What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on The Paradox of Pandemic
Book by Lee Baucom, Thrive Principles
Coping with Covid Series of Podcasts

Thinking Through The Pandemic

Coping with COVID Series

 

Donald Robertson, modern Stoic philosopher and therapist.I was at a book signing a while back, signing a book of mine that is a few years old.  This person picked it up, looked at the publication date, put it down, and said, “I was looking for something more recent.”

That had me pondering… how long is information valid?  Sure, I would not likely want to read a computer book about the Windows 98 operating system, or about the coming “Y2K crisis.”  But what about transformational information?  When does that lose value?

Human brains have not changed in structure for millenia.  Which is why we still garner insight and understanding from books written millenia ago.  Ancient thoughts and texts still illuminate us these days.

Which brings me to my guest this week on the Thriveology Podcast.  I asked Donald Robertson to talk with me about some pretty old thoughts.  No, Donald is not millenia old.  But the philosophy he espouses and teaches is.  Donald is a modern Stoic philosopher, drawing on ancient Stoicism and what it offers to us in our current world.

And in our current pandemic situation, Stoic thought has LOTS to teach us.  In fact, Stoic thought is the underlying philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the cornerstone of modern mental health counseling.

Donald discusses the relevance of Stoic philosophy in today’s world, and how we can apply it to the pandemic in which we find ourselves.  Listen in as Donald Robertson gives some powerful help in dealing with our thoughts and our emotions in the midst of today’s (and future) struggles.

RELATED RESOURCES
DonaldRobertson.name
ModernStoicism.com
What Thriving People Know About Thoughts
Your Thoughts, Your Stories
Live Each Day as THE Day

Coping with COVID Series

The COVID Coping SeriesWhat a time we are living through in the world!  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many parts of culture and the economy to a screeching halt.  Other parts are overwhelmed with the pace.

Frontline and essential workers are feeling the overwhelm of responsibility.  Most of the rest are feeling the overwhelm of isolation.

We WILL get through this.  That is what we, as humans, do.  We overcome.  We rise to the challenge.  We push through.  And we will do the same with this crisis.

But between here and there, we have to live.  We can move beyond just surviving.  We just start with surviving.  And we reach from there.

Over the past month, I have been releasing podcast episodes that focus on dealing with the COVID crisis, both in terms of thriving and in terms of relationships.

I have grouped them together here, so you can find them easily.  Some are from my Thriveology Podcast, and others from my Save The Marriage Podcast.

Here they are:

THRIVING-ORIENTED EPISODES:

Thriving in an Age of Panic

Stay Sane While Staying Safe

How to Hope in Tough Times

The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTED EPISODES:

What Now? – Saving your marriage in the midst of a pandemic

Staying the Course in a Crisis (or 2)

Coping as a Couple Caught in COVID Quarantine

Time for a Relationship Reset?

The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

Coping with COVID Series

How to avoid being infected by the emotional contagion of fear and anxiety, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.  Special coronavirus podcast episode.It’s highly contagious.  You can catch it from a single interaction with one person.  You can catch it much faster in a crowd.  You can pass it on to someone else in an instant.

You can also catch it from just reading, watching, or listening to something.

In 39 milliseconds, you have it… and you didn’t even see it coming!

Coronavirus?  Nope.  That is certainly serious, and you absolutely want to do everything you can to avoid catching or spreading it.  I do not want to minimize the risks of this pandemic.

But that is not the contagion I am focusing on here.

This contagion is fear and anxiety.  Yes, you can catch fear.  Yes, you can catch anxiety.  And you can also spread them.

Humans have a natural wiring (we share it with the animals at the watering hole… and all the others) to pick up on fear and anxiety.

Many times, people have said, “Should I panic over this?”  The “this” has been lots of different things.  And my answer is always, “Panic is never a better option.  Should you respond?  Should you choose an action? Yes.  Panic?  No.”

That is easier said than done. But on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I share why fear/anxiety is contagious, along with how to limit the infection.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Fear
Attacking Anxiety
Self-Care
Order, Disorder, Reorder

Lee’s Thrive Books

How To Guarantee You DON’T Thrive

Part 2

How to NOT thrive... and what to do instead.Well, you are on to me!  Last week, I started talking about things you can do to guarantee that you DON’T thrive.  I’m sure you knew I didn’t really want you to NOT thrive.  But I wanted to point out some ways people make themselves miserable… and what they might do to shift.

If you missed that episode, JUST CLICK HERE TO HEAR IT.

It is interesting to notice how we humans can really mess up our lives!  Life throws us enough to deal with.  Then, we tend to multiply it with our own blind spots and stuck points.

With my Top 10 List To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive, I wanted to point out 10 ways that people really do keep themselves stuck.  And the fact is, I see these same patterns repeated over and over by many people.

So, if you see yourself in one (or more) of the stuck points, that just means you are… well… human.  Congratulations on being able to spot it!  That is the first step in doing something different… something new… something more… THRIVING!

Listen in below for the REST of the ways you can keep from thriving… so you can thrive!  (Unless you don’t want to… then just follow my suggestions.)

RELATED RESOURCES
How To NOT Thrive, Part 1
Control What You Can
Dealing with Stress
Gratitude
Feedback
Meaning & Purpose
Make An Impact
Book:  Thrive Principles

How To Guarantee You DON’T Thrive

Part 1

5 ways to guarantee that you don't thrive... and what to do instead.Over the years, I have tried to learn to thrive.  And I have tried to teach others how to thrive… even getting other experts to do the same.

But today, just for a moment, let’s assume you DON’T want to thrive.  In fact, you want to… well, do the opposite of thriving!  You want to be miserable and live a smaller life.  You want to feel stuck and frustrated. (I’m not going to even explain WHY you would want to do that… let’s play a little mental game and pretend you just don’t want to thrive.)

What then?

How would you go about NOT thriving?  How would you really make yourself as miserable as possible?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I start in on my Top 10 List of How NOT To Thrive.  I cover 5 top ways to NOT thrive in this episode, and follow up with the other 5 in the next episode.

Why in the world would I do this?

Because if you know how to NOT thrive, then you can NOT do the NOT’s.  You can do the opposite, and move toward thriving.  It is also a good way to run through the list and see if you find yourself falling into any of the non-thriving traps.  They are all around us!  And sometimes, we are doing them… not even realizing it.

Listen below for part 1 of How To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It Isn’t Personal
It IS What It IS
Forgiving
Hard Isn’t The Question
Dealing with Fear
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

Living Your Engagement

The Engaged Life Series


How to live an engaged life.  Find wellness, joy, and creativity as a way of fully engaging in life.
Over the last 2 episodes, we have been talking about YOUR Engaged Life. How to build a life of passion, purpose, and presence.

Amplifying that life through gratitude, spirituality, and awe.

Here’s the thing… not to be a downer here… you and I, we are going to die.  Someday.

Likely, you don’t know when that will happen.  I don’t know when I will die.  I just know that it is in my future.

Why does that matter?

That very fact is what makes life valuable, makes TIME valuable.  If you live forever, what you do today doesn’t matter so much.  You could do it tomorrow or next year, or in a hundred years.

But knowing we only have so much time… that changes things.  We have 2 tasks:  to live as fully as we can, in the time we have… and make that time last as long as possible.

At least, that is MY task.  How can I live fully?  And how can I live fully?

If you are thinking that might be YOUR task, listen in to the podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
3 P’s Of Engaged Life
Amping Your Engagement
Your Thriving Body Series
Stress To Rest
Book:  The Thrive Principles

Amped Engagement: Amplifying Your Engaged Life

The Engaged Life Series

Amplifying your engaged living. How to fully engage with gratitude, awe, and a deep spirituality.In the last episode of the podcast, I started a series on living The Engaged Life.  We continue that series in this episode.

If you have focused on living those 3 P’s of Passion, Purpose, and Presence, you can amplify your Engaged Life with attending to 3 areas.  All 3 come from within you.  You can bring more engagement, more connection, more depth, and more meaning into your life.

Amplifying is all about adding Power to those 3 P’s.  And all about enlarging that Engaged Life for yourself.

Listen in to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, so that you can amp your engagement.

RELATED RESOURCE
3 P’s of Engaged Life
Your Spiritual Life
Gratitude in Your Life
Book:  The Thrive Principles

3 P’s Of Living Engaged

The Engaged Life Series

The 3 P's of living an engaged and present life. Live with passion and purpose.Do you ever that you are “playing small”?  That there should be more to life?  More for YOU to do in life?  More your life should be about?

That life you are thinking about… that is the Engaged Life.  Living with more engagement, more depth, more meaning… more purpose.

Over the years, this has been a fairly constant refrain from clients:  “There should be more to life than THIS.”  There is….

Engaging in life.  Being engaged in life.

Living a bit deeper… a bit wider.

Over the years, 3 P’s have emerged as the Path to living an engaged life.  Those 3 P’s:  Passion, Purpose, and Presence.

When you are focused on building those 3 areas, your Engaged Life builds.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover the 3 P’s of Living an Engaged Life.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning and Purpose in Life
Showing UP in Life
We Have Fears
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

Rules For Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?Do you have any “rules for living”? Thoughts or ideas that you follow as guidelines for living? Maybe you don’t always follow them… but you intend to. You treat them like rules. They aren’t really “laws,” concepts you MUST follow, or you find yourself in trouble. (See my Immutable Laws for Living book for these.)

Rules just make life easier. They keep you moving forward, in the direction you want.

If you have some, great! See how they compare to my 10 rules.

If you don’t have rules, consider trying out my 10 rules.

Below are links to trainings on each of the 10 rules for living.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
#9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment
#10 Live Each Day As THE Day