May 5, 2020

by Michelle Rios | May 5, 2020 | Blue Tiger Tales

Emotional Layers – Functioning in a COVID19 world has rolled out in emotional layers for people, albeit in different ways depending on whether you were categorized as a remote worker in quarantine or as an essential worker (some may even be both). This week has ripped off another layer. Initially teams rallied based on the adrenaline rush of the immediate need for change. You rose to the occasion and successfully created new ways of meeting remotely via video or designed a new protocol for safely entering your home after a day at an essential worksite. This - dare I say novel - way of operating has lost its luster and our human condition has begun to show the signs of erosion and burn out. Whether you are working remotely, or at a worksite, both are isolating in ways our bodies and minds are neither used to or wired for. Organizations will, if not already, begin to feel the extensive weight of human beings at the limits of their stress capacity. Those who have had practice building resilience in other areas of their lives may be able to cope better than those who have not built the sturdy emotional core needed for challenging, ambiguous and uncertain times. To gauge your team’s resiliency ask members to fill in the blank: “Compared to how I felt four months ago, I find myself experiencing”: difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in things I used to enjoy, feeling hopeless about my future, feeling distant from others, feeling irritable or angry, all of the above, none of the above. Being able to take some time for reflection to gain awareness and perspective while hearing from others, so you know you’re not alone, is the starting point to building resiliency. Here are more tips on Building a Resilient Organization; additionally, we stand ready to support you with a virtual training experience on the benefits of Realizing Resilience.

Take a Breath. Differently - This is a tactical tip for times when you feel stressed, would like to be more relaxed, or need help falling asleep. Try different breathing patterns! One common breath pattern is Box Breathing, which is used by Navy SEALs to improve breath control, and has proven, measurable results in reducing stress and improving mood. Box Breathing rotates through these steps after exhaling completely: Step 1: Inhale fully over 4 seconds. Step 2: Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Step 3: Exhale fully for 4 seconds. Step 4: Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat. Another pattern invented by Dr. Andrew Weil is called 4-7-8 breathing. After exhaling completely, inhale through the nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, exhale forcefully through the mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times. Among a slew of other wonderful benefits this can significantly reduce the feeling of anxiety because a long outbreath tricks the autonomic nervous system into recognizing a calm state of consciousness. A more in-depth explanation can be found here: 4-7-8 Breathing with Dr. Weil

Thing 3 - This week’s collaboration video comes from The Juilliard School, a world leader in performing arts education. They asked, “What can we do together even while we are alone?” Enjoy their work and spot just a few of their famous alumni (Yo-Yo Ma, Bradley Whitford, and more). Bolero Juilliard

Please let us know if you find any of these to be helpful and share how you put them into practice. Also, if you have a tip to offer, let us know and we will include it in a future email or video.

We wish for you to find your special ways to thrive through this unprecedented time.

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May You Be Well –

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