"Grip and Grow": A way to get through tough times

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    Reply # 9009954 on 8938176
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  • April 30, 2020 2:10 PM
    Message # 8938176
    Deleted user

    In these times we must, “Get a Grip and Grow.”

    One of the most difficult things to imagine is being out of our comfort zone. You may find yourself in a layoff, a downsize, or even isolated due to the coronavirus. Whatever the circumstances the mental battle that is about to take place in your body and mind might “rock your boat.”. Keep this in mind, "you are going to be ok." Remember "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen."

    As I have coach people through their difficult times may I suggest four ways you can keep it together? The GRIP and GROW Method, while you are seeking stability.

    1- Physical Health. As the potential stress builds up you will need an outlet. Even if you do not belong to, or want to join, a gym you can still get plenty of exercise. Consider the following avenues: Walking around the mall (during winter months) is a great way to get your steps in while listening to a podcast, sermon, or music. If this does not seem like a comfortable option, then map out a comfortable outdoor course or even hit the treadmill. Also, don’t forget to stretch, eat low-fat meals/snacks, and drink plenty of water. All of these things are simple helps to keep stress down and in control.

    2- Mental Health. You are not going to be able to avoid all battles of the mind during this time. So, prepare early and stick to a plan. Create a plan to learning or re-learning something you have a passion for during this "down-time". Daily learning can include reading a book, watching a "how-to" video, or even going back to school. In addition to learning, there is another part of mental health that we will talk about and that is "bringing your thoughts under captivity." Although this is tied to your emotional health, I wanted to mention it here because you will sometimes drift toward negative feelings, thoughts, and the dreaded "what-ifs"! Bringing your mind under control and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones will certainly be a game-changer. Mental growth during this time can actually lead to great creativity and passionate work if you dig deep enough.

    3- Emotional Health. Yep, here it is. The one we hate to talk about, but we all feel it. It's that moment of vulnerability that people hide behind because of the allusive "shame" it can seem to bring on. The reality is we all sometimes need help keeping a grip on what is reality and what is not; we also need to know it is ok to talk about these things with each other. Might I suggest the "emotional (replacement) bumper cars" verses the "emotional rollercoaster" option? We all know what it's like riding on the emotional rollercoaster; one minute (sometimes in seconds) we are up and then down, twisted this way and then that way. The "emotional replacement bumper car" is when we realize this is going to be "jolting" to our life, but we somehow put a smile on during the ride. I mean we can actually replace our negative thoughts with positive ones in a simple way to "ground" us in reality and keep things real.

    Lastly, and I am convinced most importantly,

    4- Spiritual Health. Hold on! Before you stop reading just hear me out and try it. By spiritual I mean to partake in a meaningful practice to help you root your life while possibly being "tossed to and fro" during this time. Reading the Bible, prayer, and serving others have made a huge difference for many people. For you, it may be meditation, yoga, fasting, or journaling. Spending time "growing your roots" it is going to help you get stronger and will help you with your overall outlook, some call this hope, others feel this builds our resilience. No matter how you view it, do it!

    This method is not the be-all-end-all, but I am certain it will help you get through your difficult time. In fact, try this;divide a blank piece of paper into fours. In one box put Exercise, in another Mental and so on until each box has one of the four helps in it. From there you can list some different ways you will fulfill that particular discipline each day. The more time you can spend in each box the better. Keeping in mind some days will require more attention to one discipline over another, that is ok. Be well, and keep going!



    • ·       Prayer
    • ·       Meditation
    • ·       Reading
    • ·       Serving
    • ·       Reading




    • ·       Exercise
    • ·       Stretch
    • ·       Breathing
    • ·       Walk
    • ·       Run
    • ·       Lift weights
    • ·       Yoga



    • ·       Logic
    • ·       Developing
    • ·       Creative thinking/writing
    • ·       Strategic Planning 
    • ·       Reading/learning
    • ·       Play


    • ·      Awareness
    • ·      Exacting/Controlling
    • ·      Directing and shedding
    • ·      Imploring/exploring

    Mark Bodanza is a 20-year law enforcement professional as well as the Pastor of a local church in the Tri-State area. He is an FBI-LEEDA Trilogy graduate and is a Union Leader 40 Under 40 Alumnus. He completed his CPM in 2016 and was the 2019 recipient of the Wilkerson Scholarship.

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