In the week since my last blog post, the world has changed beyond all recognition.
Understandably, there is a lot of fear and anxiety:
for our physical health, with the virus;
for our wellbeing, with social distancing and self-isolation resulting in a challenges to our mental health
and for our financial stability, with people being asked to go on unpaid leave, the threat of businesses going bust, and the world economy in free fall.
So I have been asking myself, what can I do to help?
I am only one person, but there are still things I can do.
In this blog post, I set out what I am doing to help my community, my family, and what I can do to help YOU.
🌟 For YOU
So, what can I do for YOU?
I have a particular skillset which can be of use right now, to help you get through this in the best way possible:
I can help with feelings of anxiety and negativity, helping you find your calm and stay positive inside this storm
I can help you learn about stress, your particular triggers, and what you can do to improve the way you handle stress
I can help you boost your immune system, through the power of the mind-body connection
I can help you prioritise, so that in this time of immense change you can work out what's best to do when
And once you are ready to start thinking about your future dream career in this changed world, I can help you work out where you want to get to, and how to get there.
In the last few days, I have pulled together FREE RESOURCES on nearly all of these, and will continue to add to them over the coming weeks.
On the "Resources" page on my website, you will find guided visualisations, coaching audios, and links to blog posts or articles that will help.
a free "Find Your Calm" guided visualisation audio
a "How to keep calm and positive in a coronavirus world" blog article
a free "Stress Diary" to download.
If there are any particular resources that you would find helpful, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to help.
And keep checking back, as I will add more over the coming weeks (eg I am planning a "boost your immune system" guided visualisation shortly).
I am offering current and former clients free group coaching to support them through this time.
But I still need to keep my business going, so I also have some paid resources that might help.
If you want a comprehensive course on stress, I am offering my 30 day "Success Without Stress" course for half price (£13.50).
I am now offering my Power Hours for £97 (down from £250). This is a one hour 1:1 Zoom or Skype call that you can use to get my support for anything: from dealing with the anxiety of this uncertain world, to staying positive, to thinking through your career options. (Email me to arrange a time: email@example.com.)
Finally, there is my Transformational Coaching Programme, which is bespoke 1:1 online coaching. For more information about this, please click here.
🌟 For my family
We are very lucky: with all the travelling we've done, we've spent a lot of time together as a family, just the three of us.
And as my husband is retired, our weekdays are all of us at home together anyway (around school and clubs).
So being in self-isolation is not as hugely different to normal life for us as it would be for some.
But with my daughter being home-schooled by my husband and me for the last week now, it's getting clear to me how life IS different these days.
I've learned a lot about what my daughter needs from me right now.
It is important for me to be able to be a good mum: there are times when she needs a hug, reassurance, and love.
Plus I now need to be a good teacher: not to hot-house her into academic excellence, but to keep her brain active and stimulated during the many hours at home.
And I've realised I also need to be a good playmate: without her friends to play with, she is relying on us to fill that role.
And it's really important we do, so that she can still enjoy life despite the limitations.
And what that means is I need both the TIME to be available to her, and also (and more importantly) the ENERGY.
There's no point me being so exhausted by trying to juggle too many things in one day that I can't give her the attention she needs.
So I am thinking carefully at the moment about how to make sure I can balance my time and energy expenditure, to give her what she needs.
And my husband and I need each other too.
We are relying on each other for physical and moral support: from cooking and cleaning, to home schooling, to childcare while we each get on with stuff, to talking through our plans, and listening and caring for each other.
We've developed a habit of checking in each night after Jemima has gone to bed:
how is she doing today?
how are we each doing today?
do we need to do anything different tomorrow?
I am so comforted by this proactive conversation.
This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, so taking care of each other and all of our mental health through this is going to be so important.
🌟 For my community
I am on the phone and text a lot more than usual, checking in with friends and family! That human contact feels so important right now.
Plus, I have started a bank transfer monthly donation to a local food bank.
With the current scarcity in the supermarkets, and the massive rise in online shopping, donations of physical products are definitely going to go down.
So this is a small contribution to helping keep food on the table for those that are struggling.
Finally, I offered support (by letter) to my elderly neighbours - although they responded they were fine and, as we were in self-isolation, was there anything THEY could do for US! :).
It was lovely to make that connection.
And it's good for our mental health to feel part of a community too...
🌟 'Something good'
I hope the above will be of help, both in terms of signposting you to specific tools I have that might useful to you, and also illustrating on a personal level how I am getting through these strange times.
But the final thing I can do is to help us all keep focussed on the positive.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!
The media are obviously loving this opportunity to operate within the realms of a disaster movie, and if we let it happen, the only focus we will have is going to be on death tolls, spiralling infection rates, and panic.
So we owe it to ourselves, and each other, to choose to input some positives to counterbalance all the negatives.
This started when my daughter, excited about the prospect of being homeschooled, said,
"it shows that even in something bad there is always something good."
So this week on LinkedIn I have been focussing on my 'something good' each day.
'Something good' #1: a video on the opportunity these crazy times have given me to appreciate my family
'Something good' #2: a video on the value of the urge to connect with friends and family in times of crisis
'Something good' #3: the amazing luck that this is all happening in springtime, rather than the depths of winter - at least we have new growth around us, and the possibility of sunshine (the photo below is from that post)
'Something good' #4: the way this has helped me get closer to my neighbours.
And 'something good's from other people have included:
learning new skills, to help them work remotely at this time
helping someone in a supermarket choose the right painkillers
buying their mum a laptop so she can now FaceTime
using the flexibility of working from home to go a run and cut the grass too
and managing to buy toilet roll!
So my final offer of help for today: please keep focussed on those positives!
Find yourself 'something good' in every day.
And do this not just for yourself, but also for the people around you.
It's something we can ALL do to help each other.
Please do get in touch with your 'something good's, or ideas for resources you'd find helpful, or just to make contact in these crazy times: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for daily updates, do follow me on LinkedIn - I will be there every day during these strange times, keeping focussed on the positives...
Take care, wishing you calm, strength and positivity! 🌟💪💖