It’s fair to say that for many, it’s been an interesting 20 months. There’s an increasing sense of weariness with the pandemic, a feeling that can be hard to shake off, no matter how hard we try. As we sit on the precipice of life slowly starting to return to the new normal, perhaps we should consider ensuring we’ve shaken off the fatigue and are feeling recharged and refreshed for the future.
As a population, we’ve bounced around from normality, to lockdowns, to separation from families and isolation from those we love. The challenges of pandemic living are universal – mask wearing obscuring the smiles of those we pass, hugs and handshakes on hold but for many, it’s the seemingly never-ending cycle of knock backs and uncertainty, which are creating a pressure cooker type scenario for so many professionals. The lack of job security, the uncertainty of when families can be reunited and for some, home schooling, is creating a layer of built-up stress and anxiety never seen before. Even those who admit to being fairly resilient, are confessing to feeling ‘heavy’ and simply tired of living under the constant haze of a pandemic. Leadership teams are experiencing individuals and even the whole energy of their teams being impacted by overwhelm, fatigue and a ‘flat feeling’ as though all the bubbles of energy have been shaken out. These feelings are absolutely natural, after all, even the most senior executive is only human, but we should be asking ourselves how we can support people during this lull?
Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve been running Mindfulness workshops and coaching, to support individuals and organisations who are wanting to learn extra coping skills to keep thriving. Whilst many of us (especially those A type, over achievers) don’t like to admit that we’re finding the current climate challenging, it’s evident that this weariness so many are experiencing, is both widespread and promoting reassessments of what’s important. Notably, may professionals have made a significant change – be it a sea or tree change, or a job or house move, it’s clear that pandemic has changed the landscape for some, for good. We’re all on a journey, reaching different stages at differing times, which can create confusion when it comes to communicating, innovating and accepting. Mindfulness helps promote a greater self-awareness and an awareness of others, and can help break the cycle of ‘weariness’ by reinjecting joy into your work and home life and helping to re-engage your wellbeing. Whilst there may be no one major event which is contributing to pandemic fatigue, or you feel you’ve fared well compared to many, it doesn’t negate the feelings you’re experiencing. Or lessen the need to address them. Or listen to and respond to the feelings of a colleague or team member.
Mindfulness can help improve lines of communication, in being Mindful, you’re actively being more conscious of your thoughts, actions and behaviours, which can help you relate better with others. Achieve improved outcomes. Build greater productivity and reawaken a sense of alertness. Simple tools and techniques such as breathing exercises, mini-mediations and stress scales can equip you to face the uncertainty and channel your energy into maintaining your own wellbeing and build resilience for the future.
If you or your team are feeling flat, unproductive, disconnected or just overwhelmed, you’d likely benefit from Mindfulness. Reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org