Calm is the new superpower.
During the uncertainty of the Coronavirus, or Covid-19 as its also know as a few people have been in touch to ask if AWS is still operating. The answer is absolutely, YES!
A lady next to me (let’s just call her Susan) kept sanitizing her hands. She caught my eye and I thought to myself those hands are going to be red raw in no time!
Throughout my working week I meet various individuals to help with interview preparation, and there is one recurring theme – worry. I was recently stood up by a candidate in a Costa Coffee (happens a lot) I thought hey ho – I will just bash on with some admin….
I can spot a mile off when someone is doing interview preparation, so I politely asked if she needed any help as I worked in recruitment. She was preparing for a presentation and appeared a little anxious. I sat down next to her and assuming the presentation was the cause of her anxiety, started to offer some interview advice.
BUT as it turns out Susan had (her words) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and was struggling being in a public space where there could potentially be germs. The thought of meeting new people terrified her in an interview situation. Unsure whether she would feel safe enough to shake their hands. In her mind thinking are the surfaces clean? Is the space ventilated?….She was actually having a full-blown panic attack.
Remember to breathe
Susan was mega early for her next appointment, so I brought her mind to task and chatted through some interview techniques. I helped her rationalise things, and put into perspective…and reminded her to breathe! Whilst we chatted over a cuppa, I reminded her that panic is like bad weather, it always passes, but when you are in it, it really seems like it will last forever.
She volunteered more information with regards to her OCD and it had nothing to do with germs but actually a lack of control in general. She was constantly living in the future trying to control absolutely everything – germs were only something Susan ‘hooked onto’.
Susan had an insight when I reminded her that it simply isn’t possible to control everything in the future and hence the anxiety. We talked for a bit and established it was interesting when the ‘thing’ is never actually the ‘thing’ (in this case ‘the germs’ but it was overall control over every situation in her life).
Living in Fear
What I know for sure is that living in the future disturbs everything going on in the present, hence constant worry and anxiety, and panic attacks.
I wanted to share this story as I thought it was very apt at the moment. We are all living in the fear of the unknown and something we have limited control over, which is understandable. But, how healthy is it to stay hooked onto this?
Perhaps we should consider rationing social media for ourselves – I certainly have! Especially when some of the news has either been fake or had no truth in it whatsoever!
I still engage with my clients and candidates on Twitter, and Linkedin, but that tends to be it. Although I will confess to engaging with some Real Housewives chat on occasion, but you get my drift…..!
BREATHE, calm really is a superpower.
Article written by Alan Surgeon, 20th March 2020.
Rethink Mental Illness
Mental Health UK