How to Feel Better While Social Distancing

If you’re like me, you may be feeling a little down from the reality of social distancing. Here is one lesson and three ways to feel better during the COVID 19 crisis.

How to Feel Better While Social Distancing

Today is a beautiful, sunny West Kentucky day and I couldn’t stand being inside any longer. I’m betting that maybe you’re getting that feeling as well. For some of you, like me, you’ve been doing your social distancing and you’ve isolated yourself, maybe even been quarantined to one degree or another. You may be getting a little bit of cabin fever, thinking, “I have got to get outside, I have got to get with people again.”

A Social Distancing Lesson from an Ice Storm

Well, let me give you a lesson that I learned about 11 years ago. In January of 2009, Kentucky was hit with the worst ice storm in the state’s history. It was devastating, I won’t go into all the facts and details, you can look those up if you’re interested (here are some images.) But let me simply, living out in the country, we were without power for 16 straight days. Not only that, it was cold. There was snow on the ground. It was a bad time.

After about the third or fourth day, I experienced something I had never experience before — depression. I don’t think it was clinical depression. But I can tell you that I was depressed in my spirit and depressed in my attitude. It would get dark early, we had no electricity, and it was almost a hopeless feeling.

Don’t Like the Feeling? Let’s Do Something.

I remember at that particular moment in time, getting a telephone call from someone that I went to church with. An elderly lady, who called me and said,

“Phil, I’m depressed, are you?”

And I said, “Yes, I am.”

She said, “Good, let’s go do something about it.”

And the next thing I knew, she had arranged a group which I became a part. The effort was to help feed utility workers from all of the United States who had come to Kentucky to serve us.

It was one of the most enlightening experiences I can ever remember. First of all, every day I had something to go do. I was able to interact with these people, I was able to feed them, and I was able to encourage them. I was able to thank them.

And not only did they appreciate our efforts, but we felt better about ourselves.

Social Distancing Can’t Stop You from Serving

Now, obviously we’re not in a situation right now where we can rush out and start to embrace people. Or serve people face-to-face within that six foot barrier. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t acknowledge people for who are, what they are, what they mean to us right now.

Do your work, do something productive during the day. But then when you’re sitting around in the evening, when you otherwise might be out socializing, or out having dinner — how about trying a couple of these things.

#1. Pick up a telephone and call someone who maybe is even more isolated than you. An older person, someone that has not been feeling well, maybe a family member. Maybe a friend or a casual neighbor. Certainly you can do that.

#2. How about this. Pick up a notepad and start writing some notes to past clients, or customers, friends, or people that have made a difference in your life.

#3. Or starting a journal about what you’re feeling and experiencing in these particular days. Capture the lessons that can be learned from this experience.

The Most Important Things in Work & Life

Leadership, from my perspective, has always been this. Leadership is not position. It’s not a title that we have or an office that we occupy. Leadership is the ability to offer service, to do something for someone else, and the willingness to take action.

Many of us have the best intensions to offer service but we don’t take action. Maybe sometimes we take action without thinking about how it might serve others. But at this point in time, when we have some to think and some time to act, maybe we can offer service for someone else that will make us feel better in the process.

Yeah, I know, I normally talk about leadership techniques and tips that are specific to the business world. But you know, sometimes when we’re in isolation, when we have some time to reflect, some time to think, some time to process and some time to act, maybe those are the simplest times that we can do the most important things. I hope this helps. (Want to share the video with someone? Here’s the link.)

We’re still giving our virtual course on building leadership integrity, respect and trust to anyone who would find it helpful. Totally free. And feel free to share!

If there is any other way I can be of assistance at any time, please let me know.

#howtosurvivesocialdistancing #COVID19 #serveothers #leadershipisservice #socialdistancing

Phillip Van Hooser

Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on engaged leadership and communication. His most recent book is “Earning The Right To Be Heard," a primer for creating greater influence and opportunities. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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