Over the last few months, most of us have had our normal routines disrupted in some capacity. Whether we’re now homeschooling our kids online (or attempting to!), working at home ourselves, or just adjusting to a world where “social distancing” is part of our everyday life, it can feel overwhelming to navigate our new normal.
Coaching can help
Many of us have heard that while we’re under stay at home orders we will have all this extra time. While initially we might have had visions of cooking gourmet meals every night, picking up new hobbies and *finally* organizing our homes, many of us are now wondering: where exactly is all that extra time? The truth is, a pandemic doesn’t create extra hours in the day.
Lots of folks feel that staying at home has the opposite effect actually — lines between home and work are blurred, so it might feel like there are less hours in the day (or maybe just more work!). So, you may be wondering where you’d even find the time to add in anything else to your already packed schedule.
However, that’s the beauty of coaching. While coaching should never feel like one more thing on your plate, it can be a great tool to help you prioritize the things already on your plate and help you determine what needs to stay and what you can potentially scrape off. Especially now, with so many extra things vying for your attention, coaching can help you distill down what you want to focus on and how you’d like to spend your time.
One of the things that can be so unnerving about having our routines changed up like they are right now is the loss of context.
Normally, we’re used to having a specific time and place where we do specific things. For example, home is for chores, relaxing, family time. Work is, for well, work. Additionally, most of us also have outside places we get to visit regularly for recreational activities — the gym, yoga studios, our hair salons, parks, friends’ homes, shops, restaurants (remember those?). But right now, COVID-19 has forced so many of us to do everything in one place — our home.
This confuses our brain, which is used to having differentiated contexts for these different activities. Working with a coach to develop strategies and routines can help you create boundaries and adapt to these new contexts. Maybe it is helpful for you to put away all your work-related papers and equipment (laptop, etc.) each weekend so you can completely relax. Perhaps you take a walk around the block before starting and ending your workday.
Your coach won’t tell you what you should do, but rather, they’ll explore with you what you want and need in order to develop a plan that works for you.
At Vera, we don’t give you prescriptive plans that tell you that you need to x, y, and z to reach your goals. We listen and facilitate coaching sessions that let you decide what will get you to where you want to be.
Another thing people might be struggling with right now is the lack of novelty. We’ve spent weeks — months for some — in the same environment with few other spaces to retreat to. This can be very hard. A coach can also help you figure out how to spice up your everyday routine when you’re feeling like you’re hitting a wall. Are you a runner? Could you take a new route? Would a mental vacation through guided meditation be helpful? Even when we’re stuck inside, there are ways to work in something new — sometimes it just takes talking it through. Use a coach as a sounding board.
Facing uncertainty and feeling like you have little control can be overwhelming and downright scary
Coaches regularly work with our patients on stress and fears. While we are not mental health professionals, we can help patients whose end goal is to find a therapist (which can be hard to navigate!), or simply help patients work to build up a toolbox of tools they can use when anxious feelings kick in. Often, it’s about helping patients notice, name, and respond to their anxious thoughts and keep them from getting stuck in the rumination cycle.
So, whether you’re looking for new ways to jump-start your goal of getting in exercise every day, looking for ideas to focus while working at home, or curious about how to draw clear boundaries around your work life and non-work life, consider giving coaching a shot.