Podcast – Episode 0328 – Managing Big Life Changes During A Pandemic

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how we can manage life changes during a disruptive event like the current global pandemic.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • NLP: Pattern interrupt
  • We are experiencing a considerable pattern interrupt right now
  • It’s shifting people – inside and out
  • How do we make changes in this pressure-cooker environment?
  • “The macro mirrors the micro, and the micro mirrors the macro.”
  • The changes in entire societies can mirror what is happening to the individual, and vice versa.
  • Electing a narcissistic leader shouldn’t be surprising in a narcissistic society.
  • Pattern interrupts cause us to stop and pay attention to what is happening on autopilot.
  • The universe throws us these pattern interrupts all the time.
  • Stuff is bubbling to the surface in people’s lives right now.
  • “What actually matters to me?”
  • Pattern interrupts change how you see things.
  • The pandemic is interrupting our external systems, which forces us to analyze our internal systems.
  • If you haven’t looked at the programming of your GPS in awhile, this can be very destabilizing.
  • Once you start cutting out noise, other signals begin to get in. 
  • If your go-to distraction is no longer available to you, the thoughts you’ve been avoiding will start to get through.
  • People are making major life choices right now in a time when it seems like the worst possible time.
  • People are getting their fill of distractions.
  • Action follows significant changes.
  • It’s easy to quit your job when everyone is out of work because there is no requirement of action in a quarantine.
  • Or maybe the quarantine is giving us our space to think through the decisions we need to make.
  • “No matter what happens, it is to my benefit.”
  • Sometimes we don’t see the benefit of a situation until long afterward.
  • This situation is pretty horrifying, but it can be to our benefit.
  • Less anxiety. More grace. More space.
  • Make peace with the changes.
  • Self-care isn’t always a glass of wine with a bubble bath.
  • Self-nourishment implies more depth.
  • It’s our responsibility to own our triggers.
  • Be responsible for your emotions.
  • Don’t hand yourself over to your triggers. 
  • Your emotions aren’t the only show in town.
  • 20 tokens per week. Each token represents 30 minutes on a device. 
  • They can’t be hoarded.
  • No more than 2 hours on a weekday and 4 hours on weekends.
  • They can turn in the tokens for money at the end of the week.
  • This is happening for us, not to us. 
  • “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
  • It’s time to be an adult.
  • You are the decision point in your life.
  • It is seductive to believe somebody else has got this.
  • YOU are the person who has this. YOU overcome the obstacles.
  • This is the basis for self-esteem.

In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about how we can manage life changes during a disruptive event like the current global pandemic. #coronavirus #covid19 #pandemic

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Showing 13 comments
  • Julia

    I think it is really interesting that Antonia and Joel talk about how the quarantine has been a good time for them to work on their inferior introverted sensing process for themselves and their family. That is an awesome outlook and a perfect process for the situation. My 3 year old is harmony and I can really see its importance more strongly and would like to work on it, but after 10+ months in isolation living alone in a new town and job where I don’t know anyone and can’t meet anyone if I am going to be responsible, I am looking for ideas of how I can bring more connection into my life under the current circumstances. Zoom happy hours, large family zoom calla and most of the other social media/IT solutions tend to be more extrovert oriented. I don’t mind participating in them but listening to a bunch of other people talking isn’t bringing the personal connections I am craving.

  • Ms elaine bell

    Hi Guys

    I am INFP and I am glad for this podcast. Thank you. Something that Joel said – there is no parent to take care of us during this pandemic. I felt the same way. There was no mother figure to comfort me with this as I have realised everyone is going through similar situations. I have no right to complain either.

    I can resonate with you both and the challenges of having and supporting kids through a pandemic. I have 3 of my own and I am a single parent.

    Alot of emotions have come to the surface..Some unresolved traumas which I had tucked away. One trauma was the existential fear of death when at one point I believed I was in the high risk category. Another trauma thats came up was the fact I was mirroring and adopting the strict authoritarian role of my own mother!

    I felt I should be doing more even although I was exhausted balancing trying to be emotionally and pysically available for my kids. There was also the extra challenge of homeschooling the kids and hating myself because I felt I didnt have the skills to teach my own kids.

    One of the prominent emotions I felt was anger. Anger at everthing, myself, others, work, government ect.the entire situation felt like grief response.

    On reflection I have realised that the social structures in my life have fell away. School, childcare and my work, the things that I had been relying on, taking for granted and distracting me fell away.

