Managing Expectations During QuarantineMarch 1, 2021
We have all had to recover from something in our lifetime. Whether that be a surgery, a disagreement, being laid off, betrayed or losing a loved one. When we encounter these hardships, it’s safe to say we are thrown off our regular routines. Sometimes it’s just for a few days, other times it’s longer – but it happens.
One thing that sets this specific time apart from others is that it’s a collective experience. It’s important to recognize we are all currently at risk of being unbalanced. We are all in recovery mode in some way or another and that is vital information we can use to use to our benefit.
We cannot expect ourselves to perform extraordinarily in a season of just trying to get through the day. This is not a time to neglect our own needs or shame ourselves into performing the best we ever have. We must be strict on our own self-compassion and self-love. We must give ourselves permission to make mistakes, own up to them, then learn how to improve as we go.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will guarantee smooth transitions and useful tips. Adaptation takes time and will look differently to everyone. We have entered a season of training.
During a season of recovery and/or training, it is crucial we reevaluate our expectations. When entering unfamiliar territory, we can’t expect to perform like a pro right out of the gates. We must consciously remind ourselves that this season calls for lowering the bar in certain areas and raising the bar in others, for example, our self-awareness.
The emotional and cognitive load a pandemic brings should not be taken lightly. Like I said before, this is a collective experience and that changes everything.
“There’s even a biological reason why you might feel this way: The human body is very well-suited to coping with individual stresses, but it’s not capable of dealing with chronic stress.” - Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman
It will impact your productivity, motivation, and concentration. It can make daily tasks more challenging than usual, and you may find yourself in a constant state of distraction. This is normal and to be expected. It’s natural to feel anxious, scared or even a little bit paralyzed.
We are no longer able to rely on the natural habits, rituals, routines, and instincts that we’ve developed to carry us through complicated days. Recognizing this allows us to set realistic expectations for ourselves and others.
First, you must assess your abilities. Recognize that you are at risk of being unbalanced or caught off guard.
Questions to ask yourself:
-‘Can I function at half of my normal rate?’
-‘Do I want to attempt to function at full capacity?’
-‘Is it smart to take on this new project?’
By making a conscious rational decision about what you’re going to do and how you’ll be expected to show up will give you a sense of control and a goal to work towards.
Secondly, you must share your current limits and expectations with not only your boss, but your loved ones. By telling them how you’re feeling, it takes the pressure off everyone... including you.
Communicating honestly, although it may be uncomfortable at first, will set everyone up for success. It brings a sense of clarity and control.
We must stop assuming everyone is doing better than us, that everyone else is fine. We are healing, learning, breaking, or growing from something right now.
And we all deserve grace.
Hope Guidry, BA, is a Case Manager at Samaritan Counseling Center. She graduated from Lamar University and began a career of online coaching when she was 19-years-old. She completed her 200-hour yoga certification over her summer breaks while in college and learned many valuable life lessons. This lead to helping others on their journey. She also completed an internship at Girl's Haven in Beaumont where she feels she learned a tremendous amount. She has always had a desire to help others and feels Samaritan gives her that opportunity. Her goal is to apply for graduate school and she is looking forward to seeing where that will lead her. Hope finds her greatest joy in leading by example and showing up for people when they need her most.