It can be tough to admit things aren't easy
It’s all a bit weird right now isn’t it? I kinda feel like I should be very grateful for the current health of my family, that we live in a safe, warm home with food to eat and each other. I’m not stranded, I’m not alone and I have friends and family keeping in touch.
I was tempted to write a positive, affirming, upbeat article, talking about the benefits, what I’m learning about balance and priorities, but I thought I’d be really honest instead. It’s a tough call and feels very exposing to be honest about how this feels, but I think that an awful lot of you will be feeling the same.
It’s hard, really bloody hard. And I feel very guilty for writing that. I’m not frontline NHS (my god, how are those guys coping right now?), I’m safe (so many others aren’t), and I know I’m loved (when there are those that are so very, very lonely). I know that I should be grateful, but I just feel really crap.
My emotions are like a crazy roller coaster, lurching from fake upbeat (for the sake of the kids), manic organisation (to try and regain some control), and uncontrollable panic-stricken fear - a sense that the sky is falling in and there is nothing I can do to stop it or to protect those I love the most.
I can be logical, but it doesn’t stop the feelings, I can be sensible, but it’s still the same.
I have realised that I’m experiencing typical, normal human emotions when faced with the ever-changing unknown, and feeling guilty that we don’t have it that bad doesn’t stop them.
That may be what you are feeling, and if you lead or manage people, it may well be what your people are feeling too.
It’s so hard to admit that we are struggling when we have so much to be grateful for, the things that help most are the human aspects of life. I consider myself hugely lucky to have a great network of people around me. From the practical support (let me get some shopping for you) to the subtle, emotional well-being check-ins.
My business partner and I talk daily, on my down days, she drags me up (sometimes even when faced with reluctance on my part), and at her low moments, I try to do the same. It is absolutely invaluable for me. Even if we haven’t talked work, it’s a reminder about the world that’s happening outside of my small world, and it’s a release, a distraction and a crucial tonic.
If you are a manager or leader of people, it has never been more important for you to communicate, to check in and to talk to your people on a regular basis. We don’t know how others are really coping, what’s happening in their homes, what their small world looks like right now. Some may not need you, but for those who do, for those who find it hard to admit to finding this crazy world tough to work out, that five minute conversation could be the difference between a really crappy day and a half decent one.
Keep in touch. Stay well.