The following guidance has been written primarily for use by Container Solutions employees globally; but it is being shared externally to act as a useful reminder for all workplaces in these challenging times. It is an ongoing and evolving document and has been compiled using various sources, which have been referenced as much as possible throughout the document.
In times of crisis and threat, research shows that people will tend to respond in one of three ways; with some being more helpful than others:
Alongside the unprecedented changes we are facing, it is likely that we are all going to be experiencing some form of loss over the next few months, not necessarily in terms of bereavement but the loss of normality, freedom of movement, social connection, hobbies, and new experiences. This will lead us to enter into the stages associated with grief.
It is more important than ever to be aware of the emotions associated with each of these stages. We talk a lot in CS about emotional self-awareness, emotional expression, empathy, interpersonal relationships so as to support practices of psychological safety.
We will go through a number of stages as we progress through this crisis situation as postulated by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in the model below. She concluded these are the stages that individuals go through when they are experiencing illness and dying. However, it is a helpful model to think about in a crisis situation when individuals are experiencing sudden and significant unexpected changes. It is helpful as it shows us how we will eventually reach a point of acceptance and a time when we will make plans for a new future.
There will be shock and denial at first and this will move on to feelings of anger. We may move on quite quickly to feeling helpless, overwhelmed and wanting to escape this situation; but it is a cycle and we will move to accepting what has happened and develop new plans and options. We will adapt. This is how we experience very difficult and sudden changes in our lives.
Don’t hold back from asking for help if you need it. Reach out to others if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope. We are all in this together.
If you feel you would prefer not to seek help within your own organisation, please consider the following online resources with direction on how to get psychological support: