First of all thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of those who are working front line – in whatever capacity that is.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope that you stay safe and well.
We are in unprecedented times that require us to adapt to change quickly and effectively. We need to make multiple transitions. It’s hard. Really hard. And exhausting…
I’ll be honest, I haven’t written anything, because I didn’t know what to write. I didn’t feel that I could make a difference, but I need to do something that may help. This may be my biggest understatement ever, but so far 2020 has been a year of change and transition. In fact in terms of change and transition, it’s been a hot mess! Let me tell you about how those are different things and cause/ require us to respond to them differently.
Let’s get the definitions out of the way:
COVID-19 had brought and continues to bring multiple changes.
How we personally and individually react to the changes that COVID-19 brings is the transition part. That’s what we are doing every day – managing the transitions to our ‘new normal’ (yes, I hate that expression too).
'Transition … is the inner process through which people come to terms with a change, as they let go of how things used to be and reorient themselves to the way that things are now'
(Bridges & Bridges).
Dealing with change and transition
I think that we can all agree that the changes brought about by COVID-19 are different from most of the changes we experience. These changes come at us quickly. Information is delivered by public health experts and politicians. There are daily updates. It’s information on top of information. These changes are non-negotiable and deliberately restrict our daily lives. Making the decisions to implement these changes - we know and understand that they are not made lightly. They weigh heavily on those that make them.
I want to remind you that:
you are already adept at dealing with change. You’ve been doing it all your life! You may not like it very much, but you have strategies on how to manage it.
you are not alone. We’re all experiencing these changes. We can and will support each other. For the time being, we’ll do it virtually rather than in person.
you’re doing the best you can under strange and unfamiliar circumstances.
In terms of transitions consider that:
the ending is going to be different for everyone. For me – my everyday life changed.
the neutral zone – I’m still in the neutral zone, figuring it out, doing my best to understand what I need to do to ‘flatten the curve’ and what can I do to help. (we may all be here for a while)
the new beginning – it’s coming. Maybe it’s about settling into a new routine, being mindful about what we need and don’t need, being thankful for being safe and healthy. But really I don’t know – maybe that is still being in the neutral zone? Either way – I’m ok with it. I’m learning to be ok with uncertainty.
My tips on managing these transitions:
give yourself time to come to terms with what is happening. Try to do this in your own way, at your own pace. Don’t be pressured to ‘feel ok’. If you don’t feel ok – reach out for help.
talk to other people – You do not need to go through this on your own. Use social media to engage with other people. Chat to those folks you haven’t seen in a while. Use the phone if that feels like a good option!!
limit your time listening to the news. You don’t need to know it all as it happens.
be realistic and pragmatic. And if that causes you to have a good cry – let it all out.
avoid getting dragged into negativity. Don’t get sucked into the feeds that drain your soul.
write, draw, sing, act, bake, paint, dance. Channel your creativity – explore feelings, escape reality, work towards finding your new beginning.
be innovative and try to have some fun doing it.