How are you? No. Really. How are you? “Fine.” Nope. It doesn’t work anymore. We don’t yet have a word that conveys the multitude of emotions we are each holding at any one time. What’s more is that the emotions we are experiencing are often at opposite ends of the spectrum.
For example, I was talking with a colleague in New York City yesterday. He shared that he feels the tremendous privilege of staying at home with his girlfriend and puppy in a nice apartment with two incomes. As a CEO turned coach who has led many start-ups, he now has the time and space to innovate. He’s always dreamed of this kind of time. He and his loved ones are safe and thriving.
He also described that he has tremendous survivor’s guilt. This is the mental and emotional stress he’s experiencing as a result of simply being alive when well over 10,000 members of his community have lost their lives due to the Corona virus.
He’s holding the huge tension between very different emotions. He’s expending energy going back and forth between these emotions. They are completely different, yet very real emotions. And it’s exhausting.
My job as a coach is to hold the space for whatever emotions and challenges my clients bring to our coaching sessions. In any given day right now I’m holding a similar tension as described above. Some clients are thriving in this environment. Some are exhausted and barely hanging on.
Here’s where I need your help.
There are many, many people who are not ok right now. They might be the ones who never
show up when you invite them to your virtual happy hour. They might the ones who got laid
off today. They might be your co-worker with three kids at home and a fulltime job. They
might live alone. They might be your leader. The “strong one”. The one who is trying to
help everyone on your team keep it together.
Commit to yourself to check in on at least two people each week. Check in on the ones who might be showing any sign of not being ok. Don’t let them get away with saying they are “fine”.
And please check in on the ones who always seem to be carrying the weight of others. They might really need to lean on you for a while to allow them the space to exhale and replenish their reserves for the next day.
If you or anyone you know of needs some extra support, do NOT wait. Make the call for your friend or co-worker if necessary.
Here’s some important mental health resources:
- Your Organization’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You can find a phone number, website and/or email in your Employee Benefit guide or on your medical insurance card. Most EAPs offer a few free sessions.
- Mental Health Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727). Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) orLive Online Chat Available 24/7
If you or your team would benefit from support during this challenging time and you aren’t sure of the next step, let’s connect. No obligations. We can brainstorm what might be needed and figure out a path forward. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact page on my website : https://expansiveleadershipcoaching.com/contact/