How’s your concentration been?
In the U.K. we are entering our third week of lockdown. It makes sense if your mind just won’t sit still right now. Life feels uncertain and challenging in ways we never expected.
And then, there’s the “influencers” .
You’ll know the ones I mean. They’re the high-energy people saying this crisis is an “opportunity”. A chance to get stuff done: to be more productive. The ones who make us feel guilty for feeling unsettled. Unsure. And stuck.
Now, I’m happy to look on the bright side with the rest of them, but I also think it’s important, when things are difficult, that we allow space for feelings too – whatever they may be. That we see things as they are. That we don’t pretend everything’s normal if it doesn’t help to do that.
Someone recently said “We are not working from home on any normal day. We are at our homes during a crisis trying to work”. That made a lot of sense to me.
When we’re feeling the strain, our concentration can be all over the place. We might sit in front of the TV and don’t remember what we just watched. We might start to read a book, and read the same paragraph half a dozen times. We might forget what we went upstairs for (ok, that is me on a normal day).
My point is, we might find our focus on what we think we should have done, rather than acknowledge what we achieved – especially if ‘others’ are saying we should be doing more.
When things are difficult, we tend to:
• tell ourselves we should have done better
• reprimand ourselves for not getting it just right
• feel bad for not saying yes to every offer
• feel awkward if we get a compliment.
That inner critic is the voice of people (including the media) who ever gave you the impression that you’re not good enough the way you are. We weren’t born beating ourselves up, so the good news is we can ‘unlearn’ it too.
I know it might feel unnatural to pat yourself on the back right now, especially in the middle of a global crisis. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
This week, you could set the intention to Take Small Wins. Whether it’s getting up and getting dressed, replying to an email or text message, or ticking something off your to-do list, allow yourself to acknowledge that. If you get the washing up done, remembered to feed the cat, changed your bedding or asked for help with your finances, give yourself permission to celebrate. You might take some time off social media to read a magazine, or treat yourself to a bar of chocolate on your weekly allowed shop. It doesn’t have to be a large treat, or anything expensive. It might just be saying “Well done” to yourself in a gentler, kinder way.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020