Re-Entry Into Life-after Covid 19
I was talking with a gal pal the other day who was sharing her thoughts on re-entry into the dating scene after being on lock down for so long. It sounded scary. It sounded exciting. It made me tired and giddy all at the same time. It reminded me of how I felt on the way too and coming home from a couple of recent conferences.
The last week in July I went to a conference that I love and haven't been too in many years. It was the iconic Biltmore Hotel in Arizona. There I was, heading to have a reunion with some of my favorite industry people and clients. It was a true family reunion. I felt excited. I went through the first day re-uniting and air hugging everyone. We shared life updates and Covid binge watching stories. I had two glasses of wine and decided to call it a night. The next morning I woke up to work out and was exhausted. The sheer interaction with so many people face to face at one time gave me brain fog, a feeling of lethargy and huge headache. I generally get energy from strangers and adore being in a crowd. This wasn't the normal me. What was happening?
I finished out the week strong but when I returned home the headache, exhaustion and brain fog did not go away. Uh Oh.....do I have Covid? I was freaking out.
I rushed to my local CVS for an at home test. Nope, no Covid. I was experiencing a Social Hangover. I took to Google and interviewed a couple smart therapist friends and they all agree. In the days or yore, a social hangover mostly applied to introverts where socializing was just too much. Now, because of the drastic lifestyle change from being in lock down mode with only a couple people to bravely entering the new world with squinty eyes and cautious minds, it's not a quick transition for our brains. I learned the tips below will help with a Social Hangover.
--Go Outside--fresh air and vitamin D help your physical and mental well being.
--Add a buffer day or weekend before your next outing.
--Do not overbook yourself during re-entry. Piling up the commitments will make the Social Hangover worse. You have to ease into it gradually.
Next up--how to Re-Enter into business?
Everyone has been through something drastic over the last couple of years. Some of us have lost jobs or gained jobs. We've had deaths and births, divorces and dates. No two people's experiences are the same. The common thread we all have is that we are all re-entering into physical buildings for work or a frantic and frazzled business uptick. If nothing for you has changed during Covid and everything remained status quo, I guarantee one of the two is happening for those in your business sphere. Below are tips on how to successfully re-enter into business without crashing and burning.
--Take time to be thoughtful in your approach: Swap out questions like "How are you?" to "What made you laugh this week?" We all know how we are, but we don't know what made our client, employee or co-worker laugh. This transitions that dreaded Covid convo to a positive new, less dusty topic. Humor!
--Don't make assumptions: Pour one out for my homey Don Miguel Ruiz. He told us about this in The Four Agreements but we've got to put it into play now. Not everyone feels the same about working from home or going back to work. Not everyone feels the same about braving the new world. If my husband had it his way, I'd still be on lockdown with he and our dog living the Kathy Bates/James Caan dream from Misery.
Not me--give me people, give me strangers, give me places to go. I have been busting at the seams to get out of the house. A real fantasy for one might be a real miserable disaster for another. Ask people "How have you changed?" or "What has re-entry felt like for you?" This will help you gauge where people are and then you can meet them there, in that exact spot and build. You can use that as a baseline to build your interactions from.
--MicroBreaks: A really smart woman named Dr Alessandra Wall taught me the value of micro breaks several years ago. Take a 5 minute break once an hour, or take a 20 minute break every 120 minutes. Really, do it however you'd like but schedule in the breaks. Turn your phone over, go get some fresh air and day dream. She talks of The Art of Nothing, which is a practice of a couple minutes each day where you let your brain focus on one thing, calm down and take a pause. This is so good for you. I started with daydreaming while my coffee was heating up in the microwave instead of doing dishes or some multi tasking shit I thought I had to do. Give yourself a break--figuratively and literally.
Re-Entry doesn't have to be exhausting, it can be exhilarating. It's important that we take a conscience and focused approach to re-entry as we go back into the world and do it gradually and with purpose. When we find ourselves frazzled and in a fury, practice just one of these tactics above and you'll be better in the end. I promise.
Mandi Graziano is the author of the Amazon best selling book, Sales Tales: The Hustle, Humor and Lessons from a Life in Sales which is available now for pre order on Amazon, Target and Barnes & Noble online. She is a sales and business coach and speaks to groups about Business Bedside Manner, Re-Entry, Building Lasting Business Relationships and How To Get Customers to Call You Back. She is also the owner of Facetime Coaching Company where she coaches entrepreneurs and teams on a variety of business topics from negotiation, organizing and growing your business, and changing careers.
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