How are you? Now that we are back to near lockdown conditions in Trinidad and Tobago and we are seeing a surge of Covid – 19 cases and unfortunately an increase in the number of deaths, I need to ask, “How are you?
I reflect on how 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 2021. 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 understand is that before we can pivot we need to be still.
Think of netballers or basket ball players.
When they get the ball they don’t move. One foot remains planted on the ground even as lift the other and turn. We need to be still before we can pivot .
You got to have a foot on the ground before you can pivot.
If you are staying still good for you, then maybe you are getting ready to oivot. You can’t 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 attending get togethers. Some of us are still having people over and some of us 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 you were before the pandemic, then you are resisting change.
Some 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 moving 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
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 admit that I am having a difficult time staying in one place. And I say to myself that it will soon be over.
2. 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 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 also assist you to deal with your feelings.
You can also chat with friends who understand.
With these 3 tips 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.
Which of the three tips can you apply in your life?
My intention is to fuel you leadership spark so that together we can change the systems that we live work and play within.