• Gregory Johnson, PhD.

WE ARE GATEKEEPERS - Dr. Gregory Johnson

Updated: Jan 26, 2021


The coronavirus outbreak around the World has created a high level of uncertainty, stress, fear, anxiety and panic for many people. These EMOTIONS are your body's natural responses to a crisis and can become overwhelming. You may feel continuously in a state of high alert, Extremely protective of Yourself and Your Family. As the Parent this is natural, as You are the world's first and primary GATEKEEPER. You and every member of Your family may be responding or reacting to every new piece of information.

As THE Parent please pay attention to the amount of information Your Family is being bombarded with. Society is ripe for "information overload" in the wake of this global crisis.

Keep in mind that this deadly virus is largely unknown and much of the talk is directed to possibly treat SYMPTOMS not the virus itself because no one knows the construct of it.

Parents are PROTECTORS of their families. We address any symptom we see and feel may be harmful to anyone in our family.

Our suggestion is to follow the behavioral recommendations of "Social Distancing", wear masks as often as possible, reinforce the suggestion of self imposed isolation.

While it may seem a bit cruel to isolate someone in Your Family that may be ill or have symptoms, it may be a smart thing to designate a section or room of Your home for this person, with sufficient accommodations.

Love them for both their sake and Your entire Family.

So, what can you do to manage this stress, fear and anxiety in these very uncertain times? Here are some tips and strategies that I borrowed from an associate that may help you:

"Recognize, acknowledge and accept how you are feeling." Our EMOTIONS drive our CONSCIOUS & UNCONSCIOUS Mind and Behaviors. Allow yourself time to notice and express how you are feeling. Talk to others and share how you are feeling or write things down to make sense of your thoughts. Accept that it is okay to feel like this and it is your body's natural reaction to the circumstances. Once you recognise, acknowledge and accept how you are feeling you can start to think about the next steps.

"Focus on the things that you can control." There is a lot of uncertainty and there are many things outside of your control, including how long this will last, what the media are reporting, how other people behave and what the outcome will be. If you focus on things outside your control you will continue to feel stressed, fearful and anxious. Think about what you can control and focus only on these things e.g. your daily routine, your work, following the government guidelines, supporting your friends, family and neighbours etc. You may find yourself getting distracted but keep bringing yourself back to only what you can control. This will enable you to move forward more positively and feel more in control.

"Understand where you are." Take stock of your situation, understanding where you are with all aspects of your life including your work, business, finances, family, health, home etc. This will enable you to understand exactly where you are, understand the risks and be able to take decisions and action from a sound position.

"Plan the action you are going to take." Plan what you are going to do on a daily basis in your personal life and work, focusing on the areas you can control. You will need to be flexible with your planning as things may change as the coronavirus outbreak continues. Try and keep your planning shorter term so that you feel in control, this may be as simple as a plan as to what you are going today, creating your plan for tomorrow at the end of today. Having a plan for all areas of your life will help you feel more in control and calmer, as well as giving you something to refer back to.

"Take action and be decisive on the things you can control." When you are stressed and anxious it is very difficult to take action and be decisive, but taking action and being decisive will in itself calm you down. "Consciously THINK of Your EMOTIONS and the EMOTIONS of Each Family Member." Try taking small actions first to get started. By taking action on the things you can control you will start to feel much more in control and you will start making progress.

"Pay attention to the facts and limit exposure to news and social media." It is understandable to want to keep informed but constantly accessing the news and social media can unnecessarily intensify your stress and anxiety. Gather accurate information about the current situation from credible sources such as the World Health Organisation and Government websites. "The FACTS are oftentimes jaded by OPINION more than actual FACTS. Try to determine one from the other, because there is so much that is NOT Known, as related to the Coronavirus." Try and limit your exposure to the news and social media where there is lots of speculation and it is often difficult to ascertain the facts. Where you want to check the news, have set times in the day when you do so. By doing this you will reduce your stress and anxiety and allow yourself to focus on the things you can control.

"Follow government advice." The Government has recommended important actions to take to protect against infection and prevent the coronavirus from spreading that you should adhere to. Follow this advice as it will help to protect you and your family and the rest of society. "But DO NOT DISCOUNT - COMMON SENSE!!!!!"

'Stay connected." Stay connected with family and friends and your work colleagues and contacts. You may be working from home or not able to visit your family and friends but there are many ways to keep communication going. Connecting with each other has a powerful effect on helping you cope with challenges through talking, mutual support and reassurance.

"Support others." Everyone in society is going through this unprecedented situation will lots of uncertainty and restrictions on what you can and cannot do. Consider who you can offer help and support to. This should include your family first and then friends, neighbours, local businesses and your work connections. It may be a friendly conversation or helping someone with their shopping who is self-isolating. Helping others and knowing that those you care about are safe and cared for may help you feel less stressed and anxious.

"Take care of yourself." Some areas you may want to inventory may include: establishing a routine, doing activities you enjoy, exercising, eating properly, relaxation practices and sleep. Looking after yourself and family could have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings and if you are in good mental and physical shape you will be in a much better place to help others in your family and personal network.

"Manage and Embrace Our Emotions and Thinking." How you think impacts how you feel and behave and the way you think can cause you to make inaccurate assessments of your experiences, to get the wrong end of the stick, to jump to conclusions, to think the worst, to distort the facts and it can get in the way of your decision making. It is easy to create worst case scenarios but stop yourself and go back to just thinking about today. You may think that you have no control over your thinking but by noticing Your EMOTIONS and how they INFLUENCE what you are thinking and taking action on those thoughts you may be in a better frame of mind to make more clear decisions for Yourself and Your Family.

"Trust your Knowledge, Experience and Common Sense." It is easy to panic and forget to utilise all the knowledge and experience you already have. Remind yourself of the resources you have and trust your knowledge, experience and intuition to help you make the best decisions. Traditional Parent Learning has been a strong reliance on these factors. Under these circumstances, we should not abandon these natural resources.

Ask for help and support. If you are struggling to cope with the current situation whether at work or at home, seek help and support. Asking for help can not only provide practical assistance but also reassurance too.

Parenting is a FULL-TIME Leadership Position like NO OTHER! Use Common Sense for Your ENTIRE Family - they are looking to you for support, guidance and Leadership through this Unfortunate Experience in Time.

We, Global Parenting Network Family, will do ALL we can to help as best as we can. This is a MAJOR Challenge for each of us. As Parents, we are the builders of Character and Values; However, in times like these w

Common Sense and Quality Judgement are NEEDED!!!!!!!!

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