It’s been a couple of weeks since my last email, as I made the call to take an extended break over Easter. Originally, I intended to go away, but, like many of you I’m sure, I felt that taking the extra time off to staycation was a little pointless. So, I really had to have a word with myself and give myself permission to take the time off. If I’m really honest with myself, it was very much needed, as I was feeling a little burnt out, flat, and demotivated.
Then I listened to Brené Brown’s podcast on day-to-day anxiety, which COVID is inducing a lot of right now. She talked about how we show up at these times and how to tackle anxiety. It was like a light bulb going off for me, so I thought I’d share it.
Brené references Harriet Lerner’s work on under– and over–functioning. She notes that there are generally two ways to cope with anxiety:
She explained that these behaviours are patterned responses to anxiety that enable us to cope and they are not deep truths about who we are. When we become aware of this, we understand that we can change how we react.
In my case, I was a shameless over-functioner. I fired up my stress hormones to get busy by being busy. I pivoted plans with clients, communicated and reached out to my community, and ran support sessions. I got up into my partner’s business and cracked the whip with him around marketing, sales, pivoting – you name it!
I was like a giant wave that, when it receded, left behind a whole lot of debris. It impacted my health and my relationships. I was coming from a place of control and I was masking how I was really feeling.
I wonder if you can recognise which mode you have been in or are in right now.
So, armed with this knowledge what did I do?
Now, I’m not saying I have the above nailed. In fact, changing tack feels very unfamiliar, and as if I’m not doing enough. But that’s the point. Right now, I believe our loved ones, teams, and community need us to get back to being our best selves and that’s going to mean slowing things down, being more strategic, and taking care of ourselves. It’s also going to involve consciously coming back to the kind of leaders, partners, parents, and friends we want to be through this time of crisis.
So, for a moment ask yourself:
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these, know there is no judgment here. This might just be an opportunity to create awareness and come back to the basics of what you need to support yourself in the right way right now.
Here are some questions that may help:
I would love to hear how you go…
To your health and happiness,
Founder & Head Coach, CLARETY