I’d like to recommend a short read for your long weekend. Tara Haelle recently published an article titled “Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful” She postulates that humans have an ability to respond to disasters with surge capacity, but that the length of the current pandemic is challenging our wiring. We can’t sustain that surge, and we are beginning to feel burnt-out.
March 7th marked the last ‘normal’ day for me – the last time I was on a plane, in a crowded public space, and not at all concerned about contagion. For most of us, the world just got progressively smaller and bleaker as the days went on. We lost a lot of activities we loved and had to remain distant from people we love. But in the beginning, we succeeded thru it – thanks to our innate surge capacity; our ability to rise to the challenge and power through difficulties – we spent more time at work, we added meetings and we made it happen. But we have been soldiering on for a long time now, and most of us are tired. Our surge capacity is depleted. This article discusses why we feel so out of sorts as a result.
In talking to a client today, she described this feeling as akin to preparing for a marathon by only sprinting. You are tired and out of sorts, and it’s not the right approach to get ready for the challenge of 26 miles. We need a different approach for the marathon COVID 19 is turning out to be.
The author suggests we need to begin by slowly building our resilience bank accounts. “Our new normal is always feeling a little off-balance, like trying to stand in a dinghy on rough seas, and not knowing when the storm will pass.” We need to find the activities and people that replenish our ability and this long weekend is a great time to start. Be gentle with yourself, this is not a failing – it’s a symptom of our challenging times. If we want to finish the marathon, we have to build up our resilience.
So this Labor Day weekend, take a moment to top-off your resilience bank account. Do something you love that is still safe to pursue. Accept that life is different right now and that it is OK to be sad or angry about that. We will get thru this together. Have a great weekend!