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  • Tracy Flynn Bowe

Coping by Color

Coping by Color

Many of you have had the opportunity to learn about your personality color in one of my workshops or training sessions. Whether you are a Red, Orange, Yellow or Green personality, these new COVID conditions create stress and challenge for all of us, along with new opportunities for using our strengths and gifts. Here is a quick guide to coping by color:

Reds: Red personalities thrive in structure and routine and this is a strength that will serve you well during these times as we all adjust to such new ways of living and working. Those of you working at home have undoubtedly already set up the home office and created your own schedule for the day. Those of you waiting for the world to reopen will have to create plans for the day that you can control and predict and do your best to feel effective and productive. The challenge for reds right now may be the unpredictability that comes with all these changes, and the impact of the new working conditions on the task lists and productivity. It might take longer to complete your work and you may feel less efficient than you are used to being, but be patient with yourself, take it one day at a time and trust that this too shall pass. Channel your energy for now where you can feel effective and can see the fruits of your actions—exercise, home maintenance projects, closet organizing and lawn clean-up to name a few.


Oranges: Orange personalities thrive in relationship and connection with others. This is both your strength and your challenge in these times when we have all been isolated to home. If you have been confined to work from home and have family members around you, it may be a time to count your blessings and to enjoy the extra time with people you love. But for many it may feel a little isolating and you may be missing the energy and connections you so enjoy as you interact in person with others every day. Oranges are kinesthetic in their neurology and you make sense of the world by checking the feelings of others in the room. You may find you are missing that feedback in this new virtual environment. As you work through these challenges, use facetime or video conferencing to deepen your feeling of connection. Lastly, oranges are natural worriers. Until things return to normal, turn off the evening news and instead of worrying about those you care about, find novel ways to use your natural gifts of support and caring for others by sending a care package, a joy bomb, or a special message of support to the people you are missing.

Yellows: Yellow personalities thrive on change, learning new things, analyzing options and strategic problem solving. They like letting their mind wander ahead to think about how we can shape the future in interesting and innovative ways. The good news for yellows is that there is nothing like a pandemic to present a full panoply of novel problems begging for solutions. The challenge for yellows is that the target is always moving and it’s hard to do the analysis when the information is changing so rapidly and there are so many unknowns to factor into the equation. Yellows also relish their freedom and autonomy, so you may be feeling a little stir crazy inside these newly imposed boundaries and restrictions. For those with brains that never stop spinning, the advice is to do your problem solving in phases. Ask what you know about the conditions of the next week and make your plans accordingly, while continuing to look ahead (gently) with a curious and open mind but without needing to have a solution for all the potential problems. If you try to overthink it right now and get ahead of the data, your brain will become overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Use your creativity to solve the pressing problems of the day, and then find ways to turn off your brain, be present in the moment and enjoy the extra time with family and friends.

Greens: Green personalities are true humanitarians and imaginative thinkers who care deeply about the world and the people in it. If you are watching the media, you can see all the creative types and artists jumping into the fray right now to connect, console, entertain and inspire as we cope with the impact of this global pandemic. From singing on balconies to creating funny memes, neighborhood dance parties (socially distanced of course), and worldwide virtual concerts and fundraisers, the greens are reminding us to engage our hearts and souls and to take good care of each other and the world as we respond to these difficult days. The challenge for greens is the depth of your hearts as you literally feel the suffering and uncertainty of those around you and around the world. Your global awareness and receptivity to feelings can overwhelm your emotional system and leave you feeling like you are swimming in a fast-moving current without a life line. Turn off the news and let a good yellow in your life track and summarize the important data for you, while you attend to your heart. Focus on the moments in your day that give you a feeling of meaning and connection, find daily opportunities for some kind of fun and play, and do your best to create rhythm and structure in your day so you have some anchor lines to hold onto as the world tries to find its balance.

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