Photo by Aaron Burden on Unspalsh

We can all agree that the lockdown due to Covid-19 has shifted something in us, deeply. What shape it will eventually take, time will tell. 

As we’re entering deconfinement, reflections are popping up everywhere at a societal, economic, and personal level: What do I want to change in my life? What have I learned? 

There are many things I want to continue doing – keeping my daily routine, using tools to be more efficient, giving more attention to well-being, monitoring the balance in my life.  

Confinement was tough, yet amazing things happened. Things which seemed impossible, are today the new normal. Creativity seems to have been unleashed, solutions found. 

Take the working from home, WFH, aspect. Companies without remote working policies saw themselves with no choice. All employees suddenly worked from home. And it worked! Some clients have told me their teams have produced better results than ever before. 

The advantages of the online world have become clear. Twitter has announced WFH as permanent in their company. I believe the future will offer a balanced approach between off- and online. 

My biggest lesson, however, is this: Be gentle and kind with myself and others.

Covid put us all in the same situation – stranded at home, juggling more challenges, unique to each of us, than usual. Some were working from home with small children around. Some were stuck in an apartment. Some were completely alone. Tough. 

Stress levels were heightened. We needed to operate differently and tap into our creativity for solutions. We were tested in many ways, learning new skills, finding a new balance, finding new ways of attaining our goals. The list is long. 

Personally, I went through a phase of going along, adapting, following the new flow defined by Covid, until I stopped, realising some things weren’t working. One day, I got off the phone, angry at someone for being irritable and snappy. Then it struck me – be gentle with yourself and others. 

When we get irritated with someone, we hopefully draw on our empathy reminding ourselves we don’t know that person’s story and therefore don’t need to take their reaction personally. Covid offered us a clear mirror – one that allowed us to reflect on other’s situations with more empathy because we were all in the same boat. The person I was angry with lives alone and had previously mentioned that she was having a tough time. I decided to let go.

I decided to be more in the self-compassion seat and the empathy seat, to borrow Brené Brown’s concept. My self-compassion seat was to recognise that some things were not working for me in this lockdown:  working too many hours, putting too much pressure on myself. 

On the empathy seat, I recognised that everybody struggles with issues due to the lockdown and everybody is doing their best. Although there are obvious limits, drawing a bit more on my empathy and letting go of certain things would serve me and others. 

I changed gear and used the occasion to grow. I put and named boundaries (for myself and others) and created a structure which works for me. I thought of ways to handle situations differently. 

I created room for connection at a different, deeper, level. I became more generous with compliments, thank yous, and just be more light-hearted! 

The result is that it is easier to move forward. Energy is being spent on what is important. 

My Covid lesson: Be gentle with yourself and others. We’ll need it for the time to come.

Share your biggest insight in the comments. Would love to hear yours and get inspired.

#selfawareness #reflections #leadershipcoaching