Dear friend,

The past few months have tested our hope and positivity like never before. Many of us feel physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and occupationally vulnerable. Every day brings a new concern or an expanded version of the previous day’s concern.

I am struggling like you are. Sometimes, I wish much of this was a dream. But it isn’t a dream. And many of us have to make a sense of it all, not only for ourselves but also for the little ones (our children) we support and love. So, losing hope, courage, and inspiration is not an option. Maintaining our well-being is critical to fighting the virus and every other threat.

I am using the ZiZo practice to decrease my stress. ZiZo (Zoom in Zoom out) has two parts — Zoomed-in presence and Zoomed-out perspective.

Zoom in to engage fully with this moment. Connect with friends and loved ones. Draw strength from people close to you and provide strength to those who feel vulnerable. Plan at least one random act of kindness every day. Work on your personal wellbeing and improving your immunity.

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Zoom out and plan for the long-term. How do you want to spend the next summer? Started planning for Christmas yet? Look at the role models who had greater difficulty than many of us, yet made the most of their situation — the likes of Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Harriet Tubman. Think of the story you want to tell of these times 10 or 20 years from now. Will it be a story of fear or courage?

A combination of zoomed-in presence and zoomed-out perspective might give you the skills and the mindset to better manage stress, and life.

Also, do not forget that you aren’t alone. We are a family, stronger together by our care and compassion for each other.

Take care.

Amit

Dr. Amit Sood answers your questions about stress, resilience, happiness, relationships, and related topics in his column. Email dearfriend@postbulletin.com.