• Nancy Dennis ACC

Coronavirus – It’s Time for Lemonade

Has the Coronavirus had an impact on your life? Perhaps you are working from home, so is your spouse, and schools are out so your children are home as well. Maybe childcare is not available. Some are not accustomed to being alone for extended periods of time. Others will see fewer co-workers in their place of business and be asked to adjust the typical daily routine.

Whatever your circumstances, it is likely that the upcoming week(s) will bring about a lot of unexpected change. When I was thinking about this, I recalled the adage ‘When live gives you lemons, make lemonade’. How will you make lemonade?

This is a time to demonstrate your resilience and ability to adapt to a changing environment.

Here are a few things to remember:

· Change can leave one feeling they have no control. Not true. You have control when you choose to take action and show up around others in a way that aligns with how you really, truly are. Take a couple of deep breaths from time to time and do a personal check in. Start with your mindset. What do you see? Next, what are you feeling both physically and emotionally? Finally, how are you being, acting, and reacting? Do your actions and reactions reflect the person you want to be, the person you really are?

· It’s all normal. Whatever you are feeling and experiencing, it is likely those around you are feeling as well. If you are noticing crabbiness, frustration, confusion, fear, or any number of less desirable experiences in those around you remind them that it is normal to feel this way when there is so much change. The secret is to not choose to stay with those anxious thoughts, and focus instead on something better.

· Have you ever wanted more time to do the things you really want to? What about that commute time you no longer have? Intentionally decide how you want to use that time. Remember, you can always find more work to do but maybe there are better choices.

Perhaps this time is now time to deepen a meditation practice, or play a board game with the kids. Writing a love letter to your individual family members could bring about surprising results. Just be intentional about this time. Make it really count.

· Feeling on your own? Make your lemonade. Deep dive into a hobby in the evenings. Don’t wait for someone else to reach out, give them a call or text and check in with them on the things you might have talked about when getting your morning coffee. One of the meditation practices I love is to see the person I care about in front of me, then opening my heart to them, flooding them with love, peace and joy. Then I see that same love, peace and joy come back through them and I intentionally open up to receive all that is being offered. I believe we are all connected in ways we do not fully understand. By practicing this, I feel even more connected with others when we are not physically together.

· Being asked to do more? What a great time to show what a terrific team player you are. In today’s workplace, individual success is not nearly as important as team success. Now is a time to show your team they can truly count on you.

In my coaching work, I frequently use ‘Expectation, Communication, Execution’ to help people see how to have better interactions. Now is an excellent time to utilize this in your own situation. Here’s a quick overview of how that works:

What are your expectations?

  • What do you want to happen and how do you expect that to play out?

  • Are your expectations realistic?

  • Are they fair to those around you?

  • What do you want to happen when your expectations are not met? How do you want to respond? How do you want others to respond?

  • Are your expectations in alignment with your values?

  • Is there anything you need to let go of in order to be successful?

How are you communicating expectations?

  • Effective communication is a two way street. How are you communicating your expectations? How are you supporting others to communicate their expectations?

  • Be flexible. When we understand others, our expectations may change. How do we want to handle a change in expectations?

  • Communication includes observing body language, tone of voice, attitude, etc. If you see it, be curious about it. Ask about it. Find out what is really happening and clear the space for success.

What are the success measures for execution?

  • How do we know we are doing not just what we want, but that we are being who we want while busy in our doing?

  • What would we like to see when the unexpected happens?

  • Should we check in from time to time?

  • How are we celebrating?

There are those of you who have a loved one infected with the virus. In order to be of help

and support to them, it is important to take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Open up to friends and family members if you are worried and anxious. It is normal to feel this way.

Although it is hard, find a way to shift your worry and anxiety, and think instead of something that serves you and your loved ones better. Perhaps it is a time to demonstrate your faith. Maybe this is a time to talk others via an on-line support group. Be open and creative while seeking the internal peace that will help you through this time.

We are all in this together, and life is filled with unexpected opportunities to experience the fullness of living. That’s the way it is supposed to be. I would love to hear your ideas on making your experience one of abundant lemonade.

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