Have you recently been staring at yourself in the mirror and pondering as to whether the person staring back at you is, in fact, actually you? And if it is you, then what is it that has changed? And to what degree? Is the change for the better or worse? You look ok. Maybe you even look fabulous. After all, you've just been shopping to replace your sweatpants with a tailored pantsuit for that in-person meeting. Visually, you’re rocking it! However, sitting plum in your solar plexus is a pesky state of angst and uncertainty that you just can't shake—a constant state of FLUX. You are feeling more than just a little left-of-centre. Why now? Why this feeling of angst when the life you were forced to give up for 18 months is finally returning to normal?
It's just that they're rolling around your feet in a disorderly manner, trying to figure out what new formation is required of them. You’re tired. You’re depleted. You may be burnt out. You're dealing with a phrase coined by Amy Cuddy in the Washington Post article "Pandemic Flux Syndrome." Your feelings are justified and to be expected. After all, we have all just shared a bizarre humanitarian crisis of literal global proportions.
We can't candy-coat what's just happened. We can’t wrap it in shiny paper and a giant bow, gallantly telling ourselves that this was a gifted lesson from mother nature. That is simply too much to ask of even the most tenacious, optimistic of souls. If we’re honest, this stage of the pandemic is making us feel anxious.
Yes, the pandemic has certainly presented us with some valuable lessons. Adversity always has a lesson attached. In those uncharted, challenging spaces, we grow, develop more grit, and achieve greater perspective. However, we should be cautious in our bravery. Careful in our attempts to soften our relationship with what has been a side swiping global pandemic. It's admiral to simply get on with life as usual, but we can't ignore our need to honour the transition, to mourn.
We’ve been through a lot. We have lost a lot. Had to shift. And that deserves pause, acknowledgment, and a personal audit on where we now stand—an audit on how we feel. While the results of an individual audit will be different for everyone, there is a collective element that unifies us – each and every one of us, worldwide, has been impacted by the pandemic. We are all bamboozled – it’s just the degree that varies.
We may be feeling powerless, as if we have no active influence or say in our own lives. We haven’t had the opportunity to mourn what we have lost. We’re not even sure if there’s more loss to come. We feel guilt due to comparative suffering – how can I feel sad when others are dying or have lost loved ones? Equally, we haven't had a definitive celebration. There were no fireworks that went off when restrictions began to lift. There is no pre and post-pandemic line drawn in the sand. Is it even possible to say ‘post-pandemic’? Is it over?
Yes, we have strong psychological immunity, but our nervous systems have become depleted as we reach the 18-month mark of living with a pandemic. In short, we have reached surge capacity – we are burnt out. We are missing predictability and exhausted by the volatility thrust upon us.
So, what do we do? In my upcoming Masterclass, we will discuss "Pandemic Flux Syndrome" and how we can accept flux as a constant state by developing a flux mindset. We do not have to feel victimised. We can own our joy. We can hold our effervescence close and celebrate the little moments that bring us content and euphoria. We have the tools without needing to pop any Fluxseed pills – we just need a gentle nudge to remember and reinstate them. That little toolbox is always in our control and is the healthiest supplement at our disposal.
The good news is that we can consciously and collectively heal. We can mindfully recapture our effervescence, our inner joy, and playful spirit. We do this bit by bit, moment by moment whether we experience joy or sadness. We acknowledge what’s happened, and then we gather our tools and get our marvellous mojo back.
We can own our joy again. We can own our enthusiasm and the little moments that bring us content and even pops of euphoria. It all starts with being protective of our holistic wellness. Our mind, body, heart, and spirit have dealt with an unprecedented load of challenges. Yes, they are burnt out, but they are also little troopers that have your back and always, always triumph. We just need to be reminded of how to tap into our emotional genius and realign our priorities again.
If you cannot make the masterclass and would like to know more about my masterclasses and keynotes on Burnout or other wellbeing related topics, please reach out as I would love to have a chat with you.