By: Kelly Orchard
May 22, 2020
When I was asked to submit something about today’s circumstances, I wanted to make sure to reflect on my broadcast friends.
This is a tough time for everybody around the globe. Although my roots are in broadcasting, my current title today would be “licensed [sychotherapist.” Mental health is a priority today and fortunately I was already equipped to work from home. As an FCC consultant for the past 20 years, I’ve successfully maneuvered the work and home life balance
Like many, the NAB Leadership Foundation’s activities have been interrupted. The team is diligently working to reschedule, rework and revise our various programs and initiatives. Even during this uncommon time, we are committed to building a more diverse, innovative and vibrant future for the industry by investing in its greatest resource, YOU.
Due to our stay at home policies across the nation, I too am working from my home office, in the capacity of providing mental health services via secure video or phone sessions. Here’s what I can share from the frontlines of what people are generally feeling at home.
While millions are out of work and even more are transitioning to working from home, we’re inundated with thoughts, feelings, emotions that we have never experienced before.
Keywords: Restless. Overwhelmed. Anxious. Bored. Stir Crazy. Survival Mode. Depressed. Failing.
Lost your job? Furloughed? Reduced your pay? 401k decimated? Depressed, angry, fed up? YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Some of what you’re experiencing is symptoms of grief and loss. The five stages of grief are: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining and Acceptance.
We grieve more than just death. We grieve all losses. Monetary, relational, professional. How can you navigate something that none of us have ever gone through before? Who is truly an expert in how to manage the emotions that we are all experiencing right now?
Truthfully, I have been through something akin to being housebound and having lost everything. When I was struck down with heart failure in 2006, I was self-employed, consulting with radio and television stations on FCC compliance. Everything changed for me. I was sick, tired, weak and under medical care. Business was struggling because I couldn’t travel, my finances were decimated by medical bills and I ended up having to let go of my house.
I found myself in a situation I had never been in before. It didn’t happen overnight, but I did recover. It was the best worst thing that ever happened to me. How did I recover? I changed how I thought about my situation. What do you need right now to get through this minefield of emotions that you’ve probably never experienced before?
Self Compassion. Give yourself a break. Don’t compare your circumstances to others, and definitely don’t be consumed with the what ifs, which is part of the bargaining stage of grief.
Mindfulness/Mindlessness. Practice mindfulness by being self-aware of your surroundings, what you are allowing your mind to think about and your physical responses. Also, do some mindless activities too. My family played the card games War and Go Fish because they were simple and mindless fun.
Slow Down and Reduce Stress. Job loss and uncertainty will cause you to want to move quickly and rapidly to replace what you have lost. Give yourself permission to go slow. What if this was a good time to reinvent how you approach life and your career?
Stay connected. I’m in several Facebook groups with radio people. No negative talk, they just post nostalgic pictures of AM radio stations or Los Angeles stations (my hometown) and share airchecks of days gone by. Nostalgia is a mood booster, and what a better time to remember some fun!
We are all doing something that we have never done. Every day is something new. Make sure you balance your time while you are working at home or not working at all. I’ve become an expert at it and am happy to provide you with some tips. Just reach out to me!
*Kelly Orchard is a professional speaker, author and trainer. In addition to more than 30 years in the business of broadcasting, she has a master’s degree in Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Social Science with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership. Kelly specializes in working with radio industry executives in times of trouble, turmoil and transition, to help them stress-proof their leadership. She is a 2008 graduate of the Broadcast Leadership Training Program, among others. She is also an FCC compliance specialist and licensed psychotherapist. Reach her at email@example.com.
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