     Accept that there is little we can do to change our situation, but we can choose our response to it – so take your attention away from the things you can’t control, and put it on what you can control – namely, yourself. We can blame the virus, or the politicians, or our employer, but what makes us feel comfortable or uncomfortable is our own thoughts, and these, ultimately, are our own responsibility.

2.     Make a conscious choice about who you want to be in this situation. Think of who you were when you were at your strongest and most resourceful, or think of somebody who inspires you, and identify three traits that you want to embody every day – maybe something like courage, creativity, and calmness. You won’t be perfect – nobody is – but now you’ve created a vision of what you’re aiming for.

3.     Take it one day at a time. I know that if I get too far ahead of myself, I start to panic. But we just don’t know what will happen, and worrying about it in advance doesn’t help.

I call this the Bifocal Approach. Through the top half of your metaphorical lenses, keep your eye on the end point of that strong, resourceful person you intend to be, and through the bottom half of your lenses, focus on right here, right now, and the next tiny action you can take to be that person. And don’t spend too much time thinking about what might happen between those two points. It’s unknown, and unknowable.

 There’s only one way we’re going to get through this… and that is one day at a time.

Roz Savage

Author, Speaker, Coach, Founder, The Sisters

Roz Savage is an expert in courage, resilience, and mindset, drawing on her experiences as the most prolific female ocean rower in history. She has rowed – solo – across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, spending over five hundred days and nights alone at sea, often many hundreds of miles from the nearest human being. Inspired by the coronavirus pandemic, her latest book, The Gifts of Solitude, shares her coping strategies for dealing with fear, helplessness, disorientation and self-doubt. When you can’t change your circumstances, you have to change your perspective. The author of Rowing the Atlantic, and Stop Drifting, Start Rowing, she is completing a doctorate in Yin Leadership for Tumultuous Times, and writes, lectures, and speaks on equality, sustainability, personal development, psychology, politics, and economics. She also serves as a coach, adviser, and consultant on issues relating to the future, sustainability, and the empowerment of women.


Go to the profile of Sharon Bissett
almost 2 years ago

Love this, that first point seems to be directed at me! Obviously many others too.