It has been quite an emotional time over the past few months for individuals and entrepreneurs. First, it was and continues to be COVID-19 and now race relations following the murder of George Floyd. As much as I like being superwoman (singing in my Alicia Keys voice in my mind) the truth is the compounding impact of both of these global issues rocked me to my core emotionally even with my cognitive attempt to disconnect. I continued to juggle my roles, as a wife, a mom, volunteer, multi-business owner, etc, etc never giving due justice to the personal impact.
But one day, I was in the kitchen cooking and I looked up and there were five young African-American males standing around my husband and I, talking about an upcoming protest. Then there was story after story after story. Question after question after question. We engaged hour after hour after hour. My evening had already been previously planned…including a real estate meeting and a paper that I needed to finish and submit by midnight but midnight came and I was crashing. The next day someone said something about state of the world and I started crying and I cried a river! I had to cut the video camera off in the middle of a conference and suck my tears back in—”Be strong superwoman!”, I said to myself but when the meeting was over, I decided to take off the cape.
During the next conversation, I expressed myself, understanding the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable, if you know what I mean. Additionally, I asked for some grace from others who had expectations of me. I explained where I was emotionally—drained— and asked for extensions and space. Both were granted. All seemed to be understood. I knew I needed more time to discuss issues with my husband, to listen and be available to my sons and their friends and to take care of myself—why does that too often come last? I am working on it because if I can’t take care of myself, then how in the world can I help care for others!
Below are a few tips that have helped me move forward day by day!
1) Engage in Self-Care-Self-care looks different for different people but whatever it looks like for you, it’s very helpful for stress relief. I personally enjoy walks and music, lots of music and scented candles. I am racking up on candles that smell yummy enough to eat and I have Mary J’s “Fine” on repeat. Everyone in my house knows that if you turn on that song, I will appear and dance like it is the first time I have ever heard it. Self-care puts you in a better position to be truly super for the care of others!
Come on—doesn’t this song make you smile?? Check out the video below! Sure makes me smile and move!
2) Work on Improving Your Emotional Intelligence-I can get quite emotional when topics are brought up that hit close to home. I am human and my nonverbal communication is easy to read. After having an at home 360, I decided that I would work on my emotional intelligence—increasing my awareness of emotional responses, regulating those responses as well as being more aware of others’ emotional responses and personally regulating my responses to them. This is a work in progress but it has certainly helped me already. I have no time to argue with anyone on social media—it is not a good use of my emotional energy. I also am starting to pause more before speaking and paying attention to my physiological reaction, especially when I am in disagreement. I highly recommend the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 it is where I am learning some of these new skills. Relationships can improve drastically when our emotional intelligence improves!
3) Be Proactive-If we can get involved with the areas of concern in our world, then we don’t feel as much like a helpless victim. My husband decided to host a virtual forum to discuss race relations and I am acting as a technological support person and am spreading the word. I am also reading and learning more about initiatives that I can support to support anti-racism. Lastly, I will get to be part of a couple of forums in which entrepreneurs will discuss how both COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd have impacted them. It is good to know that I am part of a bigger community and together we can be proactive!
Emotions are high right now and taking care of oneself, increasing emotional intelligence awareness and being proactive are just three ways that I think can be helpful in terms of coping with the many issues we are dealing with right now— as a time such as this. Not only do I get so emotional baby but so do others and we are all impacted. Understanding our connectivity, perhaps can lead to the emotions being channeled into change for the better! And I am hopeful that things WILL get better!