45 Things To Remember When The World Gets Scary

A guide to getting through a tough time.

This isn’t the post I planned to publish today.

Today’s my 45th birthday and each year on my birthday I share lessons I’ve learned about life — for example, these 43 ways I’ve learned to make life easier.

But as we cope with a global pandemic, life certainly isn’t easy at the moment and my thoughts have turned to how to live in a world that seems out of control.

Here’s what I’ve found helpful to remember when the world gets scary…

  1. This isn’t the first time the world has been scary and it won’t be the last.
  2. The vast majority of people care. About people they know. About people they don’t. About you.
  3. Thousands of people have dedicated their lives to prepare for this moment and they will do heroic things even they don’t realize they’re capable of.
  4. Even if this “moment” lasts for six months, it will only consume about 0.5% of your lifetime when all is said and done. It may have an outsized impact, but it’s a blip on the radar in the big picture.
  5. Extend conversations that make you feel better, end ones that make you feel worse.
  6. There will be moments in your day when you do the same things you did before the world turned upside down. Let them remind you not everythinghas changed.
  7. Our leadership may be flawed, but it won’t determine our fate. We outnumber our leaders and we’re the ones who will ultimately lead us through to the other side. Have faith in the people.
  8. The worst of your fears are unlikely to come true and if they do, you’ll cope with them better than you imagine.
  9. The world has never been more prepared to deal with what’s happening — we have more collective knowledge, technology, and resources than at any time in history.
  10. Fear is easy. Hope is hard.
  11. Patterns bring comfort. When your daily routine is disrupted, create a new one.
  12. Everyone is feeling what you feel —we just each process it differently.
  13. Find something silly to do. Have fun. Laugh. Even if just for a moment.
  14. When this ends you’ll be a different person than you were when it began. Stronger. Tougher. Wiser. Better.
  15. The unknown is scary, but it’s not new. You’ve never actually known what was going to happen next— you just convinced yourself you did.
  16. Listen to the wisdom of older generations.
  17. Listen to the optimism of younger generations.
  18. Your words and actions influence how scary the world appears to those around you. Choose them wisely.
  19. Life is subject to change. Always.
  20. There are brilliant people working this second to solve these problems — and they will.
  21. The people who love you will be there for you.
  22. Be there for the people you love.
  23. No single thing caused this, there’s no single person to blame, and there’s no single action that will get the world out of it.
  24. It will get scarier. Brace yourself.
  25. The media is far from perfect, but the good it does greatly outweighs the bad. It’s not the enemy and we’d be in a much worse place without it.
  26. We may be in uncharted territory, but we’re about to chart it.
  27. There’s a reason this is happening. We may not know it and we may not ever know it — but there’s a reason.
  28. Look for the lessons. Learn them. Remember them when this is done.
  29. Music is always there for you. Go listen to your favorite album.
  30. There are heroes among us.
  31. No matter how awful the day may seem, it will end.
  32. Turn off the TV. Put down your phone. Disconnect.
  33. Someone you know is more scared than you. Helping them feel less scared will help you feel less scared.
  34. There are bright spots even on the darkest days — look for them.
  35. There’s something you can do to help. Find it. Do it. Repeat.
  36. It seems like a long time ago that things were normal. The moment we’re in now will soon seem just as distant a memory.
  37. No matter how sure you are it’s getting better, remember you might be wrong.
  38. No matter how sure you are it’s getting worse, remember you might be wrong.
  39. Fear brings clarity and reveals what matters most to you. Remember that when life gets back to normal.
  40. Do the best you can in any given moment and don’t judge your decisions based on their outcomes.
  41. Absorb your feelings. Accept them. Don’t fight them.
  42. You will physically feel the fear and anxiety. You’ll be sore. Tired. Your appetite will change. This doesn’t mean you’re not handling the situation — it means you’re processing it.
  43. Don’t be afraid to say no.
  44. You’re stronger and more resilient than you imagine.
  45. There will come a day that’s better than today. Maybe tomorrow.