Why It's Okay Not to Be Okay during Covid19

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I created a podcast on the 30th of March entitled "Why it's ok not to be ok during Covid 19", it was my first podcast and I would love to be able to say that it was planned and in development for weeks, however, it was inspired by a realization on my part of the depth of emotions that I was feeling which only came to the surface during a really trivial event. At the time social media was awash with posts from people who seemed to my mind to be really utilizing this time to upskill and be creative and I was still finding it hard to focus on the smallest things. Thankfully I am feeling much more grounded now and comfortable with just being but I still notice the little flutter in my chest when they talk on the news about people not obeying the rules or heading off to holiday homes.

Shortly after releasing my podcast a nurse got in touch with me to say that she had listened to it and felt relieved, she herself had gotten into her car earlier that day unable to find her keys and started to cry. She felt comforted knowing she was not alone in these emotional outbreaks. An acquaintance also got in touch to say that she felt that it was a "relief to have permission" to not have to summon what she considered "super human strength to feel positive". "Permission" is a word that I hear alot...

I listened to Brene Brown’s podcast “unlocking us” last week and one of her key messages was the importance of allowing ourselves to feel our feelings right now, name them and to try and avoid the temptation to “armour up”. She said that if “you don’t own those feelings and feel them, they will eat you alive” Over the last week, I have noticed friends on social media posting about struggling with isolation and tears, sharing and being vulnerable and people responding quickly with virtual hugs and check in calls, to me being vulnerable is such a difficult emotion but it is also beautiful and brave.

So whether you are in the fear zone, the learning zone or the growth zone or moving between all 3 as many of us are, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to pause if you can!


Podcast Transcript:

"On Sunday a door literally slammed in my face and made me really aware of how I was feeling and the importance of a pause

A little bit of background

On Sunday morning the wind was howling and when I went down to the yard to open the main door into my stables the wind caught the door and jammed it shut and I couldn’t open it, there was still one pony that was waiting inside to be turned out in the field. Was it the end of the world,? No, this had happened before and I had managed it but this time I started to cry, I cried because I was annoyed at the wind and how on top of everything else we had to deal with, it had chosen this moment to be windy and this was the last thing I needed, I cried because my husband was in work and anyone else that I might have reached out to was no longer an option, was I supposed to call the guards? Surely not… I cried because although I am pretty resilient with good mental health this was an unknown and I have a 90 year old grandmother and vulnerable people in my family. We are being tested at our most base levels, our health, our security and our lack of control. I think I cried for the country in that moment.

Eventually I got the door opened, problem solving was not my forte in an emotional state but what struck me was how on edge I must have been for that emotional outbreak to have happened.

So what this got to do with Career planning and LinkedIn you might be thinking and you might be right… I rarely post anything on social media that is personal but Covid 19 is not just a physical threat but also an emotional one. So I posted my experience on FB along with an article from the Harvard review that had popped up serendipitously entitled “the discomfort that you are feeling is grief” and the response surprised me. Friends, associates who I would have considered to be doing well in this crisis, sharing the positive memes said openly that old demons had returned during this crisis, panic attacks, crippling anxiety and worse. One such friend told me she had always considered me to be “strong and together” and when I shared this moment, she felt that perhaps it was ok for her to be feeling what she was feeling too.

So again, you might be asking what this has to do with career planning, well here goes. My clients will know that I love the work of Brene Brown and will often talk in the sessions about how if we want to be brave in our lives we need to be vulnerable. Well here goes, over the last couple of years, a common theme in my coaching sessions has been that people have felt the need for a pause an opportunity to just be and breathe. Over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about how I can help, I am not a nurse or doctor and I do not want to be another voice telling people how they should spend this time to upskill, become more resilient or make major life decisions. I have been inundated with offers to do €29 courses and I have signed up to a few and then not even started them, I have had those moments where I think my god, everyone seems to be signing up and making the best use of their time and I have had a brain fog for a good week.

I was asked to do a radio interview last week and I asked to postpone it until I knew how I wanted to show up during this time, a move which is not the best business sense at this moment in time but I have always tried to be real with my clients. So my message is right now its ok to just breath and just be and just do enough. Its ok to not want to upskill, to have brain fog, to not make big decisions, to just be kind to yourself.

If you are in the space and you want to assess then use this time to percolate on questions such as what parts of my old normal do I wish to return to and which do I want to change, but the main thing is just breathe! I really believe that we need to take this step by step because our parameters are changing and there is a huge amount of unknown.

So I am going to blur the lines and create a new normal for the new few weeks. I am going to talk to you once a week about career topics but not from my office in my house. Most of my recent clients that are reading/listening to this will most likely know that I studied equine assisted coaching last year and a huge part of this learning was the restorative power of nature (Biophilia theory) and how it can reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety in the workplace/lives in general. So my new normal means that I talk to you from somewhere at home that is outside and bring nature to you. If that isn’t appealing hopefully my messages will be anyway and if you are not feeling ready to listen to career topics then hopefully nature can bring a little healing anyway.

So my message to you right now is it is ok to not feel ok right now and to perhaps not have the energy to want to be the best version of yourself. We are all on this journey together but our pace maybe differ."

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