As I write this on March 10, I’m feeling helpless. I hate that! So far, my daily life is pretty normal. I’m in my downtown Chicago office, and I just got back from a large lunch meeting listening to some very interesting panelists. My day, and the rest of my week, is heavily scheduled with both in-person and phone meetings. 

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the tidal wave to hit: the day when everything gets cancelled, when my clients suffer severe financial losses, when my travel is curtailed, when people I care about start getting sick, when I get sick. It’s really scary, and it feels as if there’s nothing I can do. As I said, I hate that!

This is exhausting. I’m exhausted and so is everyone around me. I’m already fed up with this crisis, and it hasn’t even hit yet. 

And yet – this morning I had an insight.  Here’s what I can do. I can act to replenish my own energy and to feed the energy of the people around me. That’s not so hard. It means consciously choosing positivity. It means increasing the frequency of saying complimentary things to the people around me, being kinder and more considerate. It means monitoring my panicky self-talk and reminding myself that I’ve been through plenty of tough times and others have survived much tougher times than I have. It means giving myself and others a break from the anxiety and gloom by telling funny stories, watching goofy escapist movies, dancing to wonderful music, whatever.

My parents lived through the Blitz in London, when bombs were raining on their neighborhoods every day and every night. People survived by bonding together and demonstrating courage, grit, and positivity. Your parents – and maybe you – have probably lived through true hardship.   

If they could do it, we can.        

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