Dealing with an emotional tsunami

Jonathan Mills
2 min readNov 28, 2020

Persistent insecurity has marked this year 2020 — our lives and livelihoods have been threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. After many months of extreme uncertainty, many people are experiencing waves of anxiety and fear — even depression for some. Psychologists refer to these feelings of fear and persistent anxiety as an emotional tsunami — being overwhelmed completely by the current context. According to research, the condition is spreading fast:

The impact of prolonged stress and anxiety on emotional wellbeing and work performance is enormous — even more so when organisations need their people to perform at their peak.

Alinda Nortje, Chairperson and Founder of Free To Grow, notes: “Now is the time for organisations to progress from their early response to COVID-19, where the focus was on maintaining physical health, to sustaining emotional and mental health. This investment in employee wellbeing will not only be a concrete demonstration of how much they care for their employees, but also benefit the business by increasing motivation, engagement and productivity”.

Nortje and her team have created a profound process to assist organisational leadership in caring for their employees — creative tools and materials, called Staying Strong, to achieve resilience in the face of adversity. They build buoyancy and help employees take control of those things in their life that they can influence — a mind-set that will benefit both the individual and the organisation far beyond COVID-19. It also offers an opportunity for employees to connect on a deep level with their colleagues, something that many have deeply missed.

Free To Grow’s excellent and helpful approach is outlined as follows:

Watch this short video in which Mbuso Mlagisi shares a brief snippet of this powerful programme:

For more information on how you can implement a Staying Strong process in your organisation, contact me on

Originally published at on November 28, 2020.



Jonathan Mills

Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.