What started as an emergent problem two years ago quickly became a crisis. Now, two years later, crisis Is simply how you do the business daily. To varying degrees, the changes will stay with us into the future. The pandemic, the response, national and world events have changed a great many systems. And they have changed each of us as well.
Not all of the changes in us are healthy. For many, the emotions from the last two years are unresolved. Change, loss, grief, and burnout are dogging some of us. At the same time, the world has changed in ways that affect family, work, school, expectations, national and world events.
How you seek and receive support and assistance is going to become critical to you as you face the changes and challenges ahead. The coping strategies you choose will be important. You can choose active coping strategies that address difficulties directly in ways the give strength, build resilience, and restore hope and recover health and function. Or you can choose avoidant coping strategies that prevent thinking about, feeling, or doing the good work of recovering and building resilience.
For individuals seeking to recover – recovery is your mission from this time forward. Doing a good job at your work for the long haul will come from healthy recovery strategies. So will healthy relationships, both professionally and personally. Helping your family and friends to recover well comes out of a healthy, recovered you. Remember, you must put your mask on first if you will help others with their own masks. That principle applies to recovery as well.
Successful recovery will depend upon you “taking care.” That means intentionally, deliberately choosing your motives and coping strategies. It also means that along with taking care of others, you “take care” from others. This includes:
- Shifting your paradigm to include active and interactive coping strategies.
- Shifting your priorities from crisis survival to the work of recovering well.
- Shifting your relationship strategies to include your recovery along with that of family, coworkers, and friends.
- Redirecting your pandemic energies into active coping strategies for you, your tribe, your team.
- Learning and employing new active coping and recovery skills.
As previously mentioned, “taking care” also includes seeking and accepting help in your recovery – from family, friends, and co-workers. And sometimes, “taking care” means seeking that help, even from professional sources. Recovery, like survival, is a team sport. The lone survivor, like the lone wolf, is the least survivable. Recovery is also a mindset. It is remembering and acting on the truth that you cannot do this alone. Others need to join you in recovery, and you need to join them.
Leadership recovery – leaders are not exempt from any of these dynamics. Your recovery needs are no less than your team’s needs. It is important that you lead by example by actively “taking care” each day.You can model the use of recovery resources and practices in your own life. It will be important to normalize the use of them in your everyday speech and leadership actions.
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