Riding out the pandemic in a work from home world It seems the world around me is just plain mad. Politics, the pandemic, the pandemonium over a faltering economy, injustices towards blacks, police brutality, and having to wear uncomfortable masks. I feel it. My clients feel it. We all feel it.
We are fatigued, many are hurting, we don’t have satisfying answers, and we are confused with what the future will look like. At the very beginning of the 2020 shelter in place, Dr Nogales, a clinical psychologist, offered 6 emotional stages experienced at different times during chaotic situations – such as the current pandemic presents. The two stages most present now seem to be confusion and anger.
Perhaps because we are all receiving completely different messages from political leaders (which fuels the confusion and anger) while the medical experts are remaining steadfast in their recommendations for mask wearing and physically distancing from one another (prompting more fatigue). People are torn for many different reasons – their own political party preference or their personal experience with protecting their health or both.
Me? I prefer following those who have spent their lives working with infectious diseases. When my life, and the lives of others around me, depend upon not getting sick – I seek out the experts, not the politicians. Which puts me working from home along with millions of others who are experiencing the chaos of the unknown too. Our futures are unknown and the anger and confusion do not help.
How do we counter all the negative emotions?
The mental and business experts offer that to handle anger and confusion, as well any anxiety, depression, or malaise experienced due to isolation or the unknown future – the 3 most optimal things you can do is take time to:
1) appreciate others and anything that is currently going right in any way – to help your brain rebalance 2) affiliate with those who can help you feel informed, included, or are on the right track to feel whole and productive 3) be aspirational in moving forward towards a desired goal
The bottom line – control your feelings by choosing appreciation, who you spend time with, and what you want to work towards. Your actions will follow and keep you busy doing what will be productive and your resilience will improve. To get more on how to be resilient, click here.
Yes – with the sunshine, summer season, and the desire to be outside – we may all be getting a bad case of cabin fever! I know we all miss other people – but more than that, I miss people’s energy, reading their facial expressions without a laptop screen in the middle, and hugging! And while I, along with countless others, am experiencing lagging performance due to the desire for a vacation break, shifting deadlines, distracting news, and general malaise. However, now it NOT the time for malaise.
It IS the time for proactive self-care, appreciating the opportunity to network virtually in places you cannot get to physically, aspire to meet new people, AND reach out to your extended family and friends to check on each other. Bonds can become stronger and work can become even more valued when you expand outside of your regular circles of influence and your ability to see the positive.
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