These are tough times and many of many of us are feeling overwhelmed by COVID and the current state of the world. As my friend Jim Tuchler, President of GiftsforYouNow.com recently told me, “I’m spending about half of my time counseling my folks and I’m worried about them. I guess we all thought 2021 would be different but everyone is still COVID grumpy because while 2020 was traumatic, we still have at least six to nine months left of mask wearing, restricted liberties, and uncertainty around the economy, our political situation, and the vaccine. I’d like some strategies to help my team feel validated about their experience, reset, re-energize, and find more joy in the everyday moments.”
In the spirit of being more resilient, I would like to share two concepts that have been resonating with leaders and their teams, helping them stay more grounded, calm, compassionate, and even find some joy during these tough times.
Concept One: Manage Your Energy
- Maintain your own personal well–being. Simple but not always easy to do, so doing your best to eat good quality food, minimize alcohol intake, get good sleep, move the body, and allow time for rest.
- Prioritize where you put your energy. Step away from frantic doing and spend time in reflection so you can focus on what matters most.
- Wait 24 hours to respond when triggered, when possible. This means be less reactive when the situation does not require an immediate response. Keep in mind that we are wired by evolution to be alarmists, so things are usually not as bad as they seem at first glance.
- Rest, take time off, and allow the nervous system to settle. Enjoy quiet time, spend time in nature, take a walk, do something creative, and allow time to unplug by turning off your phone for a bit.
- You can’t be all things to all people. You only have so much time and energy, so prioritize who matter most to you (family, work, friends, etc.) and the people you enjoy being with (the peeps who energize you).
- Take breaks from takers. One “watch out” for givers (people who tend to be very generous) is make sure you have good boundaries by minimizing time with individuals who disregard your own well-being (because they don’t care or don’t understand) and put themselves first.
- Nothing is Perfect. No person or situation is ever perfect, period. We all want things to work out, but life is tough, and while you can focus on changing the situations that are in your control, there is a practice of learning to be with what is not in your control. Click here to hear a 3 minute video on How to Shift Your What If to What Is, a simple mindfulness exercise by one of my favorite mindfulness teacher’s Cory Muscara.
- Nothing is Personal. Whatever is happening to you, don’t take it personally. You might try the mantra, it’s not about you. The situation is bigger than you. Even when it feels personal, it’s really not personal. You are merely one person in a larger ecosystem of forces that shapes your life and circumstances.
- Nothing is Permanent. Keep in mind This too shall pass. Whatever situation is happening right now, however you or others are feeling, what ever joy or pain you or others are experiencing is only temporary. Ask yourself: Do I really need to react to this situation or person? Is it that urgent or can I allow myself to take a pause before I respond, so my brain has time to settle and I can show up from a place of being calm, decisive, grounded, and compassionate?