Remember that feeling of being the new kid at school? Or being new at work? That feeling of being vulnerable, not knowing what to do or how to do it?
Welcome to physical isolation, or "lockdown", during a world-wide pandemic.
We're all the "new kid" right now.
Today is officially Day 1 of the COVID-19 "lockdown" in New Zealand.
Many people are learning how to work from home for the first time. While also parenting full-time. While also learning how to be a home-school teacher. While also working out how to negotiate supermarket shopping whilst staying at least 2 metres away from anyone. While also trying to remember everything you touched while you were out so you can disinfect it later. While also learning how to get along with people in your family and not tear each other to pieces after spending 24/7 with them... let's just say, things feel pretty messy.
Right now we all feel vulnerable.
This is so normal in times of change. And change takes time. This feeling will be sticking around for a while yet!
As one of my favourite authors and speakers, Brene Brown says,
When we give up being new and awkward, we stop growing. And when we stop growing, we stop living.
We are all going to do a heck of a lot of growing in the coming weeks. And if there's one thing I've realised pretty quickly, it's that discomfort is the new normal.
This time is going to bring us a lot of New Kid Moments (NKM). When you feel that anxiety bubbling up, or your temper start to fray, you're probably having a NKM. Take a slow, deep breath. Tell yourself, "I'm having a New Kid Moment." Be kind to yourself. You'll see it in your family members too - uncharacteristic behaviour, greater levels of stress, shorter tempers, more tears...
To take your power back, all the latest and greatest research tells us to name our feelings in order to tame them (watch Dan Siegel's video here). Our natural inclination is to try and bury or ignore feelings we don't enjoy. But by naming what you're feeling, talking about it with others, you can then start to re-frame things, or think about what you might be able to do in order to tackle that feeling.
And remember, All Behaviour is Communication (ABC). When your kids, your partner, your family members are acting up or acting differently than usual, what might they be telling you they're feeling underneath those actions? Check in with each other. Love and connection is key right now.