    I work as a counsellor and thought to hell with the profession I have been so passionate about for 7 years. My children are what matter and my own mental health was in jeopardy. I wasnt in a position to create a safe space for my clients either.

    Fast forwad 7 weeks, I have now had my rest, and self care. My energy and concentration is coming back. My passion for my career is slowly returning.

    I feel now that I have navigated through the dark corners of myself. I have a greater compassion for my mother who I had a strained relatonship with when she was alive.

    I can also take this pain and turn it around and see that I have resilience in myself to cope with unexpected situations. I can also use my knowledge of my own emotions to help treat others in practice. This will increase my empathy to walk alongside clients navigating their own pain.

    And a final note..through homeschooling I have taken an unusual keen interest in how kids learn…maybe this is a new career path for me or one that can integrate into my current career.

    Thank you


  • Alex

    Yep, I am in the “make giant life change in the middle of a pandemic” category. In my case it was a half-planned/half-accident, and half good/half bad. I’ve been wanting to make a career change for a year, and have pronounced “I’m moving” or “I’m quitting my job” twice in that time, but then delayed it for X date each time. And then just when I finally had an actual, practical, solid plan for easing into the change, corona happened, and I lost my job. So now I’m forced to make the change and I am SO excited about it, as unfortunate as the whole situation is anyways.

    I’m an INTP so Exploration is THE BEST but hard to jump start. I always say that I like being told what to do to move towards the future, like being part of a system like school that takes you through a process- hand holding, really. School is what spurred the last big change in my life, because I had to do internships that were way out of my comfort zone, triggering massive growth. So in one way, the pandemic is acting like that system for me now, forcing me to do something that makes me uncomfortable that will ultimately lead to good things.

    On the flip side, I finally now have a way to describe the emotional outbursts caused by constant triggering… when I was working in the office I couldn’t actually EXPRESS the outburst… it’s a lot easier now that I work from home, so… yeah… I’m totally a toddler and that needs to stop haha.

  • Kim

    Good morning
    I am amazed and shocked. I am an INFP, after reading this, I am so glad to finally see the I am not crazy. I have never listened to a podcast and now am hooked on learning more about me . I have the time due to COVID19 Pandemic. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    God Bless y’all.

  • Marie

    Hi Antonia and Joel.
    As always an insightful and interesting podcast.
    These are truly strange times we are living in and although no one could wish for anything else than for this to be over I have to say that except the worry of family members getting the virus and the impact on the economy I’m feeling exceptionally calm after all these weeks spent at home. I am fortunate to have a job where I can work from home and I am marginally impacted by the pandemic personally. But my main worry right now, excluding the two previously mentioned, is actually how to get back to normal routines when this is over.
    As an introverted intuited thinker I’m perfectly content with working from home, taking to and taking meetings with colleagues on line, having face time dinners with family members and strangers respecting my personal sphere, keeping their distance and of course having plenty of time to my self.
    I am however actually wondering how I am ever going to be able to get back to normal routines and managing the mind numbing boredom of normal life again when this is all over.
    Not to be overly dramatic, but having some distance to the mundane life of the normal working stiff and getting use to managing our own time can actually be a problem for those of us who don’t crave contact with the external world. Now that I’m not on the treadmill of life anymore, how will I be able to get back again… And I actually kind of like my job, most of the time :-). I just like it better from home where I don’t have to be confronted with the open plan office and the overly crowded commute to and from work.
    Would love your insight and thoughts on this!
    Hope you stay healthy!
    Ps. English is not my first language so I hope you’ll forgive me for any linguistic errors :-).

    • Ela

      I am an INTJ and everything you wrote in this comment resonated with me very deeply. While I listened to this podcast and picked out many useful, insightful gems, something entirely different struck me — something I don’t know if Joel and Antonia fully intended it. An extrovert’s experience of the pandemic and the required lockdown is going to be fundamentally different from an introvert’s experience because of the fundamental differences in what an extrovert’s mind craves vs what an introvert craves. I respect their experiences very much, but mine are quite different.

      For me, the moment I began making all of the necessary adjustments and recalibrations to get myself and my family set up for doing the best we can, safely, through this horrible period of time, I was able to tap into my innate strengths as an INTJ. Once their transition settled into a new normal for them, I knew I could FINALLY relax into who I really am deep down inside and do what I am best at, and start becoming what I can really become. I don’t need to pretend that I am someone else or play by rules that don’t favor me. If anything, the current rules of life right now greatly favor my style of happiness and my road to career success.

