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The paradox of finding normalcy in extraordinary times

While thinking about this inspiration mail I was going back and forth between two things. On the one hand I was afraid that you would not want to have another inspiration mail that is addressing the extraordinary situation we all find ourselves in.  That I should just write a “normal “ inspiration mail. On the other hand it also felt weird to write an inspiration mail totally unrelated to this extraordinary situation.

Then I realized that is exactly the paradox I am navigating in so many different ways since the lock down here in the Netherlands….
The paradox is this:

  • I know that creating or maintaining a sense of normalcy is crucial for our mental and physical well being.
  • But this normalcy is taking place in the most extraordinary and uncertain context. Just as crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing is giving space to all the feelings, the changes and practical challenges this strange context evokes

The first week of the lock down I was focusing mostly on the normalcy. I told myself that for me most part things would be the same. After all: I am used to working from home, that is where my office is. And I do a lot of my coaching through telephone or zoom.

So I thought I could maintain business as usual for the most part. That is one of the reasons why I was surprised by how much of an adjustment it was for me. I mostly focused on the normalcy. And I was under the illusion that the things I was able to continue (like working from home, my coaching) would not be affected. But I quickly learned that in such a different context even the usual and normal things that I was able to continue, look and feel different!

  • How I parent looks and feels different. More focus on wellbeing. Letting things slide more (such as angry communication, cheecky comments) and trying to tap more into compassion. This is strange, unsettling and emotional for them as well. And I get to hug my kids during work 😊
  •  My coaching calls are different, because my clients are navigating this new situation as well.
  • Working from home is different. I am less focused myself, find it harder to start working and stay concentrated. And of course there are more interruptions as well (questions from kids, hugs from kids, helping my kids). And I actually have a really nice colleague at the office -my husband 😉.

How you navigate this paradox will look different for everyone!  For me, navigating this paradox between creating normalcy and making room for the extraordinary circumstances is about:

  • Creating anchoring points for the day, that provide me with structure and a different sense of normalcy.
  • Giving myself more space and flexibility for selfcare – both physical and emotional.
  • Significantly lowering my expectations and goals for what work to do in a day

At the moment these are my anchoring points:

  • Get up at my usual time and meditate
  • Go outside after breakfast for a walk (instead of my normal cycle tour to and from school)
  • Limit corona news intake, to 1 or 2 moments each day
  • Defining  1 or 2 small work packages for the day. Small doable goals that I  know I will be able to do no matter what. Everything extra is a bonus. And it leaves room for selfcare, the children and other unexpected things
  • Giving space to my changing emotions , energy and needs. So when I feel low, anxious or overwhelmed I consciously acknowledge this feeling by noticing/labelling the feeling. “I am feeling low right now” Then I ask myself in a loving and compassionate way: what do you need right now? And then I give myself what I need.

Do you recognize this paradox? How are you navigating it? I would love to learn about what works for you or what is hard. Just hit reply and send me an email.

Could you use help finding new normalcy while allowing room for this extraordinary context?
I can help you with things like:

  • Discovering what your personal anchoring points might look like
  • Finding a practical workable way to contribute at work and as a parent while everyone is at home
  • How to find space for selfcare (even more so if the workpressure is higher or your workload has increased due to having to find different online ways to give lectures or create exams, for example)
  • Help in finding more joy, energy and trust in these uncertain times

Just send me an email with your questions or dilemma’s and we'll set up a free 30 minute exploration call. Free of charge, no strings attached. During this call we can dive deeper into your questions and we can explore how I could help you, whether it is in one or two sessions or a longer coaching trajectory.

P.S.1: In all this uncertainty I find joy, comfort and normalcy in the sun showing itself so brightly every day since the day we went into lock down. Like the earth is sending me reassurance by also showing the beauty, light and warmth there also is right now!

P.S. 2: Looking for a smile or inspiration? Follow me on
-    Instagram 
-    my personal page on Facebook 

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