How is your Energy Flowing during COVID-19?
I invite you to give yourself a break and to be okay with whatever is going on for you during COVID-19. Allow yourself to just be wherever you are. Many of us are being bombarded with shaming messages telling us that we should be more productive, picking up a new hobby, learning a foreign language, writing a book, cooking, eating healthy food and exercising online. Well, if you are wired that way, good for you! The rest of us cannot wait to see what you create. But if you are like me, you are probably having good days and bad days or even highs and lows all day long.
Guess what? That’s okay too. Our world has just turned upside down and since each of us is juggling our own unique set of variables feeling the ups and downs is totally normal.
I am finding comfort in monitoring my energy. I am consciously making a mental note of how my energy (the natural way I show up) is manifesting during this crazy time. My coaching school, iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching), has a multitude of tools that I use but my favorite and the one I always share with clients is Bruce Schneider’s Energetic Self Perception chart. (Click the link or see the chart below).
I love this tool because it validates our human truth – our thoughts, feelings, and actions are fluid. In this model, there are 7 levels each attached to a core thought, feeling/emotion and action/result. We are not robots; we show up differently depending on a myriad of influencers.
Energy is neither positive or negative; it’s just energy.
We can feel a range of emotions from apathy to absolute passion in a single day or a single minute. Flipping through TV channels can move me from anger to joy in less than 60 seconds, and that is normal. I like the analogy of an elevator. Sometimes I am in the penthouse of my non-judgmental, creative, passionate self, and other times I feel a need to visit my basement where I feel lethargic, like a victim and where my main thought is “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
Because of my upbringing, I typically don’t stay in my basement very long. As a child, whenever I would fall (either physically or emotionally), my parents quickly told me to brush it off and get up as quickly as possible. I was not encouraged to cry; instead, I was taught to brush it under the rug and keep it moving (for me, that was not a good thing). I am still learning to enjoy an occasional pity party and to accept that anger and conflict can be the necessary fuel I need to break through and experience more compassion, peace, and wisdom.
How exactly does energy work and move within us? Using the Energetic Self Perception chart as my guide, this is a typical post-COVID-19 day for me. My energy goes up and down like a yo-yo (and I am okay with that)!
6:30 AM Wake up, long walk outside and see the sunrise (Level 5-7, influenced by my environment and physical movement – I feel gratitude, close to God by being surrounded by nature and I do my best creative thinking).
7:30 – 9 AM Coffee, prayers (more level 5-7 influenced by my spirituality, and caffeine :-)) Good Morning America (level 2-4 influenced by my mental and emotional processing of the news, both tragic and uplifting reports).
9 AM – 5 PM Depending on the influencer – social, mental, environmental or emotional, I fluctuate. This is the time of day when my energy elevator is moving swiftly.
For instance, when my college-aged kids (who are all back home) bicker and fight my default is level 1 & 2. When they fight, I am thinking “seriously, you grown ass kids can’t get along, don’t you know how stressed I am. I want kids who are kind to each other”. So I shout, “stop yelling!”. They laugh at me, but I don’t care.
It feels good to let out anger over trivial things like breadcrumbs on the counter, WiFi, and music. When a client shares a win with me (level 4-6). I feel like I did a good job, provided a service and I learn from their wisdom. When I can’t find Bounty paper towels at Publix (level 1 ). When I think about our healthcare providers (level 1 & 4). When a fellow coach calls me to brainstorm (level 5 & 6). When I wonder when I will see my mother and friends again (level 1 & 2 ).
5 PM-10 PM Wine, dinner, Schitt’s Creek, my boyfriend’s company and sweet embrace. (levels 4-7) Of course, reality is woven in there with real dips into levels 1-3 too.
I know you get it, all day long stressors influence our energy. Whatever you are feeling, thinking and doing or not feeling, thinking or doing is perfectly natural and makes perfect sense given your circumstances. Give yourself permission to get through this in a way that works for you.
If you find the Energetic Self Perception chart helpful – use it. Share it with your family, friends, and colleagues. Naming something and speaking a common language helps to normalize situations and helps you move through things. Energy levels, like stages of grief, are not linear. There is no prescribed order or right way to deal with COVID-19.
My hope is that we all eventually become better equipped to cope with life, loss and our new normal. Just remember your energy is as unique as you are. The same stressor can result in many different responses. The world as we knew it has changed. As you look into your new realities (home, work, security, health), it’s difficult to say anything with certainty. The good news is once you learn how energy works and you become aware of your own energy, the easier it is to harness your power to shift it to serve you best.
We will all get through this. So, “you do you” and let me know if I can help you. Core-Energy Coaching is my passion and I’d love to share more with you.
Write to me at [email protected]
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