‘The darkest hour is just before the dawn’ wrote Thomas Fuller in the late XVIIth century. Boy, was he right!
As we heard the news about the vaccine, which may offer glimpse of hope for us and the world, suddenly lots of us are asked to stay home again and lockdowns are re-imposed in many places. This sucks really bad as after 9 months of navigating the unchartered ocean of emotions while living, working, parenting, loving, hating, fearing, not/enjoying life from home, we simply have no more energy, will, mental and/or physical capacity to cope.
I thought I would share three tips I offer my clients, colleagues and friends (and myself) whenever asked how to cope now.
- Go back to meaning. Why are you doing this?
Reminding ourselves about the purpose of that request and our contribution to the bigger picture is something we need to do in order to reframe how we perceive this situation. You are asked to stay home to protect others, protect yourself, save lives. This is an important reflection, which may help you reframe from me-centered ‘Why are they doing it to me?‘ to ‘How am I helping others?‘ Remember, you can’t change the situation, you can only influence the way you react to it.
2. Look back and use the skills/tricks which helped you before. If none of them did, try simple new ones.
What helped you during the first time? Was it having morning routine or maybe regular chat with a friend? Use the same tricks this time, as they work for your brain. If none of them worked, try new ones. I always recommend simple ones- breathe (close your eyes, breathe for a minute and count), walk (if possible 15-30min outdoor), meditate (if you are patient, I am not, lol), jump/run ( jumping or running down and up the stairs can release a lot of tension and stress). The goal is- You can do something, just try and apply what works for you.
3. Repeat every day – This shall pass.
We know this is not going to last forever. 2021 will bring improvement and hopefully end of that pandemic. As with every discomfort, the awareness of its finite character and certain idea of the end date help you navigate it. So remind yourself that every day, or more often if needed. Because when 2021 arrives, you will be busy with ‘new year, new me’ planning, but that’s a completely different subject.