The situation is disorienting.
We like routines, and those have been put on hold—some likely forever. A new normal will emerge, and much of it won’t feel like the old normal.
In the meantime, health, safety, and personal sanity are priorities.
It’s easy and understandable to let worry rent space in your mind. Unfortunately, preoccupying on all the things you cannot control creates stress. For some, stress quickly translates to panic.
The first rule in a crisis: Don’t panic!
If your internal circuit-breaker has popped, you need a reset. You need to stop the swirl and end the paralysis.
Resetting starts with small actions.
Six Actions to Help You Reset
1. Build a New Routine
Get out of bed early. Meditate or exercise. Jot down what you can do today to feel and be productive. And then get started.
2. Connect with Family
While the kids might be home, they don’t need 16-hours of Fortnite. When you’re not working, play games, work on puzzles, paint, color, or watch a movie together. And, help them begin to form a new routine. Children need structured and unstructured time. Don’t forget the former.
3. Connect at a Deeper Level with Clients and Colleagues
If you are working remotely, triple your efforts to connect and engage virtually with your colleagues and clients. Help them create their new normal. Engage with empathy and partner with them to help.
4. Conduct Virtual Wellness Checks
If you’re not working, take time to check-in on friends and relatives. Find online groups in your community. One enterprising neighbor launched a neighborhood group for everyone to remain in touch and offer Help as needed.
5. Increase Learning
One of the hidden benefits of this time may well be that people have more time to read, take online courses, and pursue other learning activities that don’t involve live settings. Fortunately, there have never been more options, including free options.
6. Find Ways to Help
Helping is possibly the most powerful antidote to that feeling of helplessness and disorientation. Find a way to help given your abilities and given the constraints we have in gathering.
Sometimes, help is just an empathetic connection via phone or screen. Other times, it means stepping up and learning a new videoconferencing solution so you can lead your school’s or scout’s parent group online. There are a lot of people and groups who need help. Find a way to apply your superpowers.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Humans are remarkably resilient in the face of adversity. Once we’ve internalized that the old routine is gone, we’re capable of adapting and developing a productive new normal. That’s where we’re at now. If you’re swirling, it’s time to reset and start framing ways to cope, Help, connect, and grow.
Note from Art: In keeping with my guidance to use skills and abilities to help, our team is focusing on creating more professional development/learning opportunities to share. In this spirit, we’ll launch a series of free professional development webinars starting in the next week or so. I’m also planning to initiate an online reading/discussion group. Stay tuned for more information.