COVID has struck me again, more irritating than scary this time round. It has made me feel ill, but I didn’t feel as ill, for as long. I am on day 9 now and my symptoms are now relegated to a snotty nose, a cough and feeling tired. However I am still testing positive which is annoying. I know I am no longer legally obliged to stay in, but I would never risk someone elses health. Taking the combination of vitamins C and D, along with antiacids and antihistamines (the snotty nose and sneezing feels more like hayfever than a cold) seems to have helped. Lisa has tested positive too although her symptoms are confined to coughing and sneezing, so far she has not experienced the fatigue and joint aches that I did. Hopefully today tomorrow in isolation and then I can venture out on Tuesday.
Being ill as you will all know increases those feelings of being helpless as you can be beholden on your symptoms, then you turn on the television and see the terrible news that is unfolding in front of us and it is all too easy to get wound up in a spiral of helplessness that can take up your energy worrying about events that are out of your control.
This week I have felt very frustrated, so I promised myself that I would spend some time each day doing something that was useful. Being useful is one of my core values, so living up to that in whatever way I can each day has helped me feel grounded and concentrate on events I can control. Each morning I spent at least one hour working on my work emails, deleting old emails, flagging ones that needed more considered attention and answered simple emails where I could. I had arranged an online meeting on Tuesday with a couple of collegues, which in the end I cancelled as I did not feel able to participate meaningfully. I felt bad because I left it to the last minute, but I could not have contributed, so I would have wasted everyone’s time. Each day I concentrated on what I could control, and did it. By Friday I was feeling a little better and managed a couple hours fininshing some mission statement work for a couple of teams. It was just creating values wordclouds and merging suggested mission statements but it really took it out of me. I found myself getting frustrated and angry, in fact most of the afternoon I was like a bear with a sore head, all because I was concentrating on what I could not do rather than what I had done. To be fair though that frustration probably pushed me further and I suspect I did more than I would have done otherwise.
Feeling frustrated and helpless is useful as long as you listen to and understand the message it is sending you. These emotions and thoughts are there to help you focus on what is in your control and how you can act within your values that will make a difference to your world. Difficult emotions such as helplessness and frustration are not destinations, they are signs reminding you of what is important to you and to take action to continue to live in your values.
Taking small actions to respond to what is happening in my world right now has helped me get through this week without feeling as sorry for myself as I could of. Clearly I did feel sorry for myself and did wallow in self pity at some point every day (it is an essential part of being ill afterall), but I did not have the land of self-pity as my place of residence.
If you want to start making a difference and live a value based life that focuses on what is within your control, then send me a message and we can discuss how we can work together.