How are you doing in your changed life?
I want to start this email with a thank you to all the healthcare professionals working everyday, caring for people with and without covid, with compassion and at personal risk to themselves and their families. And, also, a huge thank you to all who work to keep us and others fed and cared for in this pandemic time.
As we navigate our new reality of living and working in this time of a pandemic, I have been reflecting on how I doing with my time. Now, in the sixth week of isolating and working from home, I have created a good routine and structure. And, I am facing the reality that I am not feeling as productive and efficient as I expected. This email is an example. Four weeks ago, I started this email message and had the plan of writing a useful post each week or two. Now 4 weeks later, I am revisiting the message I wrote then, editing it, and wondering how it is I did not send it. While I have been working regularly, my life is generally simpler compared to so many others and also compared to my life before the pandemic. So, why am I not getting all the additional stuff done that I thought I would?
My hypothesis is that the ongoing unknowns and changes in life are a bigger challenge than I want to acknowledge. A cloud of unknowns about our physical, social, and financial lives hangs over us, and we have no real way to problem solve for our new and yet undefined futures, yet.
Dealing with the unknown is one of the most difficult things we do as human beings. Even really hard things we know about can sometimes be easier to navigate than the unknown. While some of us may be settling into a new normal, much uncertainty remains. Here are some of the ideas I compiled from various sources for that first email I composed 4 weeks ago, about dealing with uncertainty and the unknown:
- define what you do have control over and make decisions in those realms
- identify what you do not have control over, accept it, and perhaps even avoid it (might include watching less news)
- create a routine to give structure and consistency to your day
- set small goals each day for the use of your time, be it work or fun or long-neglected projects or whatever
- be kind to yourself and let yourself be ok with however you are embracing these challenging times
- reach out for help and support- while we may be engaging in social distancing, that does not mean emotionally isolating from others
In rereading these suggestions, perhaps the most important one I realize I need to pay more attention to is being kind to myself and okay with how I am embracing these challenging times. Not everything will get done and that is more than fine! If you are not already doing it, perhaps now is a good time to join me in practicing self-kindness and giving yourself a break.
We will get through this time with all of its unknowns, and hopefully with more gentleness to ourselves.
Take good care of yourself and reach out anytime. I am always happy to hear from you.