What’s your strategy for this week? I ask because we’re hearing about the importance of having one on a daily basis.
As the lockdown continues, we are watching other nations prepare to bring some of their restrictions to an end. Eyes nervously turn to other countries to see how they’re coping; what works and what doesn’t. It makes sense if strategies are part of your thought processes, and you’re feeling like you should have one for when the crisis is over. (Absolutely fine if you don’t and are taking time to make sense of all this).
The strategy for the U.K. will no doubt be something like moving slowly and cautiously towards our ”new normal”, keeping in mind the impact of what we’ve been through.
This is the same way we tend to manage pain.
Like recent events, pain can be life changing, and our brain processes physical and emotional pain in pretty much the same way. So whether you’ve pulled a muscle or have felt the mental impact of lockdown, your brain can put you on high alert in case it happens again.
This is why, for example, we sometimes avoid things we used to love doing when we’re going through a difficult time, especially if we are grieving. The brain sends a message saying “don’t do that again, it hurts”, even though that can be limiting.
This is where experts talk about pacing.
On a good day many of us fill our time and attention with things that need doing. This is called the “boom”, and may sound productive and positive. However it also recognises that when we push ourselves too hard and fast, what inevitably happens is the “bust”. We’re worn out. Tired. And frustrated. Boom and Bust then can become a vicious cycle.
Pacing asks us to recognise what we can do, and give ourselves the opportunity to move at a pace that feels right for us without over doing it.
So, if your mind keeps turning to what life will be like when all this is over, or if you’ve been pushing yourself really hard in recent weeks, this is where having a plan can help.
This week, maybe set the intention to Build a Strategy. You might start to think about the first thing you’ll do when lock down is over, whether it’s visiting a loved one, going for a meal, or a long drive to the seaside. You might decide on a plan to get you through this week, which includes a routine for getting up, planning meals or going for a daily walk. Or you might decide to create a personal well-being plan, that helps you recognise when you‘re not ok, and put in place healthy steps to manage it. Here is a free template to help.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020