Has the Quarantine Made You More Self Aware?

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My clients and I have been experiencing an array of emotions during this quarantine.  Being more self-aware is part of being emotionally intelligent. As a youngster I was told to suppress my negative emotions and forget about them.  Later when I wanted to identify them, they were buried and it was hard to bring them forward.  The quarantine has provided me a unique opportunity to identify them and figure out ways to acknowledge and deal with them.  I’ve identified 10 below that either my clients or I have felt in the last 4 months. 

  1. Overwhelm – With work, household responsibilities, children, it is hard to figure out how to get it all done. Some people find having a schedule helps them to fit everything in.  Others find that it is necessary to drop a few tasks to make sure their priorities are taken care of.  Its ok to ask for help too and don’t forget to make sure you are a priority.  Self-care is particularly important.  Without it you are  in danger of burnout or illness.
  2. Anxiety-Those working from home feel anxious when their children need help and they are busy with work. They feel that they are not spending the “right” amount of time with their children.  That conflict between work and kids creates a lot of anxiety. With young children you may have to adjust the number of hours you work or find someone to help you by caring for your child or children.  The “right” amount of time may have to be different now based on a new living environment.  With older children setting up a specific time that you will be available for them may be helpful. 
  3. Guilt – Some people working at home feel guilty about taking a break. They feel they must work nonstop.  A coffee break or a bathroom break makes them feel guilty.  Studies show you are at your best when you are relaxed and less stressed.  Coffee breaks, chats with colleagues ( like when you chatted at the water cooler or coffee pot in the office), and bathroom breaks are necessary to do your best work.
  4. Fear– We are all faced with the fear of what is going to happen.  Keeping that in check by meditating, talking to friends, and hobbies can help.  We may not be able to do long term planning, but we can do daily planning.  We can do our best to keep ourselves and our family members safe. In truth even when there is no virus, we don’t know what is going to happen.
  5. Despondency – Feeling a lack of motivation and overall depression.  One client found that taking a month to regroup helped her to get her priorities straight and her motivation back.  She had to cut back on her work, find occasional care for her children, and cut back on the goals that she had for a business she was starting. 
  6. Boredom – Every day has a sameness to it.  There is nothing new to look forward to.  So many of us are feeling that way especially if you aren’t going out at all.  Time to do a Zoom call with friends.  Establish a teatime or coffee break with friends on Zoom or a happy hour in the evening.  Look for ways to escape by reading a good book, watching a movie, listening to music or even playing bridge with friends on the computer.  It is up to you to make your days more interesting. 
  7. Grateful – Families are grateful for the time they are spending together eating meals together, playing games together, watching movies together etc.  If you are lucky enough to stay healthy or have recuperated from Covid 19 you have a big reason to feel grateful. Look for other ways to feel grateful.  It is an emotion that makes us happy and makes us feel good!
  8. Anger – The world is an angry place right now.  Politics have become divided and antagonistic.  There is a large racial division in the US that has been with us too long. Those that are excluded are rightfully angry about it.  Time to become more aware of our own biases and then to do something about fixing the divide with money or social action.  Too much is done in anger and it is not productive and leads to more anger.  How do we cool the anger and unite to find a workable solution? It is a problem that needs a solution.  Use your anger energy in a good way.
  9. Sadness – So many people have died or been very sick with Covid 19 it is hard not to feel sadness about this.  If you are mourning the loss of someone close it takes time.  Grieving is an important part of your healing.  Take your time.  For others who are mourning the loss of friends or relatives this too takes time.  I lost a friend of 74 years not to the virus but during this time.  I think of her every day and probably will for a long time.
  10. Shame – If you have gone without a mask, failed to wash your hands, got closer than 6 feet to another person or infected others, you feel embarrassed for having done this. Make a vow to correct your behavior and start immediately.  Maybe it is appropriate to apologize now to the other person.

What about you?  Are there emotions you have identified that you have had to deal with?

A coach can help you to identify your emotions so that you can deal with them appropriately.  If the quarantine and virus have brought up many feelings that you can’t easily identify or deal with, I’d love to help.  You can reach me by email at asparker@asparker.com.

For more reading about emotional intelligence read Emotional Intelligence Can Help You To Be Happy At Work on my blog.

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