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Putting a name to what we are experiencing during COVID-19

The changes necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic have created untold losses. These losses include the tangible losses of the loss of loved ones to the virus and the loss of employment and physical workplaces as we were forced to self- isolate at home. The losses that are harder to identify are the intangible ones: loss of community, social interaction, loss of routine, loss of freedom, loss of purpose.

We have been thrown into a state of uncertainty and cannot work toward a solution because the new context and timeline are unknown. This has hit many of us hard and we find ourselves sad, exhausted, dragging, overwhelmed, angry, and frustrated.

A healthier way forward: Being able to name our losses would be helpful, if we could, but most don’t understand the concept of loss, or have the vocabulary to give voice to them. Even if we could name the losses, most will disenfranchise, minimize, or invalidate them and suppress their “negative” emotional responses by comparing their experience to the experience of others; but that’s like saying one shouldn’t sleep because one’s neighbour has trouble sleeping.

To move through this period more effectively as organizations and individuals, we must first acknowledge our individual losses and what they mean to us.

"When leaders of an educational institution approached Blue Morpho to work with their staff to adjust to the changes Covid had thrust upon them, we created a series of sessions tailored to their unique context. Working one on one with the leaders, we first addressed their own uncertainty, so that they could process their response to the changes and support their staff from a place of calm and strength. We then worked with staff. Through training and discussion, helped them process the changes and develop some resiliency so that they could work together to develop creative solutions for delivering programming under the new restrictions.

“What a great experience it was to work with Jacqueline and her team. Things were so unstable:  we had never taught remotely before or used zoom, and our personal lives were in upheaval. There was such a lot of change in such a short time. We felt like hot pots, ready to boil over.

The first session gave us what we needed to understand what was happening to us, on a human level. The Blue Morpho team created a safe space where we felt comfortable enough to express our individual concerns and experiences. The guidance we received was reassuring and affirming; Jacqueline was really present to us and listened in a way that although we all experienced the changes individually, we realized we were really not alone. T

he session gave my team the courage, connection, and insight they needed to creatively tackle how we would move forward to meet the challenges of our new work context. With Covid, the world no longer made sense and the experience with Blue Morpho helped us to process what we were feeling, put our thoughts into perspective, and find our way forward as a team. I felt like we connected human to human for the first time, rather than professional to professional and that really strengthened our relationships  and effectiveness as a team. The sessions had a profound impact on our school, they were life-changing, and we are so grateful."
- Susan deBrigard, Principal, St. Matthew's School
"I found that by looking closely at a loss early in my career, I finally allowed myself to properly grieve it (transition through it) and ultimately grow from it and apply that knowledge to my current circumstances. Additionally this growth (and renewed focus on a growth mindset), have allowed me to be much more effective in not only my approach to managing myself, but how I can inspire others to bring out the best in themselves."
– David H. (Financial Industry)
“Because of the work I did with Blue Morpho, I became aware that recognizing my losses, having them validated, and allowing myself to express the emotions around it (rather than suppressing them as I had been taught), was empowering. It brought m e to a place of peace, where I could make a decision about the loss and move forward through the change.”
– Maryam K. (Higher Education)
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