Close to two months ago I shared the Daily Anchor, “What Are You Taking With You?,” asking what lessons you might be able to take from this forced pause (due to COVID) in your daily life. I want to revisit this topic again and I hope you will take this opportunity to do so with me.
I am going to admit from the get-go that my desire to write about this today is coming from this feeling: that this last month and a half, over and over again, I have fallen down hard when it comes to the healthy structures and habits I set up for myself earlier in this COVID pause. Maybe I’m not alone in that?
Here’s a context for what I have seen in the last four months for myself and my behaviors/reactions:
- Early March. I felt a lot of high energy output and flow and excitement about the next couple of business products and offers that we were about to roll out. Great boundaries and self-care in place.
- Mid-March. COVID shutdowns start, we see our product revenue dry up overnight and we have to stop/pause projects we were about to launch. I go into fight-or-flight mode, working a lot of extra hours, trying to wrap my head around what was happening in the world and how to make it through.
- Mid-April. I am worn down from all the overtime in the business. At the same time, my higher self is coming back on board and calling for changes to my ways of being in the world, and getting self-care back to front and center.
- Early May. I am still working more hours than I probably should, but have put a lot of healthy routines and habits back in place, added new ones, and am feeling a bit more settled into the new reality. I spent a lot of time reflecting on what COVID is giving me in the way of making better decisions about my life and what really matters.
- Late May. I slide into unhealthy habits – using my devices for news coverage around racial injustices, protests, policing, etc., which causes a cascade of other healthy habits to be lost.
- Early to Mid-June. I asked Charlie to intervene on my behalf, by removing news and internet sites from my devices. I started to pick up the pieces of the routines I’d more or less shattered with the decisions I made in late May.
- Since Mid-June. I have been working to re-establish routines that are healthy for me, implemented more time for solitude, and taken time to reflect again on what this time in the world, and the pause that is still happening due to COVID, is allowing me to shift in my life.
This is a high-level overview without a lot of the day-to-day and week-to-week details. I still wanted to share it, as perhaps you have seen over the last few months some similar ups and the downs in your own life: the “I’ve got this” periods and the “I definitely don’t got this” periods; or feeling that the normal you are making is working out well, to wondering if normal will ever happen again.
Perhaps you have made the time in this new world we are in to reflect on what was and was not working in your life prior to the COVID pause? Or perhaps you haven’t.
Either way, might it be time to check back in with yourself?
Perhaps, like me, you started to adjust to your new reality, found some unexpected gifts, and established some healthy patterns?
Perhaps, like me, you’ve also veered off from this new healthy you found?
Perhaps, like me, you know gifts from the COVID pause are not gone, but you have lost sight of them?
I believe now is the time for each of us to check in and ask ourselves:
- Am I living in a way that honors who I am and what I bring to this world?
- Am I living in a sustainable way?
- Am I honoring my limits and my boundaries?
- Am I connected in with who and what really matters to me?
- Am I aware of what other changes are still needed?
While news and social media may not be “the thing” for you that causes disconnection from yourself and your healthy patterns and a slide into a dark place, I lost that connection as soon as I allowed myself to start checking news again.
I know that the boundaries I set for myself nearly 16 years ago around the news are considered extreme by many people and that is OK because I know that they are the boundaries that I need to have in place to be well and flourish. I added social media to that boundary about three years ago. I knew it was time.
As I have done a better job reestablishing and honoring the boundaries I already had in place pre-COVID, I could more easily find the gifts in the COVID pause and find even more healthy patterns for myself that I want to take forward with me.
Perhaps news and social media isn’t a trigger for disconnection from yourself and your healthy patterns, but I do want to push you here to consider what it is.
What habits and thoughts and feelings have caused you to be carried away in the swirl of negativity, fear, anger, and stress?
And how might you disconnect from that swirl, and reconnect to your own internal compass?