Many of you will be familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ change curve and, whilst I have used this model for many years when delivering workshops on change, it is just dawned on me that I am currently experiencing the emotions she talked about in her model.
Like many people, I have struggled with the “new normal” that the Coronavirus crisis has resulted in – spending most of my time at home and not out meeting people (which is the part of my job that I love most).
Whilst it seems hard to credit it now, less than a month ago, I was going about life without really worrying about Coronavirus – it was something happening at the other side of the world and wasn’t something that was affecting me. Even when it spread to Europe, I was still very much of the opinion that “it won’t affect me” – completely in denial.
Then came anger and fear when things started to escalate – I was working in Birmingham on the day the government closed all bars, restaurants etc and walking through an almost deserted city centre on what would normally be a lively night in one of the UK’s major cities was a weird experience.
Reality hit home a few days later when my best friend was taken into hospital with the virus. I moved into the bargaining phase – staying at home seemed a small price to pay for the health of my loved ones (she is now home and recovering well).
Monday was a low point – I hit the depression period of Kubler-Ross’ model. Everything felt a little overwhelming and and I found myself struggling with the uncertainty we are currently facing. I have been keeping a daily journal over the last week or so, just to help me manage my emotions during this difficult period (I find it helps to write things down) but even that didn’t help me.
However, today things seem a little easier. I am embracing my daily exercise sessions bouncing around the living room (not sure how thrilled my neighbours are), and am going out for a walk everyday, something I would never normally do during the working day. I am heading towards acceptance!
The thing with Kubler-Ross’ model is that eventually you will get to acceptance and can then start to move on. I am starting to embrace my new normal – planning in Zoom meetings to get social interaction, reading all the books I’ve been meaning to read and getting more exercise than I normally do. I am trying hard not to focus on the things I can’t control and concentrate on the actions I can take.
I have found comfort in Kubler-Ross’ model that the emotions I have felt are to be expected, that things will get better and that others go through a similar rollercoaster of emotion. I have been coaching people over the last few days and have found that others are feeling the same – they have found the coaching useful in helping them to unpick where they are on the curve and focus on moving towards acceptance. I would love to hear your thoughts and any similar experiences.
Stay safe everyone