Pause. Stop. Breathe for a moment, and look up! We are in unprecedented times and with that we know it can breed stress, fear and anxiety! We are truly redefining what we all consider as “normal”. Just like the woman in this photo, I am sure we can all agree upon it that when we stop, be reflective and take in our surroundings the world is much greater than ourselves. Nature has a way of opening us up to learn and understand the lessons that she wants to teach us whether that be fires, tornados, earthquakes or a pandemic virus such as COVID-19. This current situation has truly stopped the world as we know it. And as quickly as this virus has rolled in it will put a mark on each of our lives forever. I am here- you are not alone we can truly walk through this together and learn from each other. Settle in… This is a long blog, but one that should not be missed. Cheers – You have nothing but time!
We each have our story to share and we aren’t even close to being clear on the greater effects and length of this crisis. It’s human nature for us to want to control and know and look forward to the beginning and end. Now more than ever we need to connect to ourselves and connect to our families and communities. But, in a new way – learning to connect through technology and embracing the change not resisting it. Isolating will only perpetuate the fear and anxiety. I’ve never been one to really buy into the word normal… I mean what even really is normal? Frankly, I don’t really think there is a normal frankly as I think of us each as individuals who define their own version of “normal”. In our current state, I like to think of it more in terms of acceptance of the new normal. We are all educating, learning and defining what exactly is going on with the world… and while in quarantine, it seems that we are standing still on some levels, yet the world is changing rapidly. Change comes with transitions, and this one is a tough one that everyone’s being forced to accept and go through. We’ve never had to collectively go through something as a country before and it’s shaken us to our core – one moment everything is at our fingertips and then suddenly it’s not. This situation has brought on many emotions from depression to disappointment and major devastation around the world. We cannot deny ourselves these emotions, we need to sit into them. In fact, some days we might feel great and feel like we are adapting, and the next day, or hour, or minute we fall into a low.
I believe many positive things will come from our quarantine, "sit-in”, and social distancing. First a greater global awareness of our planet, our people, our families, our jobs and our health. We are returning “Back to the Basics”, family dinners, communication, determining what is important, reading, exercising – I mean I cannot remember the last time I have had two months of white space on my calendar much less a complete conversation with my teenagers. We are forced to learn to live, work, eat and all the senses together without escape. Imagine we will either kill each other or learn to love and spread acts of kindness together in ways we had started to lose sight of… We can actually truly take the essential time to identify not only our own core values, but our family values. Imagine if we had a written agreement with one another to follow – a creed to live by.
Our mindset is crucial during a time like this because it sets the tone of our journey through our transition. I like to call it an “Allow What Is” mindset… this meaning that you can use this time to figure things out… but not stop there. We are all going through a period of adjustment which might come with some unwanted guilt, doubt, and stress - We can’t let this stop us! We need to shift our focus into overdrive so that we can look at the lenses in the most logical sense. The possible vs. impossible. Our mindset is the key to creating a better life - I always like to look at things from a positive perspective. We all choose different routes when we’re faced with an obstacle - but it’s time to look at the bright side people! Now is the time to reinvent yourself - getting in sync with your goals, values, and passions. Yes, none of this was on your vision board, but imagine what it IS giving you and your family. Let’s look for the silver linings!
Spring has officially sprung, yes, we are confined to our houses instead of enjoying more outdoor activities that we’re used to… I get it. This is new for all of us. Life is changing in ways we could’ve never expected - but it’s not forever! This doesn't mean that life has to stop and fear has to take over for us to stop pursuing our goals. In my last blog post, Transformative Transitions, I talked about the tips and tools for one to move through change. Two really important takeaways are – 1) Values Alignment 2) Evaluating and Reevaluating your life goals and values. Now that you have nothing but time, you can determine things that matter to YOU and how that links to your family, friends, community etc.
What makes you happy - I mean, really happy? Not your family and your kids, but YOU. Are YOU happy? When we align our inner values to our actions, fulfillment comes with ease and grace. True manifestation. You know how much I love talking about values- How can we reevaluate our values? There are many ways that we can try and shift our view from the negative to the positive… Growth mindset! Let’s stop and use self-talk – we cannot do anything to change this present moment in our world's history except stay home - so we are "normal!"
So much can change in such little time if we choose to dedicate ourselves to building a successful structure. I have been having to do this for my entire family since everyone’s been home. Being present to it all I will tell you will not tell a lie. It does shine a light on the lens of things that we need to focus on.
It takes time to create a habit - We are now learning it takes 2 months. This is our time to connect and discuss family values. I've been having daily family meetings over dinner so we can connect and discuss what is working and what is not? It isn’t always pretty, it’s raw, people get upset, there is yelling and listening so all spectrums are accepted. Teamwork makes the dream work and in order for a wheel to roll on a bike it can’t be lopsided. We need to all be aware of what we need to get done each day. For example, some of you may empathize with this, but for some reason my kids seem to think that I am available when I am on calls while they would never interrupt my husband in the same way. My daughter even threw a literal fit on a call the other day in front of new colleagues... now tell me that is a pretty sight?!? I think NOT. But it’s real and raw and we are all experiencing it. If you say you are not, you are lying and I am sure of it .
As we learned from my Tid Bit in February, habits take at least 60 days to create, so by the time we are done with a crisis we will have built new structures and strategies for ourselves. But we need to get started with creating structure and consistency not only for ourselves, but our whole family - helping them with organization, time management, and encouraging us all to set the stage for success through communication. No easy feat, but I believe in us!
We also need to surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us… One tip that I developed to keep a positive mindset flowing, was to start a #BrightsideBelievers accountability group so that when we hit that negative dip (because it’s normal that we do), we shift our thoughts and focus on what is the bright side of things... It’s important to acknowledge that at this point in time there’s nothing we can do to fix or change our situation and frankly it’s for the greater good of our humanity and human existence so being negative will not help anyone or allow us to seek the joy in our lives. I’ll be starting connective community group - Get Grounded! Power Hour on Earth Day! Connections are so important especially during this current pandemic- we are anything but alone. Reach out to your friends and family, rekindle lost relationships, stay “in-the-know” - we are fortunate enough to be living in a world where technology allows us to connect with each other without having to leave your home.
Given that we have no date, deadline, or finite end in sight to our current life crisis, it can become one continuous stressful life or Groundhog Day. These demands can take a toll on your mind and body. Many people have multiple stressors they are facing in their lives right now from money issues, to job, illnesses, relationship conflicts, suppressed emotions and so much more. Can any of you relate to this? We listed some steps below to help you manage your stress and anxiety during this process we know can and will prove helpful...
TIPS TO DIFFUSE PANIC AND ANXIETY AND BE IN FLOW -
1. Exercise - Release and destress, get those endorphins moving. Get into fitness and start being more active! A little exercise goes a long way both mentally and physically. The most recent Federal guidelines recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week- research shows this helps lower rates of depression and anxiety.
2. Zoom Bar/Community Support – Connect with friends and family on Zoom or FaceTime to bring you joy and fun – most importantly feel a part of something larger than your home and greater world. It will also bring empathy to your situation and some normalcy to your life. It also challenges you to new technologies etc.
3. Value YOU™ – Values are where we make choices and what motivates us to take action in the way we do. Have you ever evaluated your values? This is a key first step in any transition and decision – Values allow us to create fulfillment and happiness in our lives. If you would like to work through a values assessment with me this month I am offering: 30-minute coaching sessions and this process for FREE. Connect and contact me for more information.
4. Mindfulness and Meditation Practice – My vision is to - Wake up with Intention and go to bed with Gratitude. Mindfulness is a tool in managing stress, it’s not a destination or something to conquer, it’s an awareness. It’s a consistent practice every day. Sometimes we forget to check in with ourselves and mindfulness is a tool to bring awareness of ourselves and our experiences without judgement. It can be practiced a variety of ways including breath-work, yoga, meditation etc.
5. Gratitude and Compassion – Adopt an "attitude of gratitude". Stop and recognize the blessings in your life big and small – a simple beautiful flower or the sun can shift your perspective. Our health is the number one blessing. These are times where you can be thankful for the life you’ve been given. In addition, reach out to others and give back in ways that you may not have had time before. The gift of time is not to be overlooked; it's a gift for reflection, planning and doing… 6. Take a Class/Learn a New Hobby –