In Time Management for Writers, I describe a crisis as an unexpected and short-term situation.
Could our current reality be any more of a crisis? I mean, seriously?!
Who could have seen any of this coming? Our freedoms restricted, the global economies devastated, a huge portion of the world living in fear and uncertainty.
This is a crisis.
Let me repeat that.
This. Is. A. Crisis.
And you may need a reminder about how to deal with a crisis – I know I do, and I supposedly wrote a book (partly) about it.
Here’s what you need to do:
2. Be kind to yourself
If you’re a planner wondering what the heck happened to your daily to do lists, that’s it right there. Survive and be kind to yourself. That’s it.
There’s something strange about a huge portion of the world all being in crisis together. It leads to plenty of competitive suffering, both the ‘I’ve got it worse than you’ and the ‘I shouldn’t moan, I could have it worse’ kinds. And both of those are dangerous, because your pain is your pain is your pain. You don’t have to win any competition where the prize is permission to struggle.
You are allowed to struggle.
You are allowed to be scared.
You are allowed to mourn for a life full of luxuries you took for granted (Lord knows, we all did).
You are allowed to be angry and distracted and tired and unproductive.
You are allowed to miss people – even those people who annoyed the hell out of you when you could see them.
I’m wary to share any suggestions for ways to deal with this unprecedented situation, because what works for one person may not work for another. But there’s one thing I’m doing that’s making a huge difference – I’m avoiding technology.
I’ve never been a news follower, but as the Covid19 situation began to escalate, I started paying attention. Partly, I felt that this was my duty. I have a business and a team of employees who I care about deeply. I was committed to responding to this situation in the right way, which I could only do if I was aware of what was happening. But the live update feed worked its way onto my phone and got checked more often than it needed to be.
The more I saw, the more anxious I became, until I had to make a change.
The last few days, I’ve not watched the news at all, and I’m ghosting social media. In fact, I’m leaving my phone in my bedroom for 90% of the day. I’m spending some time each day checking in with people, and I’m listening to carefully chosen podcasts on my daily walk, but other than that the phone is hidden away. Instead, I’m clutching my Kindle like my life depends on it. Any pockets of time where I’d usually be doing an impression of Chamillionaire (they see my scrollin’…) are now spent reading.
It’s making a huge difference – for me.
Maybe you need to watch some news because being informed helps you feel in control. Maybe you need the connection that comes from social media.
You do you, boo.
But make sure you remember your to do list, because this right here is crisis, and crisis isn’t the time to perfect a home school timetable, to aim to be more productive than you are when the world has its regular stability, or strive for that Instagram-filtered life.
Crisis might be the time to stay in your pyjamas all day long, to reread your favourite book, or to curl up in bed and cry.
This too shall pass, this we know for sure. But until then, survive and be kind to yourself.
Stay safe and stay sane,