      Right from the start I knew that the pandemic, the social distancing, the global shutdowns and societies pulling back would give me space to make major changes in my career and lifestyle— changes that I deeply desired. And all of this is despite the fact that this situation Is horrible and, for many, completely disrupting if not absolute terrifying.

      I too have worried that once everything goes back to “normal,” I’ll be forced back into a system that taxes my senses, my body, and my mind but … to be honest, I am absolutely certain that when the future new normal eventually comes it won’t be the same as the old normal.

      I think the more that Intuitive Introverts (especially INTJs) set up systems NOW that work incredibly well for them and those around them, they more their ability to thrive will be evident to people who, frankly, are often very uncomfortable with what works for intuitive introvert. We are in a position to rewrite the rules of work, success, families, communities, and so forth. The foundations for the new normal starts getting built right now, not a couple of years from now when this is all over. to the best of my ability I am already planning on making it happen.

  • Isobel

    Thanks for this Podcast it was great. My great hope that you guys mentioned is that we come out of this experience richer in many ways. I hope that the “Things” that cannot be purchased make people realise that most of what we buy is extraneous.
    We can be richer monetarily because of it, the planet is richer as there is less packaging and pointless rubbishy objects being purchased, and richer because we realise that our consumerism is utterly superfluous and it is people that matter. Let’s hope.

    • Anonymous

      Most people in the world will be POORER, not wealthier, and that is by design, by the criminal psychopaths who control all of the world’s systems, and who planned this fake pandemic in the first place to bankrupt all of the world’s people and force them into a new economic system of total control and surveillance. No SARS COV-2 virus was ever isolated, it does not exist. Several people in various countries did Freedom of Information inquiries asking for proof of isolation of the SARS COV-2 virus, and every government responded that it was never isolated.

      The criminal psychopaths who rule the world believe that we DON’T matter, and are doing everything they can to covertly murder all of us, so they can have the Earth and its resources to themselves and their families. The Georgia Guidestones in the USA say that they plan to reduce the human population of the world to under 500 million people.

  • Izzy


    I get annoyed as I feel I’m always playing catch up :D. My insights for 3 podcasts ago bleed into the most recent podcasts and I don’t want to leave a 1000 word comment.

    It sounds like you guys are doing awesome! The morning Yoga and meditation sounds wonderful… and go Gunner! Can I swap with mine so you can train him too?

    I enjoyed you’re thoughts around the Si skill development being a form of nourishment, Antonia. I feel the same way about my Se workout.

    I have been kicking the situation with my son’s father down the road for quite some time.
    Although we are no longer together, I have still allowed him to take alot of my energy.
    He disappears from our sons life if I don’t give him the attention he wants and it means I get even less of a break than I normally do. I grew up without a father around and it really upsets me to think of that happening to him.

    2 weeks ago, I told him that I wasn’t going carry on the way we were and he disappeared. It’s been hard on my heart when my son asks for his dad, and as i’m determined to keep this change I don’t know if and when he’ll be back.
    I say this not because it’s causing me ongoing stress, it’s actually making me feel more capable of going it totally alone.

    I have also been thinking about changing direction in regards to my vocation. I get pretty stuck on many things though. I didn’t finish secondary school (high school). While I went to college and university to study Art and I am pretty good at creative writing and critical analysis of art and culture, I lack alot of practical skills.

    I love creating Art and I don’t want to stop, but it doesn’t feel like I’m making full use of myself. I do feel and know inside that I have value, I also know that I have helped many people. My lack of self esteem comes from not really knowing how to articulate what I do in a way that could make it a way to sustainain myself.

    I know that supposedly INFJs make good Therapists/Counsellors/Coaches etc, I feel like I don’t have a huge bandwith. I feel at my best when I can go deep into my mind, it feels natural for me to do but this takes quite alot of time and energy and I couldn’t do this with many people at a time. I feel torn between bredth vs depth and which side I should develop.

