James Bay ‘s Album ‘Chaos and the Calm’ was playing today and it made me reflect on how so many of us are feeling at the moment in our ‘new uncertain world’.

With social distancing and having to stay at home, no face to face contact other than with those you are living with, with the global nature of Covid-19 affecting everyone irrespective of where you live, there is a real sense of chaos in the world order and this creates feelings of a lack of control and conflicting emotions. However, we have also seen a strange kind of the calm – no more exacting and hectic lifestyles, rushing from one thing to another. We are having to remain more self-contained and be more resilient.

We are all juggling different emotions at the moment, as a result of these changes. Fear of catching the virus, confined with loved ones (how do we deal with the tensions?) or not ( I am on my own and feeling quite isolated ?), 24/7 with your pets (was my pet always this needy?), everyone trying to get some personal space, juggling homeworking, furlough, limited income, having to create new routines, manage household chores (why isn’t everyone contributing?) and child care, home schooling (never did like physics at school and now I am the teacher?), the plethora of free activities to try online (how do I decide what I should do?), coupled with the slower passing of time, not to mention the constant bombardment of 24/7 coverage of the tragedy of Covid 19 and a sense of helplessness if you are not one of the essential workers. Gasp!!!! Pause!!! No wonder we have a feeling of chaos and yet a strange sort of becalming.

So I thought it was worth reflecting on the Kubler-Ross change curve something we explore in detail during our personal development courses, as a way of understanding why we are feeling the way we are and the journey we are on during times of personal change. Although the curve has stages different people will experience different elements in varying orders and move back and forwards along it. Some don’t hit Depression and may flip between frustration and experimenting ……but once we know that everyone deals with change differently but that there is a human response it helps us gain a little perspective- there is an explanation of how we are reacting because this is how we tick.

So the curve:

We started with the absolute SHOCK – ‘I cant believe it!’ Corona Virus seemed so far away, it was on the other side of the world and now it is here. We have social distancing and now a lockdown.’

We then went into DENIAL of the change, trying to stick our heads in the sand by reassuring ourselves it was not really happening – we will be fine, I will not be the one to catch it. Everyone was still out shopping, visiting places of interest, going to the pub and mingling.

We then have started to become FRUSTRATED. As the rules have got tougher with more enforcement, the infection rate and death toll has increased we have started to feel frustrated and angry. We have tried to blame others, the governments and have started to think why me? this is ruining my life!

We usually then hit rock bottom, becoming quite DEPRESSED and this will be different for different people but generally we can feel quite apathic and helpless. Many will feel like giving up, question their self confidence with everything seeming pointless.

We will then start to pull ourselves together and start Experimentation as we realise the depressive stage is so debilitating that we need to take action.

By stage 6 the DECISION point, we will have learnt what works and what doesn’t and have a new routine and rhythm. We will accept the changes and begin to feel a bit more optimistic and enthusiastic by creating purpose, learning new skills, working on our soft skills, having more time with family that is a once in a lifetime bonus, connecting virtually with friends or interest groups and maybe volunteering!

And finally………………

As we have integrated the changes into our lives, so that it  becomes the ‘norm’ for as long as this is our ‘new world’ and we are prepared for when this is all over! It will be our turn to step up!

Karen Daly-Gherabi

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