Updated: Apr 22, 2020
Crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning "turning point in a disease." I can totally relate to the concept of a turning point during this pandemic, as it took me 3 weeks to get to a turning point after the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictionswere put in place.
When the pandemic first started I threw myself into my work, as being a public servant it was easy to jump in and work on the response. Even after I moved to working from home, was working 10 hours as I helped lead response planning activities and helping my teams transition to work from home. To be of service to others is one of my core personal values. This helped me immediately deal with the chaos and uncertainty.
Despite of using work as a distraction, personally I was apprehensive and a little anxious. I have chronic asthma and have been hospitalised with pneumonia before, so was I worried about contracting the disease. I am an extrovert, and love to get out and about; so I naturally started thinking about all the restrictions and limitations, coming my way.
I originally dealt with it by distracting myself and turning the ‘world off’ with Netflix, Stan & YouTube. I thought this was the downtime I needed but I couldn’t raise my energy levels.
During the first weekend of lockdown, I thought it was a rare opportunity to spend more quality time with my family. We collectively decided to dust off the board games and have some fun. We ventured outside and played bocci and handball, and took the dog for many walks. We have always been close, like the 3 Musketeers; but I found we were reconnecting as a family in different ways. My heart was warm from meaningful connection; connection is another core personal value.
Being alone in my home office was driving me crazy. As I said, I am an extrovert, so I was missing ‘in person’ interaction. I started playing music whilst working in my home office for company, but this also inspired me to find music that I enjoy singing. I use to be in a band and acoustic trio, and it had been such a long time since I sung and enjoyed live music. Creativity is one of my core personal values. I enjoy creating stories and expressing myself through music and creative content. My own creativity seemed to rub off a little on my daughter. I noticed that she was inspired to get her guitar out and learn new songs, and also teach herself songs on the piano. Everyday she started showing me what she had learnt and asking for my feedback.
I started to get my energy back. The house was filled with music and creativity. My family and I were still getting on (with the exception of some annoying practical jokes from my husband). I reconnected with some of my online personal development communities and jumped back into my online studies. To push myself, I joined free 5 day coaching course creation challenge. There I connected with a community of people who uplifted and inspired me. My coach challenged me to take action every day. Growth is another core value; always be willing to learn and constantly improve.
What I have learnt so far……
Our capacity to personally respond to a crisis, depends on whether we can reorientate our thinking & adjust our life experiences and goals. Personal mastery or self leadership helps us not just survive, but also thrive. We thrive by having a clear vision and values that provide a sense of purpose, continuity and stability during crisis and chaos.
I know this to be true, as when I started finding new ways to live my values, my mindset shifted and I regained energy. These were the same values I had before the pandemic. The emotions, chaos and uncertainty in the world was still there; but my values provided a strong personal foundation to reduce the severity of impact of what was going on in the world.
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