I have been delivering a lot of resilience training lately to employees who are preparing to return to work and / or returning into office.
As you can imagine, many of them are expressing feelings of anxiety, concern, lack of confidence and overall fear.
This is to be expected, we have all been through a life changing experience. Generally when we go through something life changing we (and maybe our closest friends and family) are the only ones going through it, there is some comfort when your life is turned upside down in knowing that the world is still turning and people are going about their normal business. Furthermore, when we experience something major and challenging, our brain tends to go through its database to give us memories and experiences (either our own or someone else's) of similar experiences to help us process them.
Going through a pandemic is something most of us have no experience of whatsoever, and nor do the people around us. This has left many of us scared and floundering in how to deal with things.
Furthermore, we have been repeatedly exposed to stories intentionally designed to make us fearful in order to make us comply with the necessary restrictions. This story of fear has taken our brains to a state of high alert potentially making you fearful now of things which you would not have thought twice about before.
We have repeatedly been told we are all in the same boat and that we should get some comfort from that, but that is simply not true. We are certainly all in the same storm but the reality is we are all in very different boats. For some, lockdown may have caused extreme financial pressures, for others challenges of being in an environment when they do not feel safe, for others health anxiety and so on. This could well be why your experience of the past few months will differ wildly from your neighbours.
It is important, as we start to venture back out into the world, that you are patient and kind with yourself. Go at your own pace, be aware that your brain feeling fearful is simply it's way of trying to keep you safe. When you understand, and are compassionate, about your own personal experience, it will hopefully help you to understand how to handle things best for you.
If you need any help or support with this, please reach out to friends, family or professionals. If you are an employer, please be mindful of the changes your employees will have experienced over the past few months and consider ways in which you can help them to feel stronger and more resilient. One of which could of course be asking us to come in and help.