Here's the answer: Follow the directives and wait for those who are working the problem to identify the solutions. Other than that, nothing. I don't like what's happening in our world right now. I don't like the uncertainty and the fear that's in the air. I don't like that some people are getting sick and some have died from the virus called Covid19. I don't like not being able to go and visit with friends, have dinner or see a movie.
Yet I'm home, in the early morning (remembering that it is my favorite time of day), writing a blog. I paused for a moment because I heard a sound in the quiet, birds. The streets are so quiet you can hear the birds chirping in the dark before day. Amid the inconvenience we are all experiencing, I also sense an invitation to stop and consider life as I have lived it, and how that life could look going forward. Like it or not, Covid19 has forced us into a space where we can choose anxiety or growth, fear or future. So here are some things you can practice as you consider your life and how you want to live going forward.
Connect socially. Even though we are practicing social distance, it doesn't mean we can't connect socially over distance. We all have people that we wish we had more time to talk with; well now you do. Pick up the phone, have a video chat, connect and have a long conversation with your old best friend, or a new one.
Don't obsess over the news. Stay informed but hearing the same thing over and over could create anxiety. Read a book. Re-arrange a room in your house. Take an online class or get a certification. Find a creative way to have family time if you are not in the same house -- eat together virtually. Exercise with some of the online programs.
Plan. One thing that keeps coming up with clients is the paralysis they feel because of all the uncertainties. Rather than consider a move forward, it might feel safer to just stand still and hold your breath. While you cannot control what happens with Covid19, you can control the plans you make for your life and future. That's right, I said future. There is a future on the other side of this, and one way to fight the pseudo-safety of doing nothing is to begin making plans for the future.
Slow down and breathe. Before giving in to anxious thoughts stop, have a seat near a window and take 10 long slow deep breaths. For a minute just focus on those breaths as your body slows down. If you need two or five minutes, take them.
This pause could be more about how we live going forward than a viral pandemic. Don't missing the blessings and opportunities that are available to you right now.
Michele Aikens is a Transformational Life & Leadership Coach and CEO of Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching. Aikens also serves on the Board of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Chicago as Marketing Director.