It’s been months. Hours, days, weeks, months. In fact almost a year has passed.
I’m noticing that people are really worn down, Exhausted, spent, irritable. Hoping there’s an end in sight, but having to deal with their reality here and now.
And there’s a common denominator other than Corona. The thing that I see causing this exhaustion is the UNPREDICTABILITY.
We used to function in a way that we mostly knew what was coming next in our day. Yes, the unexpected did happen, but for the most part we could look a week ahead and plan and with a large dose of certainty know how the week ahead looked. So many people love functioning knowing what’s ahead. Loving the predictability, in which we could create our own flexibility.
And that’s what has been lost for many people.
Gone are the predictable blocks of time in which we could focus, get into a flow and produce the goods in our given field. Be that at work, running your own business, starting a business, running the home and raising the family.
Predictability in itself creates a flow of focus and energy. Allows creativity and creates a calm. It gives a known space in which to work. That known space creates a calm within.
And then we were challenged. Work from home as never before. Essential workers needed at work. School open. Schools closed. Grade 5 opened for three hours, twice a week. Kindergartens open, in quarantine, closed. Juggling a bored 4-year-old with no structure, a job to do, a house to run. Another quarantine, this time for the 8-year-old. Should she do it alone? Should a parent go in with her? An older sibling maybe? Or can we just put the whole family in bidud/quarantine. Serving the physical and emotional needs of those in quarantine in our homes. Juggling parent’s work hours at home and at work are a constant discussion.
And the mental gymnastics are exhausting.
The need to find a plan, alter the plan, change the plan, make a new plan is exhausting. And that’s what is wearing us down.
(Not to mention the heath and financial implications — that’s for another time)
And this isn’t a process that any household has done once or twice. We’ve done it many times, over many months by now. And we’ve been called on to become extremely flexible. At a moment’s notice.
But it’s exhausting.
As a life coach, I always teach that we cannot control anyone or anything other than ourselves. And that’s the case here too. But we need a solution to this exhaustion.
Here are some suggestions. Try them out and see how they go for you.
- Acknowledge the ways in which your life is unpredictable right now. Give yourself a chance to acknowledge that it’s difficult.
- Know you’re not alone. The whole world is in this pandemic.
- Each person is going to experience, interpret it and have their own unique challenges. Yours belong to you and everyone has the right to their individual experience.
- Look after yourself. Do one thing each day that feeds your soul, makes you laugh, or releases some tension.
- Connect with others. Yes, we mostly thrive on human contact. If you can’t meet, then make the effort to be in touch with someone who makes you smile. It’s good for both of you!
- Move. Keep active during this time. There’s awesome benefits to your body and mood from moving.
- Create one predictable slot or practice in your day. One slot, at a time you can usually count on, to do one action that brings you to calm and quiet. That could be a cup of coffee on the porch, meditation, yoga or prayer.
- Remind yourself that this will end!
Understanding the personal cost of unpredictability is essential. Just this understanding can begin to lower the stress and create a space in which we can begin to rejuvenate and recover.