It’s another Bank Holiday Monday here in the U.K..
Many, including key workers and those who’ve been home-schooling, may be glad of the rest if they get one, especially if it’s half term week where you are.
Pre-COVID19, a Bank Holiday week/end might be when we bring out the barbecue, go out with friends, or make a plan to do all the things. We would either let our hair down, or put our hair up to get important tasks done. We used to save jobs for such an occasion, knowing exactly how we would be spending our time, and with who.
Now though, it might not feel that simple.
When lockdown started, routine went out the window for many of us, and a period of trying to carve out a new one began. Priorities might have changed, or remained just as important than ever. And where for a while we felt like we had no choices, now we might be feeling overwhelmed with decisions about where we go from here.
These phases of heightened anxiety, settling in to a “new normal”, then feeling lost or anticipating “what next” have been studied. Researchers describe where we are at now as “The Third Quarter Phenomenon” – first discovered when people were isolated in space (you can read more about it here. FYI – If you’re having the occasional emotional outburst: totally normal – the article explains why).
So what do we do?
We know one of the things that enhances our well-being is feeling like we have choice; being able to do what we want, when we want, with who we want. Whilst the uncertainty of our current circumstances means making plans feels difficult, we might still be able to decide on some form of direction or strategy.
If just thinking about that leaves you with “analysis paralysis”, it might be, because you’re worried you’ll make the “wrong” decision. This is why it helps to have clear objectives about what you’re trying to achieve (whilst keeping your options open), take small steps, and structure your day for the choices that matter most – remembering that no decision is rarely, if ever, perfect.
This week, maybe set the intention to Explore Your Why. Whether your mojo has gone missing, or you’re struggling to make a decision, take a moment to think about what you’re trying to achieve and what (if anything) is really preventing you from finding your way forward right now. If it’s because you’re worried you’ll make a “wrong” choice, draw up a list of pros and cons, reach out to agencies, or talk it through with someone who can help you balance the options you have. If you’re worried more about where you go from here, If you’re worried more about where you go from here, start with taking one minute, one hour, or one day at a time. If you want to think even bigger, start to think about what really motivates you, and puts a bit of sparkle in your step, to help you make a plan that moves you in the direction you feel you want to travel right now. Keep in mind that it’s absolutely fine to put decisions on hold if you need more time, in the same way that it’s ok to say ‘no’ when people are asking too much. It might start with pausing to reflect with mindfulness or making more (or less) time for others in your life. It might just be finding the ‘happy medium’ between ‘doing’ and ‘being’, making sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to reset and unwind when you need.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020