Anxiety is the primary emotion fueled by the brain’s most primitive region during dangerous times. Fight, freeze and flight instincts take over. 1400 distinct physiological changes are ignited when fear hits the central nervous system. Most of us don’t make our best decisions under these circumstances.
Learning to maintain a calm baseline is natural for some but must be learned by others. Most relationships, teams and organizations have a few members who are able to stay steady when the world is turning upside down. Those who feel vulnerable or threatened rely heavily on these leaders. Trust is paramount.
If you are the person on your team upon whom everyone else leans, your wellness is non-negotiable. There are no superhuman abilities that protect you from the consequences of the crisis. You’ve simply been elevated to the caretaker role either by talent or assignment. With that comes a responsibility to stay healthy.
The tools you use are the same ones you teach. Protect your foundation. Seek trusted guidance. Check in on your neighbors. Keep perspective. Manage change. Above all, understand that crises occur in cycles and are always followed by opportunities. Resilience is contagious.
Who takes care of the caretakers? The caretakers take care of the caretakers. They commit to a lifestyle that positions them for action when the need is greatest. They are fueled by sharing resources and support with those whose energy is depleted. Most importantly, they surround themselves with a network of friends, loved-ones, mentors and coaches…who care for them.