I am beginning to sense that with the COVID-19 situation we are in for a number of ups and downs. Week to week in my coaching and communicating with friends, I am seeing them in action. Of course, the degree of how up and how down varies with each person. Some are dealing with extreme challenges; others are finding themselves tossed to and fro. Few are experiencing life as it used to be.
We need to find ways to navigate these ups and downs or they will mess with our focus and knock us off balance. I am developing ways to handle them. Focus is key to me. If I can get myself back to center when distracted, I can regain focus. I allow that a portion of my energy is going to coping with change and have lowered my expectations a bit. I also create some structure each day so that I do not drift too far.
If ups and downs are with us for a while, lets find ways to deal with them. There’s a good chance that they are leading us to positive change and will be worth it in the long run.
photo: John Hain, pixabay.com
The ability to discern where you expend your energy is critical now. If you are using all that you have to live and work, you don’t have extra energy for other people’s dramas or demands. You want to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones, get your work done and be where you can do the most good.
Are others’ issues or demands encroaching on you or stressing you right now? If your answer is yes, take some time to evaluate what is happening and what you want to do about it. There are ways you can set boundaries without being aggressive or nasty. If you do not have time or energy to answer a demand or to do something, state that clearly and kindly to the people involved.
Knowing what to say no to and what to say yes to will help you maintain balance and function effectively in these times.
photo: nadine shaabana, unsplash.com
We’re in a different space now. All of us are adjusting. In times of change, it is good to check in with yourself periodically to assess how you are doing. Why? Because there are no routines or set paths. What was is not always relevant. Stress and anxiety are present.
Answer a few questions. What is important to you now in your life and work? What is in your best interest to do? What are the things that can dishearten or stress you? What makes you feel better? What must you get done? Once you have these answers, you can create a way to check in with yourself periodically and when you find yourself losing your center. After your check in, you can course-correct and get yourself back to center.
Checking in will help you set a new path that works for you and move you forward in the direction you want to go.
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Overwhelm gets you off track. It can be a dangerous place to be in terms of your stress level, making mistakes or messing up. There is energy expended in your overwhelm that can be transformed into productive energy. If you find yourself in overwhelm, try these five things to prevent crashing and to get back on a productive track.
1. Stop and bring yourself fully to the present moment.
2. Observe what has happened and center yourself.
3. Find a way to release the emotions and stress you are feeling.
4. Reorient yourself, identify what you can get done and set priorities.
5. Start working again, fully present to what you are doing.
photo: Wikiimages, pixabay.com
Sometimes, what you would rather not have in your life creeps in without your noticing. Here are some things to take stock of, as we end the year, so that you can release what no longer serves you:
• energy drains
• “dramas” at work that you are better off without
• things you have been procrastinating on that would make your life or work better
• dreams you could be acting on, but are not
• time you may be wasting
• relationships that you are better off ending
• stressors that you are not addressing
How many of these exist for you? Are you ready to quantify them and say “so long” as we end 2019?
Centering fully in the present moment is a powerful way to assure your holidays are enjoyable and to minimize your stress. There is so much pulling on you – social invites, work, family and friends, preparation and increased demands on your time and your emotions. Here are a few ways to center and keep your holidays fun and rewarding.
1. Promise yourself alone time at the beginning and end of each day to regroup and look ahead.
2. Keep your focus on the present moment; limit any worrying about the past or what’s to come.
3. Build fun into every day to balance the demands on you. Real fun.
4. Say no when you have to – graciously and with kindness. Time is finite.
5. Know that the holidays will pass and their demands will go away, as a new year begins.
photo: sharon-mccutcheon, unsplash.com
Ah, those moments when your cares and all the demands on you fall away. Treasure them.
How often do you find yourself in moments of peace? They are a time to replenish, center, rest and listen. Let yourself consciously enjoy them and use them well!
photo: Andre-Hunter, unsplash.com
Your emotions and what is happening in the environment you work in are not constant. They are frequently changing. It makes sense that they affect your experience of work and managing.
When you or your environment become strained what do you attribute it to? Are you even aware of the strain or do you react to it without identifying the factors that are causing it? Here is another place where it behooves you to pause and assess. By being aware of your emotions and environment and their effects on what you are feeling, you can deal with the strain head-on, instead of being victim to it.
photo: marius-masalar, unsplash.com
Yeah right, add dealing with stress to your “to do” list! That’s a great way to create more stress than you already are experiencing. Wait – rethink that for a minute. If you pause every once in a while, you will start reducing your stress. If you shift your perspective and improve your relationship with time, you will reduce your stress. And these things do not take much time at all.
Reducing your stress is mainly an inside job. “Doing” things – say taking a meditation class or using the Calm App do take time. Start first with inner shifts and time will become available for you to do a lot more to reduce the stress you are experiencing today.
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How is your workload? Are you handling it all? Are you balancing well? Busy can mean a lot of things: too much to do, overwhelm, stress, active engagement, productivity or even happiness at having things to do.
This week, how busy will you be?
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