Maybe it is a new paradigm, but the old habits are still in play – we want structure; familiarity a sense of ease and above all – certainty!
The absence of certainty has been a destructive force in our lives; unsettling our daily rhythm and interfering with our life plans – be they short-term, long-term, small or major.
So how do we move forward and regain our equilibrium? In my experience, the process of adaptation to change can take a long time when you choose to make changes – usually because there is an inner pressure to resist letting go of where you are to get to your next stage. In this instance, change has been forced upon us, with limitations and controls set on how we behave, where we go and what we do. The adaptation needs to be fast if we are to succeed and find a way forward.
No tricks involved, just a set of do-able actions; the first step is acceptance – the acceptance of what we cannot control.
Action: list the things you know you have no control over; be aware of them, but do not distress yourself with them.
Avoid negative people and media; this is something that I often say, however, this is more important than ever now. Being drawn into the frenzy of social media; listening to and watching the news excessively adds to the burden of change. Be informed, but don’t be transformed by what you hear and see.
Action: limit yourself to specific times of the day to watch or listen to the news or interact with social media. More importantly limit the amount of time too – national news 20mins or social media 10mins. Limiting will allow your brain to refocus on your personal balance without feeling disconnected.
What you can control is your attitude; now that we have limited the flow of negative information, it would help to understand where to focus our energy. I would say this needs to be in building a functional structure and routine; daily and weekly. This brings purpose to your daily rhythm.
Action: sit down on your own or with your partner and write out a calendar of activity. Things that you would do daily, plus things that need more planning and may need to occur over several days. Be accountable to yourself or your partner – commit to achieving what is on the daily list; such as learning a new skill. Cooking meals from scratch rather than pre-prepared processed foods. Planning an exercise routine or reading “that” book. Connecting with family, friends and neighbours.
No one is responsible for you other than you; the process of regaining your personal balance starts and ends with you. As we don’t know what the future holds (and in truth we never did before), it helps to gain a greater sense of now – be in the present tense. Often the desire to be in a better place or time brings distress because we are comparing “now” with something that has not even happened and may never even occur.
Action: write a list of things that make you happy or bring you satisfaction. The only rule is to ensure that they are all present tense – not things you perceive to be in the future. Your health; your family; your home; your hobbies – remove anything that is a wish. Gratitude for what you have is underrated – when we appreciate what we have, it builds your self-esteem.
Stay safe; stay well. Be a Healthy Leader.
This guest blog is from Philip Dyer, a specialist in integrating organisational health with managerial health.