Allegedly is was Benjamin Franklin who in 1789, said “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” I think these days we’d probably add change to that.
Change is just a fact of life and I think that the changes we’ve all experienced in the last 3 months have been on a scale and pace that I know I’ve never experienced in my life time.
We’ve had to adjust to the rules and restrictions placed on us as part of lockdown and now, as things begin to open up we’re getting used to another raft of changes.
The graph I’ve shown below is an example of the process that we go through as we come to terms with the wholesale changes, like the ones we’ve experienced as a result of Covid.
It’s a great example of what’s being called the “coronacoaster” and I think it’s a way of making sense of what you might be feeling and how natural it is to feel the ups and downs at a time like this.
I’ve labelled the lefthand scale “morale & capability” as a way of describing times when we feel that we’re able to handle this and other times when our morale and capability is low and things just feel too hard or overwhelming.
You might notice the times when you feel that “Yes, I’ve nailed it!” – which would be a good example of the far right of the diagram, towards the yellow dots when we feel that we’ve got into our groove and have accepted and dealt with the changes that have come.
It’s also perfectly normal to have other days when you feel that you’ve gone backwards and things just feel too tough and difficult to deal with.
That’s perfectly normal and to be expected.
As new changes come in, you might feel that you go back again. I know I’m feeling that right now, particularly at the prospect of mingling in public or going back out to meet people face to face. I think perhaps I’m still in denial that lockdown is over!!!!
So, how can I use this I hear you say?!
Great question; here’s what I’d suggest;
- Recognising that we’re all on here somewhere right now might be worth remembering. It’s not just you. It’s not a failing on your part to be finding this tough. Changes like the ones we’re living right now ARE tough…full stop…
- Remember that we all process and work through things at a different pace. You might be at a completely different place from friends, family or work colleagues. Again, that’s normal – we’re all different.
- Moving from the green dot towards yellow takes energy and effort as we’re doing things that are new and probably outside our comfort zone. We’re on a steep learning curve at this stage.
It could be argued that experiencing changes like these helps to build our sense of resilience, and I think if we can just remind ourselves how far we’ve come that can make us feel that little bit more confident about our ability to handle whatever comes next.
Don’t you think?