I should be in Lanzarote this week, enjoying the sunshine, the cycling, the fun with fellow athletes, and getting some much needed Vitamin D and sunshine on my bones. But I’m not. I’m at home sitting at my desk, looking out at the rain trying to figure out a plan to keep my business afloat.
I am just one of many small businesses and self employed workers that relies on the sports industry to pay the bills, who is now facing an uncertain future with the escalating COVID19 situation locally and globally.
I may be alone in my office at home this afternoon, but I am certainly not alone in how I’m feeling; a definite sense of unease, uncertainty, helplessness and not sure what to do or where to go from here. We are most definitely as a nation and a global population, in ever changing unchartered waters that continue to ebb and flow, bringing a host of unpredictable challenges every day.
The impact of this pandemic is universal, it will affect everyone. Life as we know it is changing, social norms, our daily routines and activities are changing and will continue to change as the days and weeks go by. Social distancing, self isolation and handwashing, three terms that are now more common than please and thank you in our vocabulary since COVID19 began to impact our lives.
This ‘new reality’ has undoubtedly pushed us all clean out of our comfort zones and into a new zone of discomfort. A comfort zone is defined as ‘a psychological state in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and (perceive they are) in control of their environment.’
I’m not sure about you, but I am definitely not operating within my comfort zone, and I believe no matter who you are or where you are from, that you can't honestly say you are operating inside your comfort zone at this point in time. COVID19 has pushed all of us from our safe environments into uncertainty, unease and in many cases anxiety and fear.
But, we can make this new unknown zone more like a comfort zone and take action to avoid heading into a potential danger zone. To do this, we have to create some new normals, make things feel familiar and work to reduce the anxiety many of us are feeling.
Regardless of your circumstances we can still be kind, we can look out for each other, support each other and be there for people who are suffering. Whether that’s checking on a neighbour, phoning a friend who might need some support or just making ourselves available to help others who may be vulnerable, self isolating or scared to go outdoors, we all have a role to play.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but a smile is worth a million… next time you are in the local shop or supermarket picking up your groceries, smile at the person in the aisle shopping at the same time as you, it may be the only smile they see that day. Smile at the person serving you, be polite, thank them for being there so you can look after yourself and your family. This applies to those you encounter in the health service and on the front line who are working to keep us safe. They, like you, have families but are working on our behalf to ensure our families are protected and looked after in the face of this growing adversity.
There have been lots of cancellations of events, activities, trips abroad, flights and much more. Yes you are annoyed, upset, aggravated, worried or confused, but remember, there are many people who are worse off. People’s lives are at risk, many have lost their jobs, some have lost loved ones.
Scores of lives are being drastically affected by this pandemic and we need to look out for each other.
Please be kind to the people who are trying to sort this situation out especially in dealing with any issues that may have arisen for you personally. Whether it’s a cancelled race, a cancelled flight, or a serious disruption to your plans and lifestyle. At the end of the phone, the end of tweet an email or a Facebook post, is a person who is doing their best. Don’t add to their stress and anxiety or your own by venting your frustration on them. Instead, go walk your stress out, dance around the kitchen with your favourite song on full blast, think of some of your favourite things. This will make you feel better and, in turn, reduce the burden on others. Take that negative energy and turn it into something positive. We all need more positivity in our lives today.
We are a very resilient people, we will come back from this. We will find ways to make hay when the sun shines again, find new ways of working, diversify how and where we do business, seek solutions to problems that we thought would never materialise. If you can control the controllables, stay positive and set up a new routine whatever that may be, your new comfort zone may not be too far away.
No matter where we are, we will all have a different physical landscape and set up. I am lucky that Salthill Prom is only a stone’s throw away for a blast of nature to wash away my frustrations and worries. Regardless of the roads, mountains, rivers, hills and seas that may surround you we all share the same sun moon and stars no matter where we are in the world. Being kind, helpful, practical, patient, positive and resilient are things we all can be to ensure we all make it out from under this dark cloud of COVID19. We are in this together, let’s work so that together we can proudly march back into our comfort zones with a smile on all of our faces.
‘If you want to move to a new level in your life, you must break through your comfort zone and practice doing things that are not comfortable.’ T. Harv Eker.
Wash Your Hands
Practise Social Distancing
Don’t Share Fake News