Feeling Out Of Control? Here’s What You Can Do

May 6, 2020

Did you hear that things are stressful and overwhelming, but we will get through this together? We don’t need to recount the state of affairs to you. But, we do want to reflect on the collective response and how we can better respond. 

May is Mental Health Month, and there couldn’t be a better time to take stock of how we’re coping {or not coping} in the face of COVID-19. We’re all feeling out of control, and we’re grasping to take it back. 

It seems like we choose one of two extreme approaches. And, neither are beneficial to good mental health.

Panicked Productivity 

When the stay-at-home orders began, bloggers and thought leaders everywhere ran to their keyboards. And, they found the same fun fact to serve as the backbone for their inspirational call to arms… 

Sir Isaac Newton discovered the concept of gravity while working from home. 

Ergo, this is a time to be ultra productive and creative! No excuses! Let’s wake up with the sun and seize each second of our more flexible days! 

We dive into a new project with a panicked sense of productivity that is simply not sustainable. It’s a false sense of control that vanishes when we arrive at our crash, exhausted and depressed. 

Head in the Sand   

So, all those bloggers and thought leaders write another round of articles – calling for celebrations of binge watching and eating. Forget about lessons and looking your best! Nothing matters right now, as long as you’re getting out of bed in the morning. 

But, that’s misguided. There are many struggling with real mental problems right now. And, this kind of mass “resignation to laziness ~ dark hakuna matata” approach is not helpful. 

Let’s Stop Reacting  

Stress is normal and understandable. So, we should give ourselves – and our colleagues – some grace if our normal productivity patterns are off. And, we should dive into some new hobbies or projects if we feel so inclined. 

The problem is that we’ve simply been reacting. A virus disrupted our daily routines, and we’re desperate to take back control. So, we overcompensate with panicked productivity or we stick our heads in the sand (or a bowl of velveeta). 

We’re so wrapped up in ourselves and our stress that we’ve forgotten our capacity as humans to adapt and thrive.

What We Can Control 

It’s time to throw away our band-aid solutions. We need to learn how to sustain ourselves through the coming months of mitigation efforts. And, that means learning to respond wisely and compassionately. Because that’s the only thing truly in our control right now. 

We still don’t know what our new normal looks like. It’s changing everyday. But, we need to remember that we are creatures with a great capacity for adaptation and growth.  

Far better than Newton’s discovery of gravity standard is a bit of wisdom from Albert Einstein. 

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”  

Instead of holding yourself to impossible standards or settling with the bare minimum, consider how you can respond in a way that contributes value to those around you. 

How can we all better serve our community and those who are in dire need? 

Can we donate our stimulus checks to a local nonprofit? Or shop locally to support a family business? 

Can we provide services that will help people stay at home or keep them safe at work in the coming months? 

This virus isn’t going anywhere, and we need to pull ourselves together for the long haul of this fight. Just because we aren’t healthcare workers doesn’t mean we can’t be of value. 

We Want to Share Amazing Stories

Contact us and tell us how your business or organization is preparing for the long fight of COVID-19. We want to share stories that matter.

How have you been adapting? What have you been creating? What do you see for the future?

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