With such a fast turn of events (the Netherlands is completely shut down right now other than a few stores here and there), it's easy to unravel and fall into the "what if" game.
- What if my company starts laying off people? (maybe it's already happened)
- What if the economy doesn't bounce back?
- What if I can't find a job?
- What if this is going to reoccur next year?
- What if I have to give birth at home?
Ok, maybe the last one is just me. But I won't lie, thoughts like these trap me all the time, and I'm making a conscious effort to steer away from them knowing that I literally have NO control over the situation.
Maybe you're one of the lucky ones whose industry is still going strong and you finally get to work from home in peace. As introverts, isn't that all we can hope for? Some peace and quiet to think. But for others, we might be facing an extremely uncertain future, and being stuck in the house with our own thoughts can truly be a damaging experience.
I'm one of the ones whose peace and quiet has been taken away by this crisis.
See, last night, the whole country found out that everything is put on hold or closed until April 6th, including schools and daycares.
I went from being ecstatic at working from home for a couple of weeks, to being horrified at being stuck with a 3-year-old for 3 WHOLE WEEKS. I almost broke down. I knew it was a pivotal moment and that the thoughts I let in would determine how the next few weeks would unfold.
So, let me tell you how I'm coping with this situation as an INFJ and HSP (AKA someone that needs a lot of alone time, away from commotion) who's stuck in a house with a rambunctious toddler and an extroverted husband. For me, it's really all about staying above the anxiety and not letting it get to me to the point where I lose my cool.
1. I'm level-setting my expectations.
I know this is going to be harder than I thought so I need to be ready to handle this challenge mentally. My expectation going forward is that I won't have any time to work on my projects until my son goes to bed. As a creative, I can't just sit down for half hours impromptu throughout the day and start writing.
2. I'm adjusting my schedule.
Because I don't have the time that I want to have during the day, I'm going to make the time when I can. As someone that LOVES and NEEDS sleep, I'm going to sacrifice that and wake up a couple of hours early in order to get some writing in. It's the only way I can tame my resentment at not being able to have the free time I envisioned I would have.
3. I'm grieving my planned activities.
Like all of you, I had plans for the next coming month. My birthday is coming up, my son's birthday is coming up, my 10 year anniversary is coming up - all within days of each other. We had a trip planned to France for a few days just to get away on a babymoon before the second baby comes. My best friend booked a weekend to stay with us. I had tickets to an interesting conference that got canceled. My massages got rescheduled, and my prenatal yoga postponed. The list goes on and on. I'm grieving each one of these separately.
4. I'm being grateful for the positive aspects.
I get to spend time with my son before his sister comes and changes the whole dynamic of the family. I'm learning to really be in the moment without letting the future affect how I feel. I'm enjoying each sunny day that spring brings with it even though I can't go anywhere. I'm saving multiple hours a day by not commuting to work. I get to stay in bed longer with my son in the morning without needing to be anywhere or do anything.
5. I'm indulging whenever possible.
Pancakes for breakfast. Oreo cookies after dinner. Hot coffee throughout the day. I'm not holding back on making the moments count.
I know that things will continue to develop worldwide in the next few days and weeks, and we might find ourselves in Italy's shoes in complete and utter lockdown, unable to leave our homes. I'm preparing myself for that now but with the hope that it won't materialize.
I know you're getting bombarded with e-mails about this situation, but I wanted to take a moment and ask you how you're coping with it? If you could write the 5 points I just did, what would you write about them?
I look forward to hearing your answers <3