What’s going through your mind right now?
If you’re just putting your foot on the gas pedal to get 2020 out of the way, I hear you. I’m not sure anyone has been able to escape the impact of COVID-19, even if they’ve not had the virus itself. People have had to adjust the way they live, shop and work, with weekly if not sometimes daily changes to what we can and can’t do. It’s been confusing, stressful and at times a bit scary.
With the arrival of a vaccine, there’s hope on the horizon. The new year may bring us the peace we need and, to some extent, a level of normality. But even if 2021 means we can live the way we want to, it may be a while before we start to truly feel the threat is out of the way. Whilst the heart may be hopeful, the head keeps saying “hang on”.
That’s the way stress works; it creates a red flag that says “be careful” – and whilst it’s good to be cautious, it can mean we put obstacles in our own way. Like any stressful event, the impact on our emotional well-being can stick around long after the physical aspects have gone away.
And because you deserve the best of everything, it helps to be one step ahead.
So how do we take care of ourselves?
This week, maybe set the intention to Place Your Thinking. It’s natural to have thoughts about ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ when we’ve gone through a difficult time. There’s also nothing wrong in having a positive plan of action just in case we need to be prepared. But sometimes we can take our thinking to the nth degree, and before long we can spiral in a way that keeps us on hold. If you know you tend to ruminate – go over and over your thoughts in your mind – this article explains what to do if your thoughts are keeping you down.
For example, notice “all-or-nothing” thinking (if you use words like “always, never, should”), and normalise failure to some degree. That might mean affirming that today doesn’t have to be perfect, and allowing some things to be “good enough”. So much of the pressure we feel in life often comes from ourselves, especially when we compare our success to others. You could try moments of self-reflection, allowing yourself time to be quiet and focus on your goals instead. (Mindfulness may help).
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020