Compromised Comfort Zone
These days, 95% of us are facing change.
New routines at work: working from home instead of going to the office.
New routines for meeting clients: meeting on Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Hangout, BlueJeans and many other online platforms, instead of gathering in meeting rooms, yoga studios, online teaching, or conference halls.
New school routines: home schooling/taking online classes instead of sitting in a classroom.
New work-out routines: teaching yoga/meditation online instead of in person.
New house-hunting routines: real estate agents presenting homes on camera, instead of meeting potential buyers in person.
New routines for young people: doing chores for elderly people or founding social movements instead of hanging with friends.
New family routines: families living in a shared space 24/7.
Common to all these situations is unpredictability. Usually, when we change jobs, houses, cities or countries, we see the transition coming. We start preparing mentally, taking one step at a time.
We not only didn’t see the COVID-19 pandemic coming, but the precautions necessary to keep as many people as possible healthy caught us entirely by surprise. Nobody thought this could affect the entire globe.
Copying with stress during transition time is a four-step process.
I HONEYMOON PHASE
New things are often exciting, since, at the beginning of a transition, we tend to have high expectations and to look only on the bright side (or vice versa to imagine only negative outcomes).
Staying home means not working, hence enjoying free time.
Working from home means not having to dress up, drive through crazy traffic or use overcrowded public transport every day.
Lockdowns provide the benefit of spending time with loved ones at home.
Elderly relatives’ vulnerability leads to the fear they will all get ill and possibly die.
II STRESS PHASE
Everything has at least two sides. After enjoying some excitement, we slowly start seeing the other side. Therefore, looking at previous examples:
Not working also means a lack of income.
Not meeting with colleagues in person means a loss of informal information flow (from an open plan office, coffee breaks, etc.).
No matter how much we love our family, being with them 24/7 can be absolutely overwhelming.