- Dr. Brian Kleinberg
Building Your Game Plan for these Difficult Times
Updated: Mar 28, 2020
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
On June 4, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill roused the British people with this inspiring, well-known speech. As his country entered into an unknown time of war, his words inspired people to find the courage and strength within themselves to stand up to the challenges that would lie ahead. He wasn’t saying it was going to be easy, but he gave them something that they could believe in.
Today all of us have to find words of encouragement, comfort and empowerment to help us through these difficult times. The COVID-19 Pandemic has created challenges which are totally unprecedented in our lifetime. In a few short weeks we’ve all had our lives turned upside down. We are being challenged as individuals, as a society and as a global community. We are being challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. Our normal lives have come to a grinding halt. Hundreds of millions of people are now in isolation in their homes, separated from their closest relatives, friends and work colleagues. It is something that none of us have ever experienced.
As a health coach, I’ve been asked by colleagues, clients and friends what kind of things can people do to build stronger coping mechanisms and stay physically and mentally focused through this difficult period. Each of us are facing our own unique challenges and fears as a result of this crisis. No matter what you are currently going through as a result of this pandemic, there are steps you can take that will help you stay the course. Here are some suggestions:
1) Create awareness of your “new normal”: It’s vital that you recognize you’re not alone in this situation. You may be alone physically, but your next-door neighbour is going through the same thing. Your awareness should include an understanding of how all these sudden changes have impacted you. Everything seemed to be okay up until a few weeks ago and now everything is basically upside down. Your life has changed so quickly it’s just hard to absorb. The exploration of awareness has to include the impact of all these sudden changes on your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It’s important to ask yourself: How am I doing? What do all these changes mean? How much of my life has been affected and impacted? And very importantly, what do I need to do right now to help myself? What is possible for me right now and what steps do I need to take?
2) Develop goals and a game plan: Building on your sense of awareness it’s important to develop short-term and long-term goals as best you can for this time. There are so many unknowns and the news is changing so rapidly. I talk to my clients about differentiating between the things that you control and the things that you have no control over. You can’t control other people who are not following the rules of social distancing or hoarding vital supplies that healthcare workers require. You can control the amount of media that you watch and your own social distancing. You can certainly control your schedule and connecting with your loved ones through technology. Aim to create a balance between all the negativity that is pounding away at you every day and build a sense of strength and confidence that there are things that you can do to help yourself. It’s not easy to create all these goals, but it’s a very important exercise. Your game plan is structured around your own personal needs. It’s a strategy and blueprint that you will need to get through very difficult times.
3) Put the plan in action and revise it as needed: I encourage you to follow through on the plan that you have created for yourself. That plan should definitely include daily exercise, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, eating right and ideas for personal growth. Make sure the plan includes plenty of social connectivity to overcome the isolation most of us find ourselves in right now. Catch up on your wish list, learn new skills and develop a new focus for different areas in your life. Make this time an opportunity and use the time well. Your action plan is a vital, dynamic process. In the good times security comes from a steady job, regular social interactions, outside entertainment, walks in the park and the ability to travel and so much more. In a flash so much of these familiar things have been wiped away and you are left feeling insecure. To gain back some of that security you need to follow the plan that you’ve created and are implementing, and you need to revise it periodically as your situation dictates. It’s important to strive for a balance so that you can navigate these difficult days ahead.
There is so much that’s not certain right now. We’ve been isolated from each other and yet we’re all touched by the same experience. We can all take some comfort in that. The challenge for you as an individual is to adapt to today’s reality. Create awareness of the new normal in your life, develop a strategy of survival and personal growth and put it into action. Keep it flexible as things around you are changing at a rapid pace. Believe in your ability to adapt to the times. That ability is a natural human instinct. Each of you must build your own ‘Winston Churchill inspirational speech’ so that you can survive the impact of this pandemic. This is a different type of war but the challenge for humanity demands that we rise up to beat it and defeat it. Your challenge is to do the same.
If you feel you need help empowering yourself to build your own unique game plan for these times, I am available to assist you. To learn more, please contact me directly at the following link: www.kleinbergcorporatewellness.com/contact