Supporting Clients Through Coronavirus-related Stress
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is gradually becoming a part of our daily reality, for some more than others. In addition to its effect on our external reality, it is also affecting our internal one by inviting additional stress and anxiety into our personal space.
This new internal reality enters the coaching space with our client. If we want to help our clients achieve sustainable results, we need to know how to support them through this.
The RAIN (recognize, acknowledge and accept, invite, and non-attachment) model offers a road map to create clarity, increase resilience and build an action plan to move on. We can use it with our clients and for ourselves.
Recognize the thoughts and emotions associated with the stress. Notice them without judgment and name them. Naming our thoughts and emotions helps us to resize them into a manageable size and separate them from other thoughts and feelings.
Remember that anxiety is an unbalanced state of fear. In the context of this crisis it is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
Acknowledge and Accept
Acknowledge what you are experiencing, feeling and thinking. Accept it as the present reality and allow yourself to be with it in a compassionate way. Accepting our current sensations, thoughts and emotions does not mean we are passively accepting the things we do not like; it merely means that we are embracing our humanity and how we are at this specific moment.
Invite coaching curiosity into the process and ask yourself:
- What do I need now?
- What can I trust?
- What resources (internal and external) are available to me now?
- What are some actions I could take to help myself?
Once you feel ready, shift into a META View and ask these questions again.
Our thoughts and emotions, not who we are; they are part of an experience we are having. By releasing our attachment to the content and nature of our thoughts and emotions, we stop identifying with them. Once there is no identification, we can reconnect with our values and redirect our focus and energy to an action plan.
When I am coaching a client on a stress issue, I tend to add an S and turn the RAIN into RAINS. The S stands for self-care.
True self-care is not about having a massage or drinking champagne with your chocolate cake; it is an act of self-preservation. Self-care means making a conscious choice to take intentional actions that increase mental, emotional and physical health.
When we start practicing true self-care a lot, negative inner talk and limiting belief will come to meet us. Therefore, we need to practice self-love and self-compassion so we can self-care.
RAINS is not a “quick fix” technique. It is an approach and a way of holding the space for others and ourselves.
This crisis will end at some point. Just like any other crisis, it can bring out the best as well the worst in people. Let’s make sure that we, as coaches, use our knowledge, tools and calling to promote goodness and make this world a better place.