Who are you today? It might sound like an odd question but I’m talking about hats. Not the hat you’d wear to a wedding or on holiday (obvs), but the labels you identify with:
They all matter.
The problem can be that with each of those comes its own demands which become difficult to manage. In this video, Esther Perel explains the case of a woman during the pandemic who was wearing so many hats – just sat at her dining room table – that the only boundary she had was the “mute” button.
In normal crises, there is a period of warning, planning, onslaught and post recovery. With the pandemic though, we had very little of the first two but a lot of the rest. Perel describes this as a phase of “ambiguous grief”; it has so many emotions – all of which feel a lot like stress. Where before we could create space for surprise, mystery and spontaneity, we now navigate a “new normal” without really knowing what’s going to happen next.
So with so many pressures from every direction, what can we do?
This week, maybe set the intention to Break it Down. Grab a piece of paper and put your name or “Me” in the middle. Then draw a line out from the centre for each of the roles you carry. Then score on a scale of one to 10, how fulfilling each of those roles are right now (1 – not very; 10 – amazing). Then (if you want to), you can score out of 10 for how stressful it is (1 – not very; 10 – painfully so); note, life can be both equally amazing and painful at the same time. Then pick one (use the score if it’s helpful) to focus on. What feels most important right now, feeling fulfilled, or reducing stress? There’s no wrong answer. Then maybe use this to design a plan that enables you to make or break routines, create rituals and establish boundaries that help you get where you want to be.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021