Sense of loss…
When my pupils and clients tell me how the last couple of years has affected them, the overarching feeling is a sense of loss. Loss of time, loss of excitement, loss of direction and confidence, and an underlying sense of fear and stress that is hard to articulate.
Preparing for exams, interviews and organising events or social engagements is made all the more difficult as we never know if they can actually go ahead.
No sooner do we get told we’re on the road to recovery than we seem to be back where we started. Back indoors, online and feeling frustrated and isolated.
Then negative thoughts and feeling are exacerbated, and it’s easy to spiral into a place where we want to give up. Getting nothing done, giving in to the self saboteur, losing more time and making the situation worse.
We all feel it on some level, and it’s important to acknowledge loss before being able to take any positive steps. It’s ok to feel rubbish, because the situation we are all in is extremely difficult. Go ahead and feel as rubbish as you want, let’s face it some days are just going to go that way and that’s ok. However it doesn’t need to control us.
But what steps can we take to get out of the rut when it feels like it is consuming us and we feel trapped?
Start very small, but very positively and build gradually in manageable chunks so you can work this out but by bit as you go along. Making grand plans when so much can change at any point is likely to lead to disappointment and frustration. The beauty of small positive actions regularly means a lot more flexibility. Rather than a fixed mind set that can box you in, just do what you can and play with it. And with small actions you’re able to move it around, try something different every day and build it into your muscle memory. The simpler the better.
Start with one small thing each day, and remember anything is better than nothing no matter how small. It could be as simple as:
- Jotting down an idea for inspiration
- Going for a 10 minute walk
- Spending 5 minutes devoting your internal monologue and thoