For me, the three waves of Covid have been very favorable compared to many other women leaders I have coached and worked with over this period. For example, I was grateful that my adult children did not need homeschooling or meals made. As well, more gratitude for my work thriving, with the only simple blip being the change of all in-person activities to virtual. Lastly, the provincial stay-at-home order allowed my natural introvert tendencies to flourish, along with spending more time with my partner that I love. So you get the picture – I have a lot to be grateful for. And through ongoing conversations with other women leaders, I gently reminded myself of how fortunate I was.
The overall positive experience in Covid was why I was so puzzled that within the first few days of arriving to see my parents for the first time in almost one year, I felt lethargic, and my mood was flat. During the low energy week, I started to realize the impacts of the pandemic. Living in the emotional extremes of non-socialization, fear of Covid consequences, or continual monitoring of case numbers had a greater effect on me than I allowed myself to appreciate. I spent a lot of time focused on being grateful and not at what was truly happening for me.
Have you experienced being so locked in one perspective that you don’t fully see the reality of the situation?
I am a firm believer in the attitude of gratitude. What I did was push aside what was stirring in me during the lockdown, knowing I had it better than others, and immensely grateful. This comparison is another way to diminish myself. We can have gratitude and understand our challenges simultaneously.
I asked myself what could I have done differently so as not to repeat this. Immediately what came to mind is to stay in tune with my internal narrative by intentionally asking myself the following questions:
- What am I feeling right now?
- What would better feel like?
- What is challenging right now?
- What do I need to give myself permission for?
- What resources do I need?
- What action can I take in the next 30 minutes to support myself?
Being aligned requires us to stay closely connected to the actuality of our feelings. Acknowledge them and honour them, knowing that we are not lessening the strength of gratitude and empathy. We are looking at the reality of the situation so we can be empowered in all of who we are.