How are you doing reader? Now that we are back to near lock down conditions in some oarts of the world and seeing the surge of Covid cases and unfortunately an increase in the number of deaths. How are you? I reflect on how I felt in 2020.
I was nervous, I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t think., I was annoyed Every time someone said to me “Oh I attended a webinar “or “I am learning this and that,” I thought how annoying. I was restless I felt very confined. Days turned into night in a blur and I was not doing well.
This time in 2021 I am much better with the lock down situation even though the days are still a blur. I have been through 2020. I know what to expect and I have learned a few things.
**I have learned to be gentle with myself this time ** I am comfortable with this lock down. I know that there is nothing that I can do to change it and all is well in my world.
Its is a decision that I made, I survived 2020. Back then the idea of curtailed movement, masking and constant hand washing were very very strange Now my muscle memory has kicked in because I have done this before. My body and my brain have registered this event as something familiar. I no longer fear it, because it is no longer new.
Yes it still is strange and in some ways very familiar. I also notice that I am more hopeful than I was last year.
I have no inkling to return to the normalcy of pre-covid. I remain excited about the future, knowing that after the pandemic some things will have changed forever.
I accept that this is where I am. I would admit that at times, I watch myself to see if this is real or if I am pretending.
I know that some of you are not on the same page as I am and that’s ok.
In 2020, I was certainly not where a lot of my peers were. I ended 2020 really disliking the word pivot.
All around me people were saying pivot and I was like really. Instead of pivoting , I stood still. What most people don’t nderstand is that before we can pivot we need to be still. Think of a netballer or basket ball player. When he or she gets that ball they don’t move. They plant one foot on the ground and then they raise the other foot off thge ground and then turn. They stand still then they pivot . You got to have a foot on the ground before you can pivot.
If you are staying still good for you maybe you are getting ready to pivot. You cant move and pivot.
I’m sharing this to say to you that it’s perfectly ok if you are anxious and worried. I get that. It’s not easy for any of us. A lock down affects all of us.
Some of us are still having get togethers . Some of us are still having people over and some of us are are pretending that things are as they were before the pandemic hit. If you’re pretending that your life doesn’t have to change and that you can go ahead doing as your were before the pandemic, then you are resisting change.
S ome of us are keeping busy because we don’t want to stop and deal with the negative emptions that we may be feeling. And there are a lot. There is the depression, the frustration, the despair, the hopelessness a, the sadness and the fear It a lot
This is a difficult situation. It can take an emotional toll on you and we can’t run from the feelings
Think of it this way when we run away from a problem we are also running away from the solution.
We have to go through the difficult patch to emerge on the other side. Avoidance does not work We have to accept that this situation is out of our control and look for ways to enrich our lives even as the pandemic rages. We are all in pain and we don’t have to suffer because of it. Pain is a natural and inevitable condition for humans, and we can choose whether or not we will suffer.
I an inviting you to Acceptance. I am inviting you to make an active choice to allow unpleasant experiences to exist, without trying to deny or change them. Acceptance is a method of encouraging action that will lead to positive results. I am inviting you to sit with the unpleasant feelings, to be present with them and accept them. Let the sadness wash over you, you can take it. Cry if you need to. Feel the anger swell up in you and punch a pillow or yell into it. You can take it, Shake if you must, run if you must just feel it.
Believe it or not when you allow yourself to feel the feelings you will begin to be more comfortable with the feelings. Now that you have felt the feelings you can move beyond them by trying these three tips
Reframe We can't always change what we experience, but we can change how we think about these experiences. We can choose new ways of viewing the same situation. I like to make the reframe a game and wonder how can I look for what’s good or neutral about the situation. I say to myself, “I love to be out and about and I like breathing more. Instead of saying “I feel confined staying at home doing the same things day in and day out.” I admint that I am having a difficult time staying in one place. And say to myself that it will soom be over.
**Trust the process ** The more we fight against the restrictions they harder the disease will seem to rage and the more that we will feel hopeless and overwhelmed. None of us has the power to change the regulations nor can we change the fact that we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Look around the world, there are lockdowns every time there is a surge in cases. When we accept a situation and let go of our need to control we will feel l like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We have to embrace and make friends with the situation. We can move from feeling stuck and trapped into a place of recognizing "what is" and what can be done about it.
3**. Choosing Purposeful Action ** What actions can you choose to move forward in a positive, productive direction? We have to create the positive experience for ourselves. No one is going to do this for us. What is your daily routine? Does it contribute to building a positive experience? I journal how I feel most days. Speaking to a mental health professional or a therapist or a counselor can alos assist you to deal with your feelings. You can also chat with friends who understand.
I really want to support you to get through this difficult time. It’s not easy and it’s not impossible to get through this. It may sound silly but we can decide to accept the we are in a lockdown situation. We are not in a unique position this is happening all around the world, and my hope is that you get through it.
My intention is to fuel you leadership spark so that together we can change the systems that we live work and play within.
Leave your questions here
Hey sorry about the late response. I was just about to post an article on Loneliness and noticed your message. I understand this completely since the more that I stay away from people its the more that I do not want to reach out to people, I have a routine where every day I text someone and every day I talk to someone. Its a few people who I am comfortable with and I rotate them. Sometime its 10 a.m and I realize that I have not spoken to anyone for the day so I send someone a voice note. We need to stay connected. The anxiety will rise when we pick up the phone and we will feel as if we are bothering others. But once the other person picks up the phone we being to realize whew it s not so bad and we may even enjoy it. I hope this helps. It is a tough time and I write every day. Sometimes just to shout or sob on the page. I don't feel guilty for it because it's better the feeling comes out on a opalge than say within me. And always I remember to unclench my jaw, look around the room with a soft gaze and be gentle with myself, Hope this helps. Let me know.
Thank you very much for the article. The quarantine really took its toll on my mental health and contributed to the peak of my anxiety. Now I am adapting and actively trying to bring myself back to normal. Hope your advice will help me. But here's the problem, in addition to my own anxiety, I also realized that my fear and inability to communicate with people also increased to the limit. Please advise something that would help me get back into the system and get used to interacting with people again.