I have a colleague who’s on edge. The pandemic sparked it. He and I discussed how he can deal productively with it.

He’s generally an even-keeled kind of guy. But he told me how stressed out he was when a potential client didn’t return his emails.

“I went through this whole range of emotions from frustration to anger and then panic,” he said.

At least with some time and perspective, he could add, “My reaction was out of line. I realized how on-edge I was.”

Sound familiar?

We’re all on-edge these days, aren’t we?

Our lives have changed drastically over the last weeks. We’re mourning the loss of our freedom to socialize with friends, see our co-workers at the office, celebrate special occasions with family. The list goes on.

All these losses, along with worrying about an uncertain future, have taken a toll on us.

Here’s the Good News

  • We will come out of this someday, and we will have learned a lot along the way. There’s no question all of us will be changed, but we also have the opportunity to be better prepared for the future.
  • There are things we can do NOW to stay grounded and turn “edginess” to our advantage

How to stay grounded and be more productive

Here are five tips that have worked for my clients and me to stay grounded and forge ahead while the world is upside-down:

  1. Focus on what you control. Recognize some things are beyond your control right now. If you focus on making the most of what you can control, you’ll feel more empowered and confident during this challenging time.
  2. Stay informed. I know, I know! It’s a lot more fun to watch another episode of Schitt’s Creek instead of the news, but ignoring reality will only exacerbate your feeling of helplessness. Don’t overdo it. You don’t have to binge-watch the 24/7 news station. But you should have the information you need to make informed decisions. Burying your head in the sand is not the answer.
  3. Connect with others. We’re all in this together, so keep in touch with your friends and family. Trust me, they’ll be delighted to hear from you. Don’t just maintain your relationships, take it one step further and build an even stronger support system.
  4. Master the art of re-framing. Consciously choose to view negative thoughts from a different perspective. Reframing whatever thoughts are hurting you will make you feel more in control and less like a victim of circumstances.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Breathe deeply, get outside and exercise, maintain a good sleep schedule, eat healthy. Life is full of challenges and you need to be in top shape to tackle them.

A crisis like this can unnerve us. Don’t be ashamed if you feel on edge and overreact occasionally.
Just step back and remind yourself: You can grow and learn through the process. You’ll come out stronger. You’ll discover that we can get through anything that comes our way.
Take comfort in seeing how our community has come together, how people are supporting each other, and how much stronger we are together.
Be strong, be safe, stay well!

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