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March 27, 2020

Finding strength in uncertain times (Coronavirus Pandemic)


Most of us have someone that looks up to us. Whether it is a child, a relative, someone we manage or an employee. We women are leaders. I did a podcast about recognizing our place as leaders, you can listen to it here.

But sometimes, especially in times like this (Corona Virus pandemic), being a leader, being a strong woman can seem like a burden.

I was speaking to a client today and encouraging her to practice self care and go a little easier on herself. She was convincing herself that she should tolerate something that wasn’t emotionally healthy for her, because she was fearful of missing out. I know that sounds vague but whenever I speak about my clients I have to change facts or not give all the details so that I am always maintaining confidentiality. 

As I was encouraging her to consider her emotional needs,  she said “I don’t really feel comfortable doing that. I feel like I can handle it- I SHOULD be able to handle it. I need to be stronger and even if it is hard, this will build character.”

This sounds good- the whole character building thing. But sometimes it’s just an excuse to be a martyr. My whole podcast is about re-defining your superwoman. Not being anyone else’s idea of what a superwoman is. When you find yourself saying “should” it’s usually not about your idea of who you are, but about someone else’s idea about who you should be.

Superwoman is a myth. She’s a fabled being with a cape. You are a human woman! And although I value strength- it’s wise to take care of yourself as you walk around the world being strong. It’s necessary that you don’t rationalize neglecting yourself with a statement of “I’m being strong.”

Just be

So, in this time of uncertainty, I encourage you to just be. I know you have to take care of other people and those people are probably around you, more now than ever. It may be hard to breathe, hard to even have a complete thought as you are doing all the things. But my friend, you don’t have to be strong.

Take some quiet time and allow yourself to vent. On paper, or to yourself, or to your dog. Just get it out. There is a chemical change that takes place in our brains when we vent and the release can calm us. It is critical though, that after you vent, you focus on the good. What is good, what can’t be taken away?

I put a meme up on my instagram and it says:

“Conversations will not be canceled

Relationships will not be canceled

Love will not be canceled

Songs will not be canceled

Reading will not be canceled

Self-care will not be canceled

Hope will not be canceled

May we lean into the good stuff that remains” (By To Write Love On Her Arms).

Notice she said lean- not stand strong, but lean, which indicates that we are utilizing the strength of something bigger than we are to stand. In tough times like these, don’t try to just stand.  Lean on what you know, lean on your faith. lean on what is good, lean on what remains. I am leaning on everyone and everything as I hold up others in my life. So what else creates strength in uncertain times?

Staying in the present

It is very hard to be anxious when your stay in the present. Anxiety usually lies in fear of the future. 

Practice this:

close your eyes and take deep breaths. You are okay. You are safe. You are well. What you are afraid of is some murky unknown that doesn’t exist. Bring yourself back to the present by firmly planting your feet on the ground. If you can take off your shoes and do this wherever you are- even better. Take both hands by your side and firmly press them down into the chair or floor beside you. Open your eyes, take an inventory of what is around you. Name what you see, feel, and smell. Tell yourself one thing you are grateful for, for each item you name. End with three deep breaths. 

Stay connected

Don’t stop connecting with people in any way shape or form that minimizes risk. Recognize that you need human contact. We can still go outside!

Let go of control

Control what you are able to control and let go of the rest. 

This might be difficult to think about sometimes. Think about the serenity prayer. There’s no point in trying to control something you can’t control. Control what you can, and leave the rest up to God.


But don’t overdo on it. A brisk walk daily will do. You will increase your brain clarity, and resilience through exercise.

Overdoing it will decrease your immune system. Not exercising  decreases it. Do easy, consistent exercises!

Keep daily rituals

It’s easy to chuck it all when your schedule changes. Instead, keep your old routines or create new ones that will work with your new, temporary life. Our rituals create a sense of grounding. Our rituals calm us.

So I’m still getting up in the morning and doing my same ritual, even though I might have nothing else planned for the rest of the day. It does make a difference.

Until Next time- you’ve got this. 

Would you like to listen to this post? Click here to listen to the podcast version! Enjoy!

  1. Sara says:

    LOVE everything about this post, Zoe! Thank you for putting onto paper what I aim to practice daily. Stay well & healthy.

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