It’s highly likely that what you’ve previously never given any thought to, is now a source of anxiety. Grocery shopping, walking past someone, interaction with a neighbour. Finances. The health of parents. The health of kids. Herd immunity. The future.

If it’s any consolation at some point in the future, date currently unknown, we will return to a space when these interactions are no longer a source of anxiety. That doesn’t help us now though.

At the moment this wave of anxiety is what keeps us physically safe. We need a bit of anxiety to surface during each of these interactions so we don’t become complacent. The danger is anxiety remaining activated post interaction.

In an ideal setting it plays out like this:

  1. Anxiety starts to rise on route to shops.
  2. Get to shops. Anxiety surfaces as you grab trolley.
  3. Move through aisles fast and focussed.
  4. Return to car. Anxiety begins to decrease as groceries packed in boot.
  5. Anxiety decreases again as you enter house.
  6. Wash hands, groceries away, wash hands again. Anxiety disappears.

This cycle, while it might seem completely ridiculous when we’re not in a pandemic, showcases a highly desirable response. The nervous system is able to “fire up” our alert mechanisms quickly and efficiently when required and once the threat has passed, deactivate just as quickly.

The sweet spot is not getting to a place where we don’t have anxiety, fear or heightened alert responses but to get to where we can reset quickly and efficiently.

The problem is that we don’t know how or don’t have the time to reset. You might not even know it’s a thing.

  • Resetting is not sleeping. It’s not relaxing on the couch with a book. It’s not at the bottom of a wine glass. These things are relaxing. What we need is to reset.
  • Once you reset, you’ll feel the huge difference between relaxing and resetting.
  • The more often you reset, the more efficient you become at it.
  • The longer you put it off, the more sh*t will require resetting.
  • In an ideal world we reset immediately following each wave of upheaval.

There are so many instances when it’s not safe or possible to reset immediately. We go from spot fire to spot fire. Don’t stop doing this. Spot fires will become insurmountable if they get some wind behind them.

When it’s safe. When it’s possible. Reset. Don’t not do this. Upheaval will become insurmountable if it gets some time behind it.

Every night is ideal. Once a week, it’s going to take a bit longer. Once a month, f*ck. A good few hours.

It’s can be a completely different story for some. Front-line workers. Emergency services. Parents. People who struggled before a pandemic. There’s F.A time to reset. Honestly, it’s as much a logistical problem as a not knowing what to do problem.

13 hour shift.
Drive home.
Walk in door.
Wash hands.
Hug kids while peaking that your hug is the touch of corona death.
Dinner. Try not to talk about it but it creeps in.
Kids to bed. Pretend everything is ok.
Watch sh*tty Netflix.
Pass out from exhaustion on couch.
Wake up at midnight still on couch.
Check on kids. Kiss them. Look at them while worry peaks again.
Go to bed.
Look like you’re sleeping for four hours.
Not sleep.

This is challenging work but a life skill. The ability to reset with regularity is a life skill. Post pandemic.

In 2019 I taught a 6 week pilot program, Affected 24/7 which went through the process of resetting. The feedback was staggering. I have put together an abridged pandemic version of this course. Still 6 weeks. Free. Because it’s important work and it’s the right thing to do.

The course will be available from Sunday 19th April. You’ll be able to start then or when you like. If you’ve done this course before, do it again. Please.

If you’d like to pre-register, touch base and I’ll send you some pre-reading prior to the 19th.

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