The emotional impact of the coronavirus

The coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic. Travel bans, cancelled vacations, no March Madness, professional sports seasons suspended, concerts and conferences postponed, the list goes on. We’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetimes!

How are you feeling? Have you stopped and checked in with yourself? Our research indicates there are 27 unique emotions. It’s likely that recent events have triggered several of them for you: anxiety, confusion, sadness, fear and possibly anger

How are you feeling? Have you stopped and checked in with yourself? Our research indicates there are 27 unique emotions. It’s likely that recent events have triggered several of them for you: anxiety, confusion, sadness, fear and possibly anger

If you’ve attended one of our workshops, you’ve heard us talk about how most conflict isn’t about the person or the issue, it’s often the result of having different values or beliefs. Since our values have a similar influence on our emotions, we thought it would be worth exploring core values to help us understand the emotional impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Core values are the things that are most important to you. They represent your “Authentic Self” and are your non-negotiables in life.  Values drive your decisions and influence your behaviors. Over the past few years, we’ve helped thousands of people discover their core values. While there are a handful of values that show up most commonly, each set of core values is unique and deeply personal. 

Regardless of your core values prior to the pandemic, Security, Wellness, and Family may have recently become more important to you.  All of the sudden, your sense of Adventure, need for Accomplishment, or Fun may have become (relatively) less important. Activities that result in satisfaction or self-actualization may even feel trivial when your basic needs feel threatened.  

Feeling angry or frustrated?  It’s quite possible one or more of your core values are being violated right now:

Logic

Logic  – are you craving hard facts about the virus and frustrated about misinformation? Are you witnessing behavior that appears irrational to you?  It’s possible those behaviors are emanating from the violation of the Security, Wellness, and Family values mentioned above. 

Tradition

Tradition – do you have annual traditions that are being disrupted?  Has your daily routine changed and it has thrown you off? 

Wealth

Wealth – is the stock market crash making you feel anxious about your financial health or retirement plans?

Community & Collaboration – do you thrive in an environment being surrounded by your tribe and now feel isolated?

Community
Collaboration

What should you do?  

Persistence

Be Persistent. Things will get better. They are likely to get worse first, but it will get better. Focus your energy where you have control, stay positive and hang in there.  

Empathy

Be Empathetic. If you find yourself frustrated, angry or annoyed by actions and behaviors of others, it’s worth taking their perspective. Why are they acting the way they are?  Is it really bad behavior, do they have values different than yours? Perhaps you’re simply observing instinctual responses as a result of stress? Factors that may not affect you personally may be affecting others and driving different behavior than you would demonstrate.

Authenticity

Be Authentic. This is perfect opportunity for self-reflection. What is truly most important to you? Does our current situation help you rethink your core values? At times like these you might be inclined to reduce connection or not ask for help. While in person connection may not be possible, if you feel isolated or in need of support, this is a time to reach out and ask for it. 

Kindness

Above all, practice Kindness Don’t forget, we’re all in this together. Kindness is going to make the journey more tolerable for all of us. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Don’t take the actions of others personally.  Check-in with your friends and family.

We hope this has helped you understand the emotional impact of the coronavirus pandemic and possibly make sense of behaviors that may have otherwise appeared irrational. We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your own thoughts and reflections below.

Brian Stinson

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