‘Welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler’
Nothing like a good quote to settle into is there?
Change, my friends, is constant, and it’s the only thing we can be 100% sure of. But it sure can make us feel jittery. How are you getting on with all this change we’re experiencing? A whole new way of life, in and out of lockdown like a f***ing yoyo, new rules, old rules, constantly adapting to new schedules, feelings, relationships, daily routines and goals. If you’re feeling a bit foggy, it’s really no wonder.
Your brain naturally favours predictability (go figure!) because it feels safe and comfortable to know what’s coming next. The unknown can seem scary, but there are ways and tools you can use to help reduce and minimise the stress natural reaction.
And it all starts with that lovely, intricate, magnificent, most complicated little. computer inside your head. Your brain.
HOW TO GROW
1. Be clear on work time and rest time
Working and relaxing seem to be merging right now because our workspace is the same place as our rest space. So schedule time in your diary so that when you’re working, you’re focussed on working and can be productive, but when it’s rest time, REST! (You may need different amounts of each on different days)
2. Get your brain ready
Our regular morning routine is out the window – getting dressed, commuting, fixing teeth / hair / face / clothes etc. are all things that help us mentally prepare for our day. Without these, the line between work and play becomes a bit phase-y. So come up with a ‘going to work’ and ‘coming back from work’ little routine. Matt and I sing a ‘going to work’ song (hi-ho, hi-ho from Snow White ?) as we unpack our laptops to start work, then we sing a ‘going home’ song and switch chairs at the end of our work day to transition us into ‘home time’. Doesn’t have to be a song but you can make it something fun that you do every day to mark the transition. Try it! 🙂
3. Be NICE to yourself
Seriously. Our inner critic can get pretty loud when we’re feeling stressed, isolated, lonely, frustrated. So remind yourself to be nice to yourself. YOUR situation is unique to YOU (excuse the caps, but it’s important you understand this) No-one else knows what it feels like to be you, so don’t compare yourself or feel guilty because you’re ‘better off than others’. Be compassionate to yourself. What you’re feeling is real and valid xx
4. Feel your feelings (and write them down)
Avoid platitudes like ‘cheer up’ or ‘it’s not so bad, don’t feel sad’. FEEL your feelings so they don’t get suppressed and come back to haunt you later on. Journalling is a proven way to help alleviate anxiety. So write down what you’re feeling – hate, happiness, anger, confusion, elation, fear – get it all down and then throw it away if you’d like. Give yourself an outlet.
5. Practice gratitude
Find a few things throughout your day to feel grateful for. Help your brain get into the ‘positive gear’ rather than getting jammed in the ‘negative gear’. You can start off with something basic like ‘I’m grateful for my bed’ or ‘I’m grateful for having air to breathe’ if you find it hard to think of something. If you make this a regular thing, your brain will automatically start seeing the positives more and more!
6. Step into your NEW LIFE (rather than scrambling to get back into the old)
Nothing is certain, and we don’t know what’s in store for us. But what Dr Rob Archer [Sports Psychologist] suggests is to design a new schedule / routine, rather than trying to get back to what it was. Think about how your new routine might look, what your commute will be like, what you will be doing more or less of etc.