As we approach week 3 of sheltering in place, here are some observations from my coaching clients:
- "I need 8+ hours of sleep, and I'm finally getting it."
- "Work feels like the most "normal" thing in the new normal"
- I need less than I thought. My kids are doing really well. I can do this."
I've been coaching for 15 years, and I didn't realize how incredibly resilient and positive my clients are until we self-quarantined together. At this point I've moved my coaching business 100% on line, so if you're looking for an online life coach, an online career coach, or someone who can serve as a transition coach during this stressful time, I'm here. All my coaching is now virtual coaching coaching, via Zoom (I usually keep a balance of 60% local clients who see me in the office and 40% globally distributed clients who I meet via Zoom.)
Here's what I'm hearing from my clients.
They are finally getting the sleep they need. Earlier this year I read "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker and turned into a really annoying sleep advocate with all of my clients. Reading the intro is enough to help you take your sleep more seriously -- and in the book the author is constantly encouraging you to fall asleep if the choice is continuing to read his book or sleep. Lack of sleep hurts our brains, our immune systems, and shortens our lives.
If you're sheltering in place, you're out of excuses for not getting the sleep you need. Put down the phone, stop scrolling and sleep. Your immune system needs it.
Work is an escape. Even for the clients who don't like work, there's something normalizing and reassuring about working. Like the new moms I work with who return to work after having a baby -- they return to something familiar, something in which they feel competent. They return to feeling skilled and effective. Right now, when we're at a loss; we don't know what to do or how to beat this thing other than staying away from people, it feels good to feel competent again. When we are able to work, we feel confident and competent. This (now) online career coach is very happy to see my clients moving their careers online, and making peace with improving their lifestyles (thus making the job more tolerable) while they figure out their next career move.
Less is more. The online life coach in me was very, very happy to see so many of my clients feeling content. When people come to see me they are often searching for a change - they want something they don't have. And now, people are grateful for heath, food, family, and money. If you are lucky to shelter in place without massive hardship, this is a time to count your blessings. The kids seem fine -- my kids took a walk today and treated puddles like the greatest toy in the world. With less rushing here or there parents are getting creative with game nights, storytelling, and more. We're spending time together, there's no where to go, and we're grateful for each face we see when we see it.
I am moved by my career coaching and life coaching clients; they are surprising themselves with how calm they feel when they give up the pursuit and yield to the new normal. They are cherishing their families, and bathing in gratitude -- for the job they wanted to leave, to health, to their homes. They are finding new cooking skills they didn't know they had.
They are slowing down, and better for it. I don't want to be pollyanna about this -- after all, I have 3 very young children and distance learning is *hard*, but this is what I'm hearing from my clients. They are surprising themselves with how they're rallying in this moment.
The purpose we all share -- to improve the world's health, healing one another and taking better care of ourselves than ever -- is having an impact. The slow down is challenging us, and we are rising to that challenge.