My Post-COVID State of Mind

I left home in May to explore parts of the country that I’ve never visited before. Hello, Tennessee! Greetings, Kentucky! Landing in my hometown of New York in July I spent a month working, learning and meeting up with old and new friends. Throughout, it was pure exhilaration to experience what psychologist Adam Grant calls collective effervescence.

I attended the wedding of a close friend’s son: the merging of Irish Catholic and Jewish families. We spent as much time on the dance floor doing the hora as we did stomping our best impersonation of an Irish jig! I have always known and deeply felt the richness that milestone events like this can offer. Even more so now, there was a sweetness and appreciation shared by the others who attended. We’ve learned that not sweating the small stuff and making room for joy isn’t just hyperbole. It’s what makes life sweet, meaningful and connected (in the most human of ways). It’s a mindset that I will strive to keep and will intentionally seek more effervescent experiences in my life—group exercise classes, book groups, people that simply make me think differently, make me laugh longer and make me better as a human being.

But my travels and connections haven’t been without challenge. Perhaps this feeling will be short lived, but to be honest it’s been exhausting to leave my Covid cocoon and interact with other people, face to face. The funny thing is: I’ve somehow missed myself. What I mean by that is that I’ve missed the quiet reflective time I couldn’t seem to find before Covid but became used to as a result of our collective and individual hibernations. I’m challenging myself, and you, to think about the best things Covid has taught you and to hold onto them.

I’ve changed since Covid began. My very definition of success has come more clearly into focus. And I’m not alone in this. It’s been reported that over 76% of Americans credit the pandemic with helping them refocus on what’s most important to them. Before COVID, people used to talk about success in linear ways, focused more commonly on money and attainment. Based on my travels and conversations with clients, that definition is thankfully changing. But change is hard, so it should come as no surprise that it’s causing people to reexamine their choices, at home and work, and to feel uncomfortable with it all.

We live in challenging times. COVID has proven that it’s time to step into new ways of thinking and showing up in the world. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that work/life balance (whatever work means to you) will be your recipe for success. You would be fooling yourself because it’s a fool’s choice. There is no perfect balance because the unavoidable truth is that life is messy. The dynamic changes that impact each of the areas that allow you to feel fulfilled require different things at different times. Instead, strive to integrate the elements that combine to create success on your terms.

What if you considered Covid to be a teacher? Painful lessons, yes. But a teacher all the same. What are the truest, most beautiful and impactful lessons you have learned that will lead you to success?

Answering these questions should help you begin your journey:

How can you safely build opportunities to experience collective effervescence?

What is one practice that allows you to stay in touch with yourself?

Which elements of your life bring you the most fulfillment?

What is your (re)definition of post-Covid Success?

It is a given that there will be stressors and challenges during this time of collective and individual redefinition. As Lao Tzu wisely said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The more profound truth is that every step moves one either closer to or further from the desired destination and changes the experience along the way.

In January, I am hosting a virtual, small group coaching experience for a limited group of people who want to launch 2022 with increased energy and resilience, and navigate today’s complex challenges and demands with clarity, equanimity, and joy. To find out more, click here.

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