Last weekend I finally hit my threshold with all that is the Corona crisis. The last straw? After the grocery store run — which, we all know, is now a major event — the flat tire, and a few other mishaps, I cut my hand on a plastic strawberry container while I was putting the groceries away.
And I wasn’t sure I’d wiped it down.
That was it. My whole system went into high alert, and it took using every last tool in my toolkit to get myself completely re-grounded and re-centered.
I can’t recall the last time I felt so off.
Why am I telling you this?
Because as I talked with a colleague who I think of as super-steady and quite difficult to ruffle, and shared my experience of overload, they told me they were having meltdowns (their word) every few days. They said no one is showing up like they were 6 months ago.
I’m hearing about crises of confidence from clients, feelings of extreme overwhelm, of not knowing where to put one’s time and effort to greatest effect, of usually-placid leaders showing up agitated. Of being so busy that there is no time to breathe and being so upended that there is not enough to do. Of exhaustion and stretching to parent in the same time and space as working. Of direct reports who are fraying.
If you are a leader and don’t have a sounding board to gain an outside perspective, find one. It’s a tough time to be leading, the weight you’re carrying is greater than ever before, and one of the best investments that you can make – in yourself, your people, and the future of your organization — is to shore up your own resources.
There will be another side.
And we will get there.
We just need to create islands of respite and renewal, of quiet and calm, of peaceful perspective, to ensure that we arrive in fighting shape.
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