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Coping and communicating through the Corona months

Joy, sadness, fear, hope, despondency, hilarity – that’s been the morning’s gamut of emotions. No doubt you’re experiencing similar mood swings on what’s now called the Coronacoaster.

Five weeks into lockdown and I’m getting used to the ‘new normal’ but I’ve struggled along the way.

I’m usually annoyingly upbeat and positive but this knocked me sideways, as demonstrated by a recurring dream in which the brakes fail on a car I’m driving fast downhill!!!!

Then I came across an article by David Kessler (a world expert on grief) suggesting that…..

“we are collectively in mourning for the loss of our world and a loss of control”.

He outlines the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, acceptance, and suggests that with acceptance comes some sense of control. I’m there now, I think. I’ve let go of what I can’t control, and have limited myself to the things I can: cooking, gardening, my own (and my family’s) health, and then more cooking.

The speeding car nightmare has stopped.

Of course, some people are mourning the loss of their loved ones and that’s sadness on a different scale.

Kessler also suggests that it’s important to name the emotion. If we name it and feel it, it will eventually move through us.

An excellent seminar by therapist Alicia Drummond encouraged me to understand and avoid my ‘triggers’ – too much news, a negative ‘soundtrack’ to family life where every conversation lead back to Covid19.

And I’ve taken great comfort in ‘looking for heroes’ – stories of kindness and generosity. Hurrah for Captain Tom! 

In all that I’ve read about dealing with crises, one word comes up repeatedly – humour. I haven’t wept with laughter for many a year but now I do most days, thanks to people’s incredible wit and creativity. Andrew Cotter is a genius. Laughter is literally a tonic.

As is helping others. It’s proven that altruism benefits not only the recipient but the giver.

I’ve also been focusing on my professional passion – communication. I realised early on that we were all going to need our very best skills to survive lockdown.

So, I’ve spent the last five weeks seeking inspiration and guidance from a range of experts in: conflict resolution, leadership, relationships, psychotherapy, and I’ve added to their wisdom all that I’ve learned in 20 years training people. The result – a podcast, full of practical techniques to help us emerge from these Corona weeks with our relationships (professional and personal) in tact. Here it is – http://www.jayneconstantinis.com/

It’s little, I know, compared to 100 laps and £30 million. But I hope you find it useful and that it (along with Joe Wicks and banana bread) helps you cope with these strange and difficult times.

 

 

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