Below is a short discussion inspired by Episode #4 of Brené Brown's Unlocking Us.
A new world requires a new way of thinking. We can shift from a short-term way of coping to more long-term solutions by clearing our thoughts, checking in with our loved ones, and empathizing with ourselves and others.
In this episode of Unlocking Us, Brené Brown tells us how we can help our minds, our loved ones, and our communities settle into the new normal.
- Avoiding news overload. Hearing bad news is stressful, especially when we constantly consume a lot of it. We can find clarity and calm within us by limiting our news intake.
- Cooperating within our families. When everyone is feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, a Gap Plan can help address pressing fears and make each other feel better. We can work together to get everyone’s energies up and collectively get to 100%.
- Empathizing with ourselves. When we deny ourselves emotions because other people are suffering worse, we breed shame within ourselves instead of empathy towards others. When we empathize with our situation, we multiply our empathy and have the capacity to direct it to others.
We can cope with the pandemic and settle into the new normal for the long term by first focusing on ourselves. When we get to a point of less anxiety and more clarity, we can strengthen familiar relationships by complementing contributions and energies. Once we have addressed ourselves and our relationships, we can also empathize and help others.
the distilld lessons
These are the distilld lessons from Episode #4 of Unlocking Us.
We are reacting to the pandemic as events unfold instead of coping for the new normal in the long-term.
Trying to be informed of as much news as you can harm instead of help. When we’re bombarded with news, it’s harder for us to process the information.
People’s energies are not designed to be constantly consistent. In relationships, be prepared to give more, but also allow your loved ones to fill the gap when you’re not at 100%.
If your family is collectively struggling, create a Family Gap Plan—a set of rules to help each other feel better and address everyone’s anxieties.
Just because other people have it worse doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel bad about your own struggles.
You can empathize with yourself and empathize with others. Empathy doesn’t run out, it it multiplies.
When we compare our struggles with others, we breed feelings of shame. This keeps us from empathizing with others because we’re too busy feeling ashamed.
Empathy with ourselves help us empathize with others. When we understand our struggles and acknowledge our feelings are valid, we can extend the same to others.
- Limit information intake. Keeping tabs on every crisis will do more harm than good. Instead, limit yourself to one or two news sources as well as how frequently you consume news.
- Contribute complementary energy in relationships. Work to build your family or your relationship to a collective 100%. This doesn’t mean equal contribution from every member. Contribute more if you have more, or allow your loved ones to contribute more if you don’t feel you can.
- Build a Family Gap Plan. Create a set of rules to follow when you and your loved ones can’t get up to 100% together. These rules should help everyone feel better, as well as seen and heard.
- Don’t compare suffering. It’s okay to feel bad about your own problems. Just because other people are having a worse time doesn’t mean your own struggles are invalid.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.