There’s a new phrase in town… “Lockdown Meltdown”.
Introverted folks in a small bubble might not relate, but if you are a parent, working from home, with school-aged kids you will completely understand.
Suddenly you are trying to be everything to everyone without any of your normal escape hatches (café, gym, the ability to drop kids at preschool or school, time alone in the car or bus, or… remember this?? Having the house to yourself while everyone else is out.
When you have so many things competing for your attention, and you feel you have to attend to them all (And your own needs), three things happen.
First, your attention gets very dispersed, and it makes it hard to concentrate and do things the way you want to.
Then stress builds up because you aren’t doing anything as well as you’d like, which is frustrating (and possibly scary, if you think your livelihood depends on you giving good attention to your work tasks).
Last, you start REACTING. Reacting is a big sign that you are overwhelmed. Right now, everyone is having moments of overwhelm (aka meltdown).
Reacting is different to responding. Reacting happens before you’ve realised you’re doing it. It’s instant, hasn’t been thought through and is usually tense or angry. Reacting happens when we get tunnel vision and can only see all the things that need to be done and only feel the overwhelm and frustration. The worst thing is that it often provokes a reaction from the other person, which just leaves you with even more to deal with.
Responding is thought out, calm and non-threatening. Responding requires us to take a deep breath (or 4!) to reset the brain from fear or frustration to ‘big picture’ perspective. The truth is that reacting is easier, and RESPONDING is harder.
Try these things to help you respond instead of reacting:
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