Stress Resilience During COVID-19

Colleen Rooney, Susan Hodkinson
| 3/26/2020
Stress Resilience During COVID-19

A special contribution by Colleen Rooney of Coaching Connextions with an introduction by our Chief Operating Officer and Human Resources Consulting Partner, Susan Hodkinson.

We know that life has changed radically and rapidly for all Canadians over the past few weeks.  Moving to remote work and practising social distancing, anxiety over job loss and other economic impacts and the obvious concern about the health threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus have created huge stressors for us all. To provide some support and assistance to our Crowe Soberman community, I reached out to professional coach, Colleen Rooney, to share her thoughts and suggestions as to how we can all respond to this challenging situation. Colleen shares her thoughts here. 

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Both are with us in times of stress. No one has a stress-free life. We don’t manage stress by avoiding it. We manage by responding effectively and finding our way to be happy, healthy, and whole. That’s resilience.

How can you tap into your resilience to cope and even thrive despite setbacks, barriers, or limited resources?

The threat:

  • The COVID-19 virus
  • Fear and anxiety

Your response to the threat? Be resilient. Resilience is the measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing and able to overcome obstacles to get it.

What are your options?

Keep it simple. This is not the time to tackle major changes. We do need to find some healthy ways to adapt to this new world. 

1. Develop a Resilient Mindset

  • Look for opportunities that are unique to you.  Look for opportunities that give you a sense of control over at least some aspects of your life.
  • Find new ways to stay in touch with your clients, family and friends.
  • Help others.
  • Volunteer in your area of expertise.
  • Use one of your strengths to support the most vulnerable; maybe it’s you.
  • Let someone know you are struggling.

2. Develop Resilient Habits

“Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do right now and do it. Today is your lucky day.”
― Will Durant

Many of us are now working from home and many have children and family to look after. This is a big adjustment and we can easily become overwhelmed. This is an opportunity to build in some self-care habits. 

Self-care practices don’t need to take a lot of time or money. Do something you enjoy like walking, reading, listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea or taking a warm bath. 

The method to build resilience is to focus on these basic self-care habits:

  • Healthy eating
  • Hydration
  • Exercise
  • Sleep

Other supportive, healthy self-care habits include things like:

  • A daily practice of guided meditation, journaling or prayer
  • Taking a nap
  • Doing something for yourself each day

3. Develop a Structure

Structure helps us feel more in control and productive. Build a new plan, structure or schedule, that in addition to your work, includes taking care of yourself. 

Your plan may include things like:

  • Set the alarm early: Take advantage of the daylight. Take advantage of your previous commute time to build in self-care practices. 
  • Guided meditation: Ease into your day with a daily practice that supports well-being 
  • Exercise: Start a new routine of walking, running or cycling and honour social/physical distancing. Alternate days with some strength training, stretching, Pilates, or yoga.
  • Work: If you are working from home block in your hours and include some social time (for example, with video chats, phone calls, etc.).
  • Schedule breaks: Take time to get a coffee or tea, a healthy snack, and get up and move or stretch.    
  • Meal planning: Build some time into your weekend, morning, lunch hour or end of day to plan meals.  
  • Meal preparation: Clean and chop your vegetables ahead of time. Have extra rice, beans and lentils cooked and keep them in the fridge. 
  • Three meals a day:  Schedule and commit to a consistent time for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Relax / Fun time: Reward yourself for your efforts … play an instrument, read a chapter, laugh with others, watch a show or movie.
  • Sleep: Schedule bedtime in order to get a full night’s sleep. Include time to build in habits to wind down, such as daily reflection, gratitude journaling, prayer, taking a bath, reading or meditating. 

There are apps to help you build resilience and ease stress:

I can recommend a good self-care book such as, “Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything.” And I also recommend Chris Hadfield’s video for its succinct explanation on how to manage the minutes, days, and weeks ahead.  

You and your friends and family will have your own ideas. Share! Find your resilient self. Do the best you can. Keep it simple.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a conversation my email is [email protected]

About the Author

Colleen Rooney, Adler Certified Professional Coach, ICF PCC

Colleen has over 20 years practicing as an Adler Certified Professional Leadership/ Career and Life Coach.  After building a 30-year career in the financial services sector in senior operational roles, she founded Coaching Connextions to focus on what she does best.  She provides experienced-based professional coaching along with proven success to help individuals prepare for what’s next.  Colleen’s Adler training draws on positive psychology, leadership and emotional intelligence research, neuroscience, and quantum physics to develop better ways of helping people overcome obstacles to build lasting happiness and meaning and fulfilment in their work and in their lives. 

How Can Crowe Soberman Support You?

Crowe Soberman has established a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Hub, highlighting areas of business operations that will likely be impacted by coronavirus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our professionals for support during these challenging times.

We are in this together.

This article has been prepared for the general information of our clients. Please note that this publication should not be considered a substitute for personalized advice related to your particular situation.