I had already written my blog for this week, deciding to take a break from writing about the pandemic. But as you will see, I changed my mind.
I make a point of checking in with friends. I have a sort of roster – a few each week – just to see how they are doing. And this week I realized there is more to be said.
What I am finding is that the longer this lockdown and social isolation lasts, the less we are coping with it. People almost feel embarrassed to admit that they are not doing well, but you know we have to be more upfront about how we are, because only then do we feel less alone and only then can we get the help we maybe need.
So I will start. I am often asked how I am, and my typical response is that it depends when you ask. Some days I am busy and fine, and other days I am agitated, anxious and not functioning as I normally would. It comes in waves.
I actually think this is our “new norm” for now. I can’t focus long enough to read a good book. As someone who usually makes decisions easily, I have been waffling, frustrated with myself that I can’t seem to decide what to do.
I am writing this because I think we need to cut ourselves some slack. These are not normal times and so we shouldn’t expect ourselves to behave and feel as we normally do.
Not only are we feeling the pain of not physically seeing friends and family, we are also worried about the future – for our business, for our communities and the world at large.
So what’s the answer?
- Let’s be honest and upfront about how we are feeling. There is no shame in admitting that it’s been tough. It has for most of us.
- Get perspective. Remember there can be someone worse off than you. Through our Rotary Club we have formed a Community Action Team (CAT) that is reaching out to help those facing food insecurity. Doing something concrete to help others, puts our lives in perspective and gives you a sense of control in that we can make a difference.
- Think about the positives. Maybe you have finished a project that has been on your to-do list for ages. Or you have managed to transition your business into something that’s working and going well.
- Live by your values. For many we have come to realize what is really important to us.
- Reach out and check in with family and friends. They feel so loved and appreciated when you do. It makes a difference. And don’t forget someone who is typically strong , maybe they’re not this time.
So get real. Show up as you are, as you will find you are not alone. We are all in this together and as we enter the end of the lockdown, let’s not forget how much we missed everyone as we rush to get back to our “normal” lives. Let’s honour and pay attention to those relationships.
Sending you virtual hugs. See you on the other side.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.