COVID-19: How We Can Process a Game-changer
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus (COVID-19), has thrown the world an unexpected curveball, struck us out and forced us all to sit in our collective bleachers wondering what happened.
We’re facing lots of change at once and that means a lot of loss
COVID-19 has affected life as we know it and there seems to be no definitive end. This is definitely a time of great change and uncertainty. For some who continue to work or who are used to working from home, it is less jarring. However, I know for others it is a time of great concern. Change typically comes with loss. In this case, it may be the loss of a job, loss of our health, or the loss of a loved one. Even with positive change, we can experience pangs of what was.
We all deal with change differently. Some manage change by “motoring through” it as if nothing happened, perhaps not wanting to examine their feelings; whereas others experience grief or anxiety and have a difficult time getting through each day.
Based on what I have been hearing and reading both groups are feeling they are not doing enough. They feel lost or unproductive. The thing is, you can’t possibly expect to have the same level of output or more when the reality is there is a different reality: a reality of blurred work and life boundaries or a whole new routine.
One way to process all this change
Restrictions such as social distancing can make us feel more disconnected or overwhelmed and that is typical. Restrictions are losses by definition and may have unhealthy ramifications. However, it can also breed unexpected freedoms like going for more walks (just remember to stay two metres apart from others or whatever the local guidelines are), connecting with telephone and video calls, focusing on your well-being by enrolling in an online course (it was reported that 1.3 million people were enrolled in the Yale University online course entitled: The Science of Well Being), or becoming resourceful.
These freedoms can bring relief and unanticipated benefits. Speaking of relief and benefits, here are additional ways to help you deal with this change and develop well-being:
· Acknowledge and honour your feelings during this time and journal it out if it helps.
· Try to establish some routine if it helps (usually it does), including family time, partner time, and/or alone/restorative time.
· Stay connected. Explore Zoom, FaceTime or other social platforms for face-to-face conversations. Numerous studies show that community is important for good health, even if it’s virtual.
· Move your body, whether through walks, dance or an embodied practice like yoga.
· Give yourself permission to process.
Processing is important when it comes to change. Perhaps this is a sign for us all to slow down and pay attention to what’s important (to keep our “eye on the ball”). There can be a lesson here or not, that’s up to you.
This could be a chance to reevaluate our goals and values - may be even replacing our fast-paced life with a simpler, more sustainable one. We can take aspects of what we learned from our distancing/quarantine time and integrate them into what may become our new regular routines when this is over.
All I know is that change can be a good teacher when it's processed in a healthy way. It reveals the gains and gaps in our lives. We can turn our loss of control into a feeling of empowerment. It all comes down to how we embrace it.
I hope you choose to embrace whatever change has come your way so that you can “get back into the game” a better you.
Ps. If you are feeling uncertain and would like guidance during this time, please contact me for a Get Acquainted Call to see if I can help. I am also introducing a 12-week group coaching program at the beginning of May, at a special rate, that will include strategies to cope, how to make the best of the situation, exercises to get clear on your needs, values, and goals as well as discuss next moves.