An extraordinary event needs an extraordinary approach

Who would have thought a few months ago about being locked up in their house with their family for a few weeks! But here we are caught up in this extraordinary situation! Shops closed, Vehicles off the roads, streets are empty and social media is buzzing with activity.

Over numerous connections with friends, families & colleagues I noticed various responses and trends. Fear, anxiety, chaos, irritation, work exertion, more family time, limited engagement/entertainment avenues, etc. These feelings were getting expressed in various spoken and unspoken ways and through various mediums. I realized the need to address these urgently.

When the lockdown was announced I immediately understood it is going to impact all my classroom sessions and Training and I mentally prepared for it. I have tried various ways to deal with it and here is my take on the situation and a few tips and techniques to manage these emotions and the situation well.

First of all, accept the situation! Irritation happens in an unexpected situation. Irritation arises from the fact that people had other plans. They wanted to do something else. When the plans get foiled, it gives way to frustration and irritation. Accepting the situation will help a person make peace with the situation and shall help in calming down. Acknowledge that this is an extraordinary situation and accept it. This shall help one in dealing with associated frustration and irritation. Remember, it looks like chaos as no one knows what will happen or what to expect. But clarity always emerges as things begin to settle down. Have patience!

Next, address your fears. Fear is a defense mechanism of a person towards a likely negative future outcome. What are you fearing the most will happen? Why? How likely is that event to occur? Have you done all your preparations to fight the disease? Fear is like Darkness, it exists where there is less positivity or light. What can you surround yourself with? What kind of positive ideas, books, videos, movies can you watch? When was the last time you read a spiritual book? When was the last time you prayed? Focus your mind on a few beautiful memories of your life. Do you remember a similar time that you were in and you were able to come out if it? If you feel your muscles relaxing a bit then this is working. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and you shall see the fear melting away gradually. One of the most powerful things that help me in dealing with such a situation is meditation. Begin with a simple ten minute pranayama. There are plenty of youtube videos on it. One such link is this one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udLuhi5cktY

Third, make a list of things you have postponed thinking about. Sort them priority wise and make your plans as to where will you begin with and what will you do once the lockdown is over. Convert these ideas into action plans & break these into smaller daily doable actions. Track them!

If you went into chaos as a result of sudden work overload, create space to think about how can you reduce work productively. What are the nonessentials? Where can you focus so that efficiencies can go up? Which tools can you use? Whose help can you take? What are the resources available to you? Work with your family to help you with work at home. Work in bursts of energy. Focus on a task for 25–30 mins then take a 5–6 min break and then focus back for the next 30 mins.

If you are an introvert, like me, you must be having a ball of a time! Finish reading those books you started, watch those movies that have been there on your wish list, think and reflect on life, write, paint, etc. If you are an extrovert and you get energized by the outer environment, think of ways in which you can connect with the outer world. I am sure you are missing it a lot! Make video calls to old friends and family. Do stuff together. Play ‘antakshari’ on group calls. Do yoga and exercise. Challenge your friends. Cook. Go for brisk walks in the morning and evening when there are hardly any people on roads. Don’t forget to wear your masks and maintain distance in case you come across anyone.

Learn something new. Pick up the lost hobby, reignite your passion for something you stopped. Pick up a new hobby. You could also join an online course that will help to reskill. Once the pace is back these skills may help you in your career. I love to write/express and I am utilizing my spare time to write/connect with others and energize them. Similarly, you could choose something closer to your heart and follow it.

Reflect on life after the Lockdown. How will it be different? What will be needed? How can you help? Every crisis throws up an opportunity. Don’t waste it! What new opportunities will emerge out of it? What can you start doing today so that when people start asking for it you shall have it ready? I have realized there shall be a lot more need for motivation and online engagement. I am already working on creating such online modules and webinars. What can you provide?

The world right now needs Positivity, Enthusiasm, Care and Empathy. Add to it. Call people to ask how are they doing and if they need any help. Understand their situation and Empathise with them. Such efforts will also help you to build positive and powerful relationships with people.

Surround yourself with as much positivity and good thoughts. Focus on self and Learn, Unlearn and Relearn. Once your Mind is locked and loaded on to these the negative emotions will automatically vanish. This could be an extraordinary situation throwing up an extraordinary opportunity for you to re-energize and reinvigorate yourself. Go for it!

Transformation Coach