    I have taught many of my friends MBTI and they indulge me when I talk about weird stuff, they are interested to a certain extent (they are pretty much all sensors) but nowhere close to where I want to go:-D

    You said a couple of podcasts ago about people maybe feeling embittered by systems failing them. I used to until I realized that everything is evolving all the time, I haven’t expected systems to have all the answers for a long time. How boring would that be!! There would be nothing left to learn:)

    Thankyou as always for sharing yourselves!
    Best Wishes

  • Caty

    hi joel and antonia

    it’s so nice whenever you talk about NLP !!

    i got awaken the giant within by tony robbins because of your recommendation—the pattern interruption idea is very helpful.

    i also love this idea about there being no one in a board room planning out our life path. it’s empowering.
    i actually recently wrote a short story about the concept. in it i use the committee as a metaphor for what the character’s psychological defenses are about.
    also.. self esteem= the ability to overcome obstacles and being able to rest into one self as a result .. AMAZING. concise, smart, useful. thank you!

    there are several interesting concepts in this episode and i’m just naming a few! you two are amazing. thank you for everything you’re doing to make the world a better place to be! !!

  • Jess

    Hi Joel and Antonia,
    Thanks for doing an episode on this! I just saw a family in our neighbourhood moving yesterday, in fact, and i think i see a 50/50 divide of people “locking things down” and people making earth-shaking life changes.

    A significant thing i’ve noticed is people being extraordinarily immature. It might be due to the fact that i’m 18 years old and most of my friends are still 17 or a little younger (mostly 2002 kids), and teenagers are not pinnacles of maturity. A lot of my friends have started picking random fights and throwing tantrums, which makes me and our other friends feel terrible. Thus, i’ve been staying off social media and talking to only trusted friends who i know will not dump their messes onto my head every day.

    My type is ESTP, for reference. A lot of my friends are Ne or Fe dominant types. The ones who throw fits tend to be Fi types, whether dominant or auxiliary. My friendships with xNFPs tend to be hit or miss…but i won’t even begin to describe what an unhealthy, teenaged Fi-type looks like in quarantine. Oh my goodness XD

    And what you said about realizing that we’re the adults of our lives and we’re responsible really hit home. I do live with my parents (praying that i can move out to university in September) but i’ve been realizing the last few years that they can’t fix my messes, even if they partake in creating the messes in my life. My mom (ISTJ) has some serious issues with being “triggered”, as Antonia mentioned, and has a lot of trouble handling the children’s reactions – she always, always gets mad. She is a master chef and cooks meals for 6 people every day, so i have to give her credit for being a mom that way, but i feel like i have to be a mom emotionally. An Enneagram 1 who can’t bear not being true to her word (even though it contradicts principles that should be clear to any parent, in my opinion), my mother has my 8-year-old sister (ExFJ) watching TV at 9:30pm because she “promised” my sister TV time earlier in the day and forgot about it. When i told my mom that kids shouldn’t be watching TV that late, and that night screen time disrupts sleep, she just got angry at me for challenging her parenting. Challenging her for being inconsistent with her rules also leads to temper tantrums.

    There are also times my dad (INTJ) got frustrated at me because work was tough on him, but my mom has just been an absolute emotional child. I guess teenagers make for good emotional punching bags, eh? I mean, i handle it smoothly enough because i’m used to my mom throwing fits, but my air of calmness and groundedness just makes her more triggered. Oh well, i just talk to my sister one-on-one sometimes to teach her stuff. It just hits hard nowadays because i have to learn to manage school, job search in the summer, learn to live by myself (learning to cook a lot of dishes right now), and partially raise my sister while actually taking care of her health.

    A lot of my friends are asking me for math help, because i love math and i’m going for a math major in university starting September. But i just can’t feel bothered all the time. I do try to help when i’m able to, but i’m really trying to set boundaries and put my own health/development first, and people are sincerely making it difficult, and i don’t appreciate it. Well, i’ve gone through worse than this pandemic (personally), so i’ve just got to take these challenges in my stride and learn from them. Character building in difficult times is everything. I just wanted to share my side of the story, i guess.

    In terms of relationships, i haven’t heard about any breakups. My boyfriend of 3 years (ENFP) and i had a few fights, and those were hard and emotionally draining, but we got through them and set new personal development goals afterwards. Since then, he’s been nothing short of amazing towards me – supportive, mature, understanding, FUN, and honest. I’ve also been doing my best to support him too. However, we’re going to play Minecraft together soon, and i have a lot of secret evil plans to troll him in our survival world!

    Thanks for reading my story, and thanks again for sharing yours. You are definitely making a difference! I’ll be sharing your podcast with those trusted, non-triggered friends of mine.

    I hope the rest of quarantine goes well for you!
    Jess 🙂

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