Last few weeks have been one of the most challenging weeks for most of us with school closures, economic impacts, social distancing and adjusting to the uncertainty. I experienced a range of emotions anywhere from fear, stress to joy and gratitude. Like many of you, we had plans for spring break..to get away with family and explore a different city and culture. Well, none of that is now going to happen for this spring break. I could list a number of things that aren’t going as planned, as hoped... but I paused. I paused because I realize that this negative self-talk is not going to help me feel better or change the current circumstances. I paused to pivot towards the things that I can control and how I can positively react to these circumstances.
So, here are 5 simple practices that have helped me navigate through these uncharted paths..
It’s OK to be "Not OK"
Initially when the uncertainty of COVID-19 set in, I was in denial of my emotions and feelings. I ignored my feelings and didn’t let any negative emotions bother me. The end result was more fear and frustration. One evening, I took a break, sat with my emotions and let all the emotions pass through me. I took time to acknowledge the way I was feeling and for the first time I was OK with not being OK. It felt like a big rock being lifted off my chest; it felt refreshing.
Practice Social (virtual) Connections
Practicing social distancing is vital to flattening the curve and slowing the spread of this virus. However, make no mistake...social distancing doesn’t and shouldn't stop you from connecting with people and continuing to build social connections. Thanks to the technology and availability of free apps like houseparty, zoom, skype and whatsapp; it’s super easy to keep in touch and have virtual happy hours, workouts, dinners with friends and family. Honestly, this has been a life saver for me. We had a virtual wine down Friday with co-workers and it was nice to see everyone and catch-up. Connecting with my parents, extended family, friends and co-workers has provided a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.
It’s all about the perspective
In every situation we face, we may not be able to choose the circumstances and the outcomes but we can choose our perspective. I get comfort from choosing joy, gratitude and knowing that this too shall pass. Rather than focusing on things that we are losing (economical safety, stock market crash, face to face interactions, vacations); I want to focus on the positive side effects of this situation. My focus now is on spending time with family, getting creative with limited resources, growth/personal development through reading books, listening to podcasts and learning new skills. As an added bonus, kids are learning life skills and helping out more around the house!
Be of Service
I am grateful to live in a great neighborhood and community surrounded by wonderful people. Last week, my neighbor’s family took the time to clean up the common pathways and beautiful community walkways in our neighborhood. I have also witnessed several small businesses stepping up and supporting the local hospitals with sewing masks, offering their supplies of gloves, hand sanitizes etc. All of us are equally impacted by the current situation, however some are choosing to do what they can, with what they have, to support the community. Being of service in any way possible is not only good for the community but it is also good for our individual well-being. The sense of satisfaction that comes with being of service is immeasurable! Find those simple things to support others and in turn fill your heart with joy!
Time to reflect and redirect
In my first few blog posts, I shared my thoughts about finding purpose and building a vision board to put your dreams on paper. If you haven’t already thought about it, it’s a great time to hit pause and reflect on these topics. Check on your progress towards your vision and goals and redirect if needed. This is also a great time to focus on building high performance habits and a consistent routine. Check out my favorite Leading Yourself podcast on this topic.
What practices are you planning to incorporate during these turbulent times? How are you going to make the best of this current situation? How are you planning to be of service to others?
Let’s take small steps to make progress and not only survive but thrive during these challenging times.