So, after a month of political turmoil since the referendum, are we any clearer? What does the exit mean on a personal level?
What’s done is done, and now each of us faces a choice, whichever way we voted. We have the choice to sit back in the darkness, cowering in fear while we wait for the changes. Or we can choose to adapt and make the future work, no matter the consequences of Brexit.
And this is what this post is about – making the choice to adapt with grace, and being determined to make the future work for yourself. It’s about being emotionally intelligent and resilient, so that you can live life with joy, no matter what it throws at you.
Choose to go through Brexit with resilience and emotional intelligence
What does Brexit mean for you?
When something happens to rock your world, you can “fight or flight”.
- ‘Flight’ meaning, you can avoid thinking about it, or dealing with it; burying your head in the sand, so to speak. The most common symptom of this behaviour is to be in denial, and use “things” to help avoid internalising it, such as drugs, alcohol, retail therapy, food, and so on. While it may be beneficial to use this coping strategy for a little while, it’s not a good idea to keep going with it, or use it too often. This method contributes nothing to any solution.
- ‘Fight’ meaning, facing it head-on and finding solutions to problems. It’s planning or taking action to tackle something fixable. This is the method which most works in any circumstance.
While emotionally intelligent people – resilient people – may initially use the “flight” strategy, they tend to eventually make their way to the “fight” instead; taking the bull by the horns and tackling it.
These people are the ones who are going to bounce back from Brexit, whatever their circumstances. And the good news is that even if the flight strategy is your usual way of coping with stress, you can change that. If you decide to.
So from a practical point of view, if we’re to face Brexit head-on, what can we expect? I went searching for answers about Brexit from The Guardian, Independent, Spectator UK and CNN. This is what I found:
Although there is much speculation, what comes across most strongly in all the information, is that nothing is certain.
Everything said and speculated about at this moment, is simply hearsay.
If you are feeling stress over Brexit for a particular reason, there will be many more just like you who are feeling the same.
My advice? Just take a chill pill. It’s not the end of the world. There are many, many people’s futures that will need to be taken into account, so you are not alone. Your situation is not unique. And that’s a good thing.
Be careful who you listen to. Don’t give anxiety a foothold in your mind…
Mastering resiliency during Brexit
As you will have seen over the last few weeks, speculation is rife, facts are scarce. At this point, the negatives and the positives of Brexit cannot be identified. So we need to learn to “ride the wave” and accept a new level of uncertainly as the norm. Who knows, it could be fun!
Resilient people experience trauma, pain, sorrow, and setbacks, but they bounce back. And conquer. You can too. If you’ve never coped well with change, and you haven’t learned it through circumstances, then you can learn to master it. And with Brexit, now’s as good a time as any…
Here’s how to master resiliency, and emotional intelligence, while you go through the Brexit process:
- Don’t allow yourself to listen, or become panicked from, all the negativity surrounding Brexit. Focus on facts, not speculation.
- Actively work on seeing the positive side of Brexit. Look for information about the benefits of the change.
- Plan and take action on what you have control over.
- Be kind to others. If your vote was to remain, be kind to those whose vote was to leave. Don’t blame them. Show kindness in other situations besides the EU referendum stories.
- Volunteer to help somewhere. Studies show that those who help others tend to be more resilient.
- Take care of yourself. This means eat healthily, exercise, get enough daily sunlight, and be sure to have fun.
- Find reasons to laugh. Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. Limit the time you spend with people who make you feel negative.
- Practice positivity. When you catch yourself feeling negative, or speaking negatively to yourself, halt it. Force yourself to find something positive about whatever you’re thinking about negatively. In time, it will become a habit.
All in all, what your aim should be in this time of Brexit, is to take care of yourself (you’ll be surprised how healthy food can make you feel happier), become more optimistic in your thinking (you will need to practice being optimistic), reaching out to help others, and practicing positivity.
I don’t expect you to have mastered the art of resiliency just by reading this post, so I want to leave you on a positive note…
And I’ll let Britain’s own people do that:
When asked about how he feels over Brexit, Timothy Stanley, who writes for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, said, “…it’s particularly thrilling that so many people chose risk and freedom over the promise of stability.”
It really is astounding when you consider that most people are very resistant to change.
And there’s Simon Cook, leader of Canterbury City Council, who says, “We can celebrate, we can complain, we can worry – and then we roll our sleeves up and make this work. It’s what we do.”
Make Brexit work for you, even if you were on the “stay” side of the fence.