With the current chaos enveloping the world, and living here in Melbourne, we are hoping our hard work will pay off to successfully transition us into a new CoVid19 ‘normal’.
No matter where you live though, it’s hard not to get caught up in the MESS that is 2020. Let’s face it the MESS is pretty messy at the moment….in all aspects of life.
I know I’ve been more than fortunate not having to deal directly with death, illness or worrying about a loved one in Aged Care. I live in a safe and thoughtful community. We have, in our family, experienced job loss, movement and social restrictions, curfews, home schooling, working online, feeling disconnected to family and friends, masks, boredom, agitation, loss and grief.
The more I focus on the MESS, the bigger it gets
With a strong focus on the MESS I notice my frustrations heighten, with a growing sense of disempowerment and feeling of a lack of agency in my own life. It is amazing what freedoms we take for granted.
The more I seem to notice, the more it appears to be all around me….it is true what they say: “what you look for you will see”.
I know as humans we are wired for negativity. We are more likely to see the negative in a situation, which is how we will either avoid injury or illness and how we learn for the future. But with the uncertainties of 2020 and the rising unrest in the world, our wiring, or at least mine, is heading towards overload.
As individuals trying to survive in our own little patch, no matter where that is, the negativity can be overwhelming, especially if we are caught up in the MESS and not the MESSAGE the mess is actually sending us.
Below is my view of some of the MESS and the MESSAGES from the micro to the macro. It is clear that no matter what perspective we take on this, there are some consistent responses needed, because humans are humans right, no matter if we share a home with them, work with them or they are across the other side of the world.
The responses we need
- Patience is key across all domains. No matter what level, patience helps us to stop and take in all the aspects of a situation rather than rush to fix it, or move on to ignore.
- To be able to respond rather than react we need empathy to appreciate our own needs as well as others.
- We are all capable of modelling care and support – someone is always paying attention – we are all connected.
- We need to stay connected while we remain physically distant. It is clear that those who are navigating these waters alone will struggle more than those who are connected. Reach out and encourage those who you know to be living alone to either come into work under ‘special’ circumstances or make the extra mental health check-ins to ensure they feel their lives are supported and witnessed.
- Use conversations with family, friends, work colleagues or others like the local supermarket attendant, to focus on communal strengths of kindness, gratitude, persistence and patience.
- We can’t underestimate our ability to choose where we put our focus and attention. Encourage those who are feeling overwhelmed to limit their exposure to media reports and encourage conversations about life apart from CoVid19 and how it is affecting us.
We are whole humans, we need to remember to notice where we put our energies, to appropriately and effectively nourish ourselves and others, and ultimately nurture positive connections.
|HOME – MESS||MESSAGE||RESPONSES we need|
|Arguing||24hr parenting = reduced independence for everyone||Plenty of patience & empathy|
Orchestrate time away from each other
|Refusing to cooperate||Unexpressed feelings of|
|Supportive conversations &|
|Emotional outbursts||Decreased sense of certainty & safety||Compassion & self-compassion|
|Children not wanting to sleep alone||News reports re CoVid & violence|
= threat, fear & worry
|Reduce exposure to media reports|
|Refusing home schooling,|
|Emotional overload||Creative outlets |
|Not eating or binge eating|
Lack of self-care
|CoVid fatigue||Nourishing coping strategies|
|Excess screentime||Need to escape||Social connections increasing independence|
|WORK – MESS||MESSAGE||RESPONSES we need|
|Arguing||Lack of unity||Psychological safety to raise & address issues|
|Emotional outbursts||Isolation & disconnection||Enquiry & empathy to witness another’s journey|
|Resistance||Lack of clarity of change||Support structure for skill|
|Withdrawal||High demands – working|
from home & home schooling
|Increased resource support|
|Disconnection||Decreased support structure||Increased social connections|
|Low productivity||Fear of job security||Clear incentives to change|
|WORLD – MESS||MESSAGE||RESPONSE we need|
|Death||Worldwide physical |
threat & danger
|Community Leadership |
|Pain & Suffering||Prejudice unseen &|
|Willingness to listen|
Seek to understand
|Restrictions||Isolation & disconnection||Empathy to understand|
|Unity of vision for change|
|Rioting & Destruction||Feeling unseen, |
lack of unity
|Chaos||‘me’ not ‘we’ focus||Increased social connections|