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How to manage during a crisis : Part I (The basics)

Updated: May 27, 2020

When you hear the word crisis, how does that feel? In your body? In your heart?

Most likely the word crisis, disaster, or confinement will evoke some kind of a physical reaction. Maybe a constriction in your chest or stomach, a headache, tension in your face or neck.

Can you sit with that? Could you wait and see what happens next? What might come after the initial panic, worry, or fear? Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Listen before moving on to the next thing.

Many of us (myself included) are now forced to work from home, which comes with it's own challenges and opportunities.

So, what can we do to better manage this challenging period?

1. Follow a set schedule every day.

Routine helps us feel a sense of normalcy and safety. How can you make a daily schedule for during the week, as well as the weekend? Could you set a time to stop working and responding to emails? A time to watch the news or check social media, as well as a time to stop? Maintain a regular bedtime where you can get enough sleep to feel rested.

2. Separate work and personal time.

Similar to creating a routine, make sure you're scheduling personal time into your day. Can you have an extended break during the day to do an online fitness course, make yourself a warm tea, or use some essential oils and journal? Self-care during this time is so important, as is gives your body and mind a time to relax. If you can only do this at night, do so. It's necessary to get a break from work and do something good for yourself.

3. Create a work-only space, if possible.

One challenge of working from home is that everything is mixed - work and play, emails and personal messages, colleagues and children, etc. Try and create a space where you can work, apart from the things that can pull your attention - like TV, the kids, and household chores. At night, can you put away your laptop in a place where you don't see it? Try to really get a break from work, so that you can fully enjoy your personal time.

4. Stay in touch.

This may be an obvious one, but social support during a time of social distancing is extremely important. Not only does it make us feel less alone, but connecting with others (with video, if possible) calms out bodies and leads to a sense of safety. Schedule a tea break with a colleague, have a virtual dinner with friends, watch a TV show together. If you're part of a community, can you still have regular meetings?

5. Eat well.

Having more time at home can also mean more time to prepare food. Could you try out some new, healthy recipes? Perhaps you have more limited ingredients and less access to fresh foods - could this bring about some new opportunity to get creative?

6. Move.

Make sure you are moving throughout your day, even if you're inside. This may be an opportunity to start a new activity such as yoga, dance, or even hula hooping. Many fitness studios are now offering online classes, either for free or on a donation basis.

7. Realize that you are not alone.

All of us are effected in some way by this virus. We are all suffering in some way. Instead of blaming and shaming, how can we connect and realize that we are all human? That we all want to protect ourselves and those we love? Can we send and share love in ways we never thought possible? We are all connected. We are in this together.

I hope that this article was helpful to you and that you can continue to find your calm, as well as acknowledge any fear that may come up for you in the coming days and weeks.

Big hugs from Geneva.

*Please note that I am continuing seeing clients in the Geneva area online and would be happy to support you further, if you like. You can find more information about me on my website.

Art by: Ertan Atay

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