- June 3, 2020
- Posted by: Phil Gray
- Category: COVID-19, Leadership
Overcoming a Crisis
Many of our lives have been turned upside down for two to five months depending where you are in the world, and despite many of us doing a great job adjusting on the surface, deep down, a significant percentage of us are really struggling with this crisis. Some of us feel weak and embarrassed to reach out for help or support, let alone being proactive gaining training and practical solutions to cope in both the short and long term. Below is a short list of the best advice I’ve seen these past three months as we turn surviving into thriving.
Live your values:
Be true to yourself standing up for what matters. Focus on what’s most important to you and about who you are? Generosity, reliability, integrity, responsibility, humour, compassion, faith? Do it. Live it. Show yourself to the people you love, and your broader community… Be your best self. Be patient, tolerant, and engaged with your family, friends, co-workers, and children, and show them values-based leadership at all times.
Stay calm, don’t panic:
Yes it’s easier said than done. But there is a lot we can do to turn down the level of anxiety we all experience. Here are a few specific suggestions. Try some relaxation exercises, systematic muscle relaxation, or positive visualisation. Make time to pray or meditate. Try journaling jotting down feelings and daily experiences for a few minutes for several days in a row, you will be surprised how writing stuff down helps us all sort out this mess. Limit your exposure to the negative crisis talk on all types of media including socials. Start speaking our positive ways you will pull through and describe the good and healthy ways we will continue to live, not just survive but thrive as we overcome COVID-19. Remind yourself that you will be able to bounce back from this, even if the way forward isn’t always clear at any given moment.
Take care of yourself:
Now is not the time to sit down all day and watch two series of your favourite show on TV, with coke, chips and all kinds of unhealthy ‘treats’ we call comfort food. We need more exercise each day than just walking to the car to go to shops to get more KFC and restock the pantry with more chocolate, chips and soft drinks. Get our with your dog, or your partner, family, friends, neighbours – whoever… practice social distancing etc… just do something… I challenge you to renew your commitment to self-care. With intention and effort, we can work around new limitations. Make wholesome, nutritious meals at home rather than resorting to over-processed fast foods. The better you take care of yourself, the more available you can be to those who depend on you.
We need to be physically and mentally active. Stay busy, occupied and even entertained in a health way, varying your activities and remaining active and socially interactive, without breaking limitations placed on us all. The restrictions are there for good reasons – to stop the spread of the virus. Plan to catch up with family, friends and work mates as well as customers or clients as often as you can. Doing this will be showing genuine interest in them and their well-being – displaying your humanity and values.
Maintain a positive attitude:
Despite terrible loss in many parts of the globe, we need to embrace whatever aspects of this we can find to appreciate… slow down enough to notice the things in our lives to feel good about, and count our blessings large and small. It isn’t ignoring suffering to have and speak out hope; it isn’t disrespectful to be happy and bright or even humorous during this time. Allowing ourselves to become terrified or despondent, even overly dramatic will not help those around us. We must stay strong as well as physically and mentally well for the people who need us to show them how to live in a challenging world.
One of my favourite attitude quotes comes to mind…
“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitude toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us, and 90 percent how we respond to it. I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress… it alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When attitude is right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, and no challenge too great for me.”
Charles R. Swindoll
Some Do’s and Don’t’s
- Try to keep your life and usual routines as normal as possible.
- Eat regularly, take exercise and relax if you can.
- Share your feelings and emotions.
- Take care of your physical and emotional needs – sleep, rest, think, share and talk.
- Take more general care of yourself especially when driving – accidents are more common after trauma.
- Be patient with yourself and allow time to recover – although you want to get back to being your old self this will not happen overnight.
- Bottle up your feelings – express them and let others share with you.
- Cut yourself off from family.
- Make any major life changes at this time.
- Increase your alcohol consumption.
- Rely on alcohol or other non-prescribed drugs to blot out painful memories.
- Take on more than you think you can cope with.
Take positive action today:
Turn surviving into thriving. There are many ways to push through a crisis, one that we strongly recommend is getting your thoughts and mindset right and we do this partly by controlling what information or what mindset we allow ourselves to have each day… we would recommend our e-learning online course called Crisis Management. This course has a particular focus on Crisis Management in the Workplace.