How do you RESPOND? Safe Spaces

Updated: Apr 21

We all have an inherent need to feel safe. In the wake of COVID-19, there’s never been a greater desire to feel safe.

Safe in our home.

Safe when shopping in the grocery store.

Safe when taking a walk with the dog.

Safe about our job situation.

While there are precautions that our governments are taking to preserve our safety, up to me to set up the boundaries and conditions to also ensure my safety.

For instance, I feel safe wearing a face covering when I’m in public. I’ve observed that this is not the practice of everyone, but it makes me feel safe. I can only control myself.

I can imagine many of us are struggling with feeling safe and secure. Here’s how I address my concerns:

Call it out

What do I fear at this moment? What is keeping me up at night?

Calling it out allows me to face my fears and concerns about safety. By calling it out, I am no longer ignoring it and letting it increase my anxiety. Giving it a name helps me see the potential solutions and the resources (my faith, family, friends, and colleagues) to help me through this.

Here’s what I’ve called out:

  • My health amid COVID-19

  • Financial stability of my business

  • Burnout with work

  • My waistline

I already see the potential solutions and, most importantly, within MY CONTROL to help me face my fears and get back into a safe space.

Keep it out

How do I keep it out? I set boundaries and set up the conditions where I can thrive. I can only influence what is in my control.

My health amid COVID-19

Along with good hand washing hygiene, I adhere to staying at home as much as I can.

I wear a face covering when I go out in public.

I’m working on getting good sleep. I have been reminded that lack of sleep can compromise my immune system, and given our current conditions, I want to keep my immune system as strong and healthy as possible.

Financial stability of my business

As a public speaker and trainer, the impacts of COVID-19 have hit me hard. While there are options to convert workshops and speaking engagements into a virtual format, the budgets of corporate clients have been adversely impacted as well.

I am happy to say that I have been fortunate to receive funding through various business relief programs. Not a windfall by any means, but I am grateful for the assistance.

I’m reaching out to business connections and previous clients to set things in motion for future work in the second half of the year. The future is looking bright.

Burnout with work

When it comes to work, our boundaries are blurred more than ever. I’ve learned that it is vital to create healthy boundaries to enhance productivity and preserve my sanity. To help me avoid burnout, I’ve taken the following steps:

Create the space. I have a dedicated separate space to perform specific work. While I have an office, I also have a conference table by the window for more creative work. When I need to be focused, I go to the dining table because I know I cannot sit there forever—it forces me to be focused. If you live in a small space, this may require some level of creativity. One of my connections who has small kids confessed she sneaks away in her closet to send emails. Brilliant.

Create working hours. I committed as to when my workday starts and ends. If emails need to be sent when I have more quiet time in the evening, I set a time limit of 25 minutes.

Prioritize my work. I prioritize what needs to be done first. Isn’t that what we would do in the office? I try not to fall prey to trying to get it all done in one day—my working hours don’t allow for it. Low-priority items on the list can wait until tomorrow or later in the week.

My waistline

The winning combination for me to watch my figure:

More water + walking in my neighborhood during lunch + good sleep + wearing my work clothes.

Yes! I no longer wear my loungewear. Every day is casual Friday with my favorite casual slacks, jeans, or skirt. They are a reminder if I need to turn my walk into a run.

Notice how I didn’t add "healthy eating" to the equation. I would like to be real with you. That’s a work in progress. While I have been dabbling in some healthy recipes, there has been some stress eating and indulgences too. Have you made your DoubleTree by Hilton chocolate chip cookies yet?

These are the things that have worked for me to face MY specific fears and concerns.

What are YOUR concerns? What can you do to create a safe space for yourself?

Financial security a worry for you? I have called my creditors to lower rates and/or waive late fees. Having faced a similar situation during the housing crash in 2008, I did not have savings. That experience compelled me to be a saver moving forward, and savings have also kept me afloat during this time.

Job security a concern? Consider updating your resume and while you’re at it, update your LinkedIn profile. Submit your resume—companies are still hiring! I just coached a client for an upcoming interview.

As we all acclimate to our "new normal," it is essential that we create healthy boundaries to help us find our safe space.

“Your personal boundaries protect the inner core of your identity and your right to choices.” – Gerard Manley Hopkins

Over the next several weeks, I am making a shift in my blog articles on RESPONDing to the challenges of today:

RE: Release, Reboot, Rebound

S: Safe spaces

P: Personal connections

O: Own your confidence

N: Negotiations: Your time & your money

D: Determination & Grit: Stay Winning