Our world has been upended. Routines are gone. Expectations changed. Norms shifted. Guidance unclear. Doubt and fear are rampant. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I do.
Zoom meetings and endless screen time are now the norm. Gyms, movie theaters, and restaurants are closed and everyone is at home. The ‘essential’ and ‘got no choice’ are forced to be out and about. It’s easy to feel disconnected from them and everyone else. You are supposed to wear a mask and keep six feet apart. Going to the grocery store now feels like an awkward showdown at the COVID-19 Corral.
When I slow down, distance myself from social media and really center myself – I realize that my connection to myself and others is what is most deeply needed in this moment. That open and honest connection – given with compassion and trust is what will carry us through this pandemic.
Not, running from my feelings.
Not, denying that I have them.
Not, pretending that they are not there.
Honoring and owning that they are and letting them come into the light.
Having the integrity to be truly honest, can and will deepen our connection to others. This connection will keep you safe, support your mental health and profoundly nourish you. It’s easy, and incredibly tempting, to numb yourself with one more distraction. (That shame you feel about that is ok too.)
What’s not ok, is letting those emotions become embedded into your mental landscape. My experience through Men’s Work and Leadership Coaching has shown me what happens when these emotions then manifest into unproductive patterns of behavior – they can become trauma.
Don’t lose yourself. Don’t forget about who you are. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or offer it. Don’t pretend to feel something that you do not. Don’t deny it, own it and then let it go. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to make all of this work. No one really does.
I will own that I sit in judgement as I watch Influencers and Thought Leaders post on social media an assortment of hacks and clickbait. I feel scared when I see them. I judge myself and ask, ‘am I doing enough?’
I also feel their fear, I have that same sense of doubt about keeping it all together too. As an independent small business owner there is no safety net for us. Many of my colleagues can’t access the loans assigned to them because bigger businesses have already secured them…
What I won’t do is numb myself to it all. I will be here, right now, and be present to it all.
You are not alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You are loved.