Stress Regatta

During the initial lockdown, we rallied the morale of the populace and proclaimed “we are all in this together”, “we are all in the same boat”. Comforting words maybe, but very early on, it became evident that we were not all experiencing the storm in the same way and, contrary to the rallying call, it became painfully clear that we were not all passengers in the same vessel, and many were ill equipped to face the relenting bashing of the waves that ensued.

One thing I recently considered is that there was no final day of the COVID pandemic. Although recently we had an official recognition from the World Health Organisation that the worst was over, the reality is that we have been gradually getting “back to normal” over the past year. Unlike the beginning, where there were nationwide announcements of unprecedented changes to the norm and extraordinary restrictions in our lives, there did not appear to be a clearly defined finishing line.

It happened through the phased relaxing of restrictions and now, here we are, bobbing along in a sea that has clear skies but unsure if the storm has really passed and is there another one on the horizon. Is it any wonder we are experiencing huge levels of stress and even burnout – we haven’t allowed ourselves to finish the stress process and many of us are a big mess of unresolved frustration, loss, anger, fear, uncertainty, exhaustion and mental strain.

In life and in business it is exactly the same. We are staying afloat in our own boats. Some are big, some small, some are taking on water, some have lost control of the steering, and some are struggling in the wash of the bigger vessels. Sending out an S.O.S. to help manoeuvre the stormy seas and accepting help and support will make all the difference and help individuals and business last the course and make it safely to shore.