We are all going through fast, rapid change and high uncertainty. Some of the challenges we face are the biggest we will ever face in our life times. I myself have felt on the edge of so many things falling apart – yet I know with 100% certainty- and yes I mean 100% that when EVERYTHING around you feels crazy the only place you can go to find strength and a way to navigate through is by using and building your inner strength. And, yes, absolutely – you can do that through the 7 skills – listen to the bonus podcast now for how
… and you can also use this time as an opportunity to reset and refresh. It may not seem that way at first. Right now, perhaps everything seems really chaotic as you juggle working from home, childcare, your health, possibly – like me – your loss of work. Right now, you may be grieving (yes, grieving) the new state our world is in and reeling from the shock of it all. Because the world we live has changed fundamentally, no matter where we are. I believe we are all going through grief stages in a way and these stages are not linear.
You will be going on a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment of up-and-down emotions – sometimes feeling dread and anxiety and other times finding some happiness and calm in the middle of it all. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be anxious normally, you will experience moments of it and if you are prone to anxiety, you’ll be feeling it even more strongly.
In terms of the stages of grief there is a structure to it which can be helpful to consider. Remember you’ll be experiencing these stages at all different times: There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: “This virus won’t affect us. It’s happening somewhere else, far away..” There’s anger: “You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. I’ve had to cancel my holidays. I’ve lost my job. My income has dropped.” There’s bargaining: “Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? I can do that – hey, wait a minute – it may be longer than that. I’ll work out a plan and it will then be ok.” There’s sadness: “I don’t know when this will end. I am despairing because I can’t see my loved ones and my freedom is gone.” And finally, there’s acceptance. “This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed. I have to integrate this experience into my new way of living. My life is changing and I am changing too.”
Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance: “I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually. I can volunteer to help others. I can learn new skills. I can start a different business. I can exercise online.” And on the list might go of the things you CAN now do, choose to do- in the midst of uncertainty and fear….
With acceptance comes that opportunity to reset and refresh. These photos are of my morning walk today – we are allowed to have 1 hour of exercise a day. It made me think of improv games, such as we used to run on our workshops. In an improv game you have quite strict restraints. Having restraints allows you be creative and resourceful and makes it easier for your brain to tap into this. I can choose to spend that one hour any way I want to in terms of exercise outdoors – I can cycle, I can walk, I can run. I choose to make this a regular morning walk with the dogs at the same time every day. So actually I’ve created even more restraints myself!
What’s magical though is that this one hour at the start of the day gives me time to reset and refresh. In many ways I am reinventing my business and in other ways I am embarking on doing things I have always wanted to do: “How can I refashion my face-to-face sessions into GREAT online content? What other things do I want to do with this extra time that I have? How can I help other people around me? What are great ways for me to become and stay fit and healthy and boost my immune system?”
I’d like you to try and do the same – once you have reached a stage of acceptance (recognising it WILL come and go – believe me, I am NOT Zen all the time!!) – use this time as an opportunity – what are some things you have always wanted to do? What are other ways you might be able to earn money? What new business could you start? How are you taking care of yourself?