I went for a jog in High Park this morning. I am not a runner and in fact I have always been skeptical about the joys of running…until today.

Like many of you, the uncertainty of what we are facing and the constant news is taking an emotional toll. I fear not just for the risk of physical illness but the impact on our mental, emotional, economic and social wellbeing. Personally, with my usual wellness routines disrupted and social networks cancelled – gym, yoga studio, professional conferences to name a few – I realized I had to establish new routines. Hence, the run in the park.

It worked. I felt less stressed out about what’s happening and better able to think clearly about what I can do to support the people around me who are experiencing work and income disruption, worried about loved ones, and still trying to show up as caring and compassionate leaders and colleagues.

I realize that having a coach is a privilege and luxury at the best of times. Still, I want to ensure that clients will continue to have access to the support of a coach, and perhaps more than ever will see the value of someone to confide in, who will listen without judgment, and be a sounding board. For leaders, it will be imperative to stay calm, look after themselves and find ways to support others and work creatively together from a distance. As my coach colleague Dave Veale, CEO/Founder Vision Coaching asked, “who looks after the leaders, especially in times of crisis?”

I believe we all have an opportunity to look after each other during this difficult time.

At a minimum, we can choose to show up with care and compassion. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ask how people are doing and really listen. Take the time to understand the impact on their lives and find out how you can provide support.
  • Check in with neighbours, colleagues and friends to see how they are coping.
  • Set up regular phone calls and virtual coffee dates.
  • If you are a manager, encourage people to work virtually and to stay home if they are unwell.
  • Use the technology that is readily available to continue to meet with your team, colleagues and clients. Now more than ever we need to stay connected!
  • Develop a daily routine with a fitness break and a break from social media – take a walk, meditate, stretch, jog, weight train – whatever works in your space and will keep you moving. There are lots of online resources if you want guidance on how to do it.

I’d love to hear what you are doing to look after yourself and those around you.