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Navigating thru Crisis & Chaos to Reclaim Your Center (Part 2 of 2)

Years ago, a coach of mine gave out little compasses at a training event. It was a symbol to help us find “Your True North”, find your center. In today’s world while fighting a global pandemic, that is not an easy task. You must use your emotional intelligence to exercise self-management. While the first part of the article series gave an understanding of the three-step strategy- Accept-Adapt-Advance, here is how we put it into practice     

Step one: Accept How do you manage your emotions?

Crisis can bring up many emotions. During this step, notice what triggers you, what might scare you and what brings you comfort.  List your emotions throughout the day. Are you experiencing denial, anger, fear or depression? Those are natural stages of grief.  We experience them during a time of loss and uncertainty.   

Attempting to change something that is not changeable is futile.  It’s a waste of your energy both physically and emotionally.  Finding ways to cope with the situation is a much wiser and more realistic.  

When you stop fighting, you can gain acceptance and will have the ability to move into action.

Step two Adapt: How do cope with the changed environment?

 Crisis triggers Fight or flight response that leads to both physical and emotional changes. We must reduce stress.      Here are some activities you can do to help you reduce stress and adapt to the situation. 

1. Breath work – focusing on deep breathing will help you, body and mind.  

Breathe in through your nose to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of the four and breathe out of your mouth to the count of four.  Repeat the sequence 8 to 10 times until you can calm yourself down.  Deep breathing will bring more oxygen to your brain and body helping your muscles relax.

  1. Ground yourself – when emotions run high, people tend to lose their grounding. Spend some time outside if possible. Get fresh air and plant your feet on the ground. Take a walk, run, hike.  Connecting with nature will help regulate your natural body biorhythms. Help you anchor and be more grounded.
  2. Mindfulness & Meditation – meditation will benefit you on several levels from improving mental state, creating emotional calm and enhancing the immune system. There are many ways to meditate and it’s not all just sitting on the floor in silence. You can use guided meditations on YouTube or a meditation apps  like Headspace , Calm or Insight timer that offer free trials or are entirely free and can be used on IOS or Android

Step three Advance: How do you move forward?

Now that you accepted the situation, allowed your body and emotions to catch up and adapt to the new environment you have centered yourself. It is from that place that you can begin to move forward in a new direction. You need a game plan for that.  It helps to write things down

 Take inventory of your personal and professional life. What is no longer working and what needs to change. When you can look at things objectively, logically, you might discover things you didn’t see before. This is the time for people to review, refocus and regroup. If it’s your career, can you pivot and change directions? Do you need to switch careers? If it’s habits you want to change, this is a great time for eating better, sleeping better and connecting with loved ones. The important thing is to keep moving and not get stuck.

Know while at times it might feel like it, you are not alone in the world. Use your support system. Reach out to a friend, a colleague, perhaps even get a coach. We really are all in this together. We will get thru this.

Be healthy and Safe!


Author Bio:  Dr. Karen Jacobson is the Founder & CEO of Aligned Leadership Academy, working with organizations to develop leader and High-performance teams that are efficient, effective and engaged.