Darcy Louma, who spoke at the WOMEN Reception that led into the 2019 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, wrote these tips for coping with life in the COVID-19 era.

When we all learned that we would need to be isolating at home, a lot of tips were being shared on social media on how to get through this. Everyone suddenly had the answers and advice on how best to deal with handling all the new challenges of a global pandemic.

Tips on how to work from home: Get up at your regular time. Shower. Dress as you typically would for work. Use technology. Create a dedicated work space. Forward your office phone. Only go to the fridge if you are truly hungry.

Tips on how to homeschool your kid: Create color coded charts with specific times for specific subjects. Make sure they are getting work done. Find free online educational videos. Limit screen time. Don’t be afraid to bribe them.

Tips on how to video conference: Find a platform. Do a test run before going live. Use the chat feature. Make sure your camera is on. Mute yourself when you aren’t talking. Include cocktails when you can.

People are hungry for these tips because we are trying to survive. Our world turned upside down, and we have never been expected to figure out how to stay healthy, stay sane, and stay productive all at the same time in this new world of social distancing.

It’s exhausting.

The core premise of coaching

You have heard me say more than once that the core premise of coaching (and of being Thoughtfully Fit) is that you are the expert in your own life.

It might feel like a paradox. How can you be the expert when it feels like you have no idea what you should be doing?

Here’s what I mean.

If you asked me what you should do for stress relief, I would tell you to go for a three-mile run. And then afterwards if you’re not feeling better, run three more.

I would guess many of you reading this are thinking, “Darcy! That wouldn’t work for me. I’m not a runner! And I have bad knees.”

And that’s precisely my point. YOU know what is best for you. You know in your gut, heart and/or head if these “surviving COVID-19” tips are going to work for you. Just because running helps put my problems into perspective, doesn’t mean it’s what will work for you.

Listen to you.

It always comes back to building your Thoughtfully Fit core. I invite you to PAUSE. Take a moment to ask yourself some thoughtful questions. If you don’t know the answers to these questions right away, that’s ok. In fact, that’s the point. Give yourself time to THINK by tapping into what you know to be true for you.

  • What do I need right now?
    Maybe you need to get out for some fresh air. Or maybe you need a nap. Or maybe you need to connect with someone. You know best.
  • How can I meet that need?
    This is where you might need to be creative given the current challenging circumstances. Brainstorm the possibilities.
  • Where do I need to stop “shoulding” on myself?
    Are you kicking yourself because you feel like you should be getting more work done? Your kids should love homeschooling? You should take a shower? How’s that working for you? If it’s only causing feelings of guilt, worry, or anxiety, let it go.

Now it’s time to ACT. Thoughtfully decide how you want to move forward for YOU. If you know you would feel better if you took a shower, take a shower…. or don’t. You know best!

It might not be easy. And you might need to repeat this process on a daily, or even hourly, basis. Figure out what works for you and then move forward with confidence that you are doing what is best for you.

You got this. You are the expert.


P.S. Join us at 4:30pm on Facebook Live tomorrow for Thoughtfully Fit Thursday where we’ll share the struggles and strategies we heard in our daily Social Distance Coaching: Take Charge of Your Quarantine.

Louma is the founder and principal of Darcy Louma Coaching and Consulting.