What would put a bit of sparkle in your step right now?
If you’ve been feeling the strain of lockdown lately, experts are saying you’re not alone. It makes sense if you’re starting to feel a bit flat, especially if you’re putting on a brave face and trying to keep everyone else’s spirits up.
We’ve known for a while that self-care is essential, and even more so during a crisis. So it matters more than ever that we find ways to make room for what we enjoy. It might be something accessible that you can do at home, or it might be something you plan to do when lockdown is over.
I suggested in last week’s mojo, that you connect your way. That you find ways to be in the company (virtually) of people who ‘get’ you, rather than feeling you have to take part in something that’s not your cup of tea. People can definitely lift your mojo, especially the ones who know you well (but it’s ok to say no now and then).
But when we find ourselves isolated as we are now, or feeling anxious, it can help to establish different ways we can bring ourselves back to centre. Sometimes we unintentionally put on hold the things we enjoy, especially when things are difficult. But if you can reconnect with something you love doing, you might find it brings some of your mojo back.
Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced Me-hi Chick-zen-me-hi) is an hungarian-american psychologist, who recognised and named the psychological concept of flow – what Lao Tzo called ‘doing without doing’ or ‘trying without trying’. It’s not just about being intensely productive (because I’m a big fan of taking small wins), but more about what fills you with feel-good loveliness that motivates and inspires. We might think of it today as being in ‘the zone’.
In essence, the theory suggests people are at their happiest in those moments they feel completely absorbed in something they love doing, whether it’s business or leisure. And researchers are even suggesting it could make lockdown easier.
Here’s something you could try:
This week, maybe set the intention to Find Your Flow. Whether it’s drawing, reading, dancing or jogging, see if you can make room for these, even during a lockdown. You might decide to do some journalling, or immerse yourself for a while in a picture of a dream holiday destination. You might just take some time to find a quiet space where you can sit and ‘be’ for a while. One way to ensure you stay in the flow is to avoid the ‘instant hit’ you get from distractions. So putting your phone on flight mode for example while you focus, or turn off notifications so you’re not sidetracked from an important task at hand. If the biggest distraction you have right now is your thoughts, then this is where mindfulness can help. Learn how to notice that you’re thinking, without getting caught up in why.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020