I had all kinds of ideas for this week. Crisis management. Remote work. Risk Management. But seriously, who wants to read that stuff this week? It’ll wait.
Right now, just about everyone I know is feeling anxious – about COVID19, about kids being out of school, about being laid off, about working at home, about family members, about no sports, about testing and on and on. And it’s contagious so even if you wouldn’t usually be anxious, you are.
Let’s talk about how to cope. First of all, acknowledge the feelings. Running from them just makes them stronger. But then separate what’s real from what’s uncertainty. Then make a plan for what’s real. The uncertainty is going to be with us for a while.
How to live with uncertainty? Here are some ideas. Would love to hear yours, too.
1) Breathe. Really, take a deep breath. Expand your abdomen and fill your lungs. And put your shoulders down. They have nothing to do with breathing. Now do it again, to a count of four as you breathe in. Hold for four, exhale to a count of four, hold for four and repeat. * It is called counted breathe work or the box. It’s a technique taught to Navy Seals. Need a prompt to help? Check out this video.
2) Gratitude. I make a note every day of what I am grateful for. It helps me remember what’s good, helps me focus on others, helps me settle. And it’s backed by science as a way to reduce stress. Today it’s about having a balcony to step out on while at home, a job that I can easily do from home, and that I like to cook. Sometimes, it’s about the sun, or the laughter of a little one, or indoor plumbing, or A/C in the summer and heat in the winter.
3) Wins. In addition to tracking what I’m grateful for, I note wins every day. Sometime they are big, like winning a contract or a productive meeting. Today, it’s that my tips on working remotely and supporting those that do, has been useful to others a great planning meeting and that I took some time for art. Ok and some days, it’s I made it to midnight, or didn’t yell at anyone. But most days, there is something that went well and right. Need a reminder of ways to successfully work remotely? Check me out on WUSA9.
The idea of gratitudes and wins is more than in the moment. It’s that it leaves a record to look back on when it’s tough.
A few more ideas – exercise, drinking enough water, getting enough rest.
What works for you?
Have a good week, wash your hands, clean your surfaces, keep your distance, and stay connected,