By Neha O’Rourke
Life is all of a sudden very different.
Whether you are on state or locally mandated quarantine or a self-directed quarantine — it’s safe to say that nowadays, we’re spending a lot of downtime in our homes and with ourselves for an extended period of time. With so much rapid change happening in the news cycle, industries coming to a halt, jobs being either cut, scaled back, or shifted to remote status, uncertainty in the external is at an extremely high vibration.
This is leaving many with a surge of energy that is very likely soaring in multiple directions at once, leaving our emotional and mental health in an entirely new state. On a basic level, some would describe this as feelings of stir crazy, restlessness, boredom, and many more familiar emotions or feelings related to the now.
As a coach, I view it as my responsibility to continue to remain front row for women as they make strides in better understanding themselves, reclaiming power (and energy) in their lives, and brings what matters most to them to the forefront.
Here are some tips and homework items on how to keep your energy and mental health in check during quarantine:
1. Know that you are in control —and let go of the rest
You can’t control what’s going on around you, but you can control your thoughts, actions, and choices: keep up your hygiene, choose where you interact, take preventative measures, etc. From there, recognize that other things are out of your hands and worrying about that will not serve you. Your worrying will actually cause stress, which we know has negative effects on immunity.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Focus on the things that are in your control and that will be constructive for your energy.
? Homework: List five things that you are in control of. Suggested categories are: health/wellness, personal growth, personal environment, etc. (Ex: “I am in control of my health because I am making a point to eat clean during quarantine”)
2. Know that you ALWAYS have a choice
As you move forward in your day, week, career, etc take stock in the choices that you get to make — to not let frustration or adversity define you. A large part of my coaching is helping others identify, and celebrate those choices. We must own our “gremlins” (a term I use in my coaching practice for “limiting beliefs”) that may be in the way or even prevent you from doing the things you care about.
Remember that you have the choice to push past the discomfort, know that you won’t be perfect, learn from your mistakes and always just go for it.
The world needs what you have to offer.
? Homework: List three things you have already subconsciously made choices around. Use an “I” statement. (Ex: “I chose to not allow imposter syndrome to get in the way of asking for a promotion that I deserved”)
3. Set realistic goals
Remember those New Year’s Resolutions? Well, this is a great time to revisit, replace, and reset your resolutions and goals. For example, if you’ve barely hit the gym, then saying you’re going to go 5 times a week isn’t realistic. Take the time to really assess what’s going to be realistic and attainable for you.
Remember: any action, no matter how big or small means you’re going in the right direction and are closer to your goal than you were before.
? Homework: Revisit your goals to ensure they are realistic and attainable. Think about what will serve your energy.
Neha O’Rourke is an award-winning Career Coach and Founder of Somewhere In Between Coaching, a coaching company that empowers women around the country and across industries in designing a career and life they love. Since founding Somewhere In Between, Neha has served hundreds of women in avoiding career burnout through her signature 1:1 career coaching programs, research-based blog series, and public appearances.