Updated: Mar 30, 2021
"It’s like everyone in the world has just downed three strong coffees, and then expected ourselves to keep calm and carry on, sanely parenting, working, and everything else on our to-do list." Vicki Evans, Mind Body Coach
You’re not the only one feeling like these two unwanted companions just won’t leave you alone.
In amongst juggling all the things — children in one hand, work in another, many of us are also facing unprecedented stress and uncertainty due to what’s happening in the world. Perhaps there’s the risk of job loss. Of financial uncertainty. Or you’re simply nervous that our supermarkets are going to run out of food.
It’s perfectly normal that you’re riding a rollercoaster of emotion.
If you’re anything like me, you’re a little worried about the lasting impact of this strange phase of life on your wellbeing. Not to mentioned, concerned about how your kids will fare with their parents’ stress levels suddenly through the roof.
COVID-19 and all that comes with it amps up our stress levels because it feels like a particularly novel threat. It’s unpredictable and outside our control. And, we’re all feeling it. So our collective experience of stress is amped up too. It’s like everyone in the world has just downed three strong coffees, and then expected ourselves to keep calm and carry on, sanely parenting, working, and everything else on our to-do list.
All we need to do is consciously bring our attention to what is inside our control.
Of course, there’s less that fits that category right now than usual. We’re locked down in our houses, we can’t do many normal things we’re used to, and our kids are with us round the clock.
So pull your focus inward. Start with something small. And use your values as a guide.
Here are a few examples to get you thinking.
One thing within my control during lockdown is…
Making sure my kids and I get a decent breakfast each morning
Getting outside for a family walk around the block when everyone’s getting ratty
Restricting my adrenaline-inducing coffee intake to one per day
Mentally adjusting my expectations of myself from the typical 110% to 70%
Setting a timer to go off three times per day to remind myself to check in internally and take a few deep breaths
Acknowledging when I’m tired and giving myself permission to slow down.
I encourage you to choose one thing and write it down. And then, remind yourself of it. brains are wired to focus on what’s going wrong, not what’s going right. So train your brain to do the opposite — and start paying more attention to what you can control right now. Remind yourself of it each morning, and anytime you’re feeling powerless. You are literally doing your mind, body and family a favour for the long run.
Mind Body Coach, Vicki Evans, specialises in helping people find lasting relief from chronic stress and overwhelm.
Vicki is on a mission to say no to hustle culture, and support people to prioritise themselves and their wellbeing so they can live intentionally. Vicki works with clients through one to one life coaching, leadership and resilience coaching, and her Purpose-Driven Productivity online course.