We sent out last ‘Don’t Panic!’ message out at the weekend.
It feels like a month ago.

Do you remember those days, back at the weekend, when you had all those different thoughts, and all those different feelings, oh, those were the days!

Things are moving fast.
And it’s hard for our systems to keep up. Our mind-body has trouble keeping up with this rapidly changing set of data called reality.

Many people are saying this is ‘surreal’ or ‘like a film’.
We’re not used to this level of life-changing information to process.

About 10 days ago (which feels like last year) I (John) downloaded the music software Ableton onto my ageing laptop (my faithful laptop, on which I’m typing this now).
And as I started to layer up a bass line with a drum loop, then began to play a peculiar synthesised sound, it would start to stutter and jump and cut out. My laptop couldn’t cope with it all.

And that’s what our brains are like at the moment.
Our brains, our hard drives, accustomed to a certain rate of input of information from external reality, can’t handle the current coronavirus software that we’re downloading every day.

So it’s not surprising if our systems start to stutter and jump and struggle to keep up.

So, amongst all the instructions of WHAT TO DO & WHAT NOT TO DO of these times,
here’s a key one –

There’s a good chance you’re moving through a whole range of emotions at the moment, and probably at a faster rate than usual –
From fear,
to uncertainty,
to confusion,
to feeling okay,
to being critical of others,
to panic,
to gratitude,
to overwhelm,
to taking things one step at a time,
to trying to picture how it will all turn out,
to trust,
to the opposite of trust,
to kindness to others,
to needing to think about yourself,
to feeling reassured,
to feeling lost,
to being angry for no reason,
to being angry for lots of reasons,
to feeling flat,
and down,
but then peculiarly okay.

It’s natural.
Be kind to yourself.

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Give yourself the room.
The room to have a year’s emotions in one day.
The room to get upset, then to feel fine, then to get upset again.
The room to pretend it’s not happening and distract yourself for a while.
The room to face what’s happening, as it’s happening.

Be kind to yourself. Like you would a child. Let the child get upset, and stomp their feet on the ground, then just want some ice cream. Put your arm around the child of you (ang get them the ice cream).

Mark, who is a key part of our team, and an executive coach, who helps people who own and run businesses, is suggesting to his clients (who are likely to be facing challenges at the moment) that they ask these questions of themselves –

  • What am I feeling?
  • Why am I feeling it?
  • What am I learning about myself?

These are good questions. They allow us to investigate how we’re feeling (without freaking out), remind us to give ourselves space given the times we’re in,
and also remind us that we’re all on a rapid track to learning more about ourselves in these times.

And we asked you a question last time –
How can we support you in these difficult times?

We’ve had loads of answers and suggestions, thank you –
And lots of appreciation for what we do, thank you again.

It does feel like what we do for a living is particularly important at the moment.
And we’re going to be offering a variety of stuff to help you all over the next few weeks,
based on what you’ve been asking for (more news soon).

Here’s just one email that we received today –

I have all your books and love your attitude to life.

Thanks for your emails about staying calm with this coronavirus. Not gonna lie, I am worried, wish I wasn’t but I am. Whether we like it or not things have changed. Even just the small things such as the lack of supplies in the supermarkets & not being able to take my 4 year old out to play events etc as we used to and the school closures.

Obviously this has a knock on effect for everyone with work & finances. I am worried about my son staying well & me as I’m his only carer & my work as his school is now shut.

Just wanted some of your relaxed advice on how to deal with this uncertainty.

So, we’ll be back soon, with more relaxed advice.

In the meantime –
Be kind to yourself and give yourself some space –
Be kind to others and give them some space –
And keep washing your hands,

John & Gaia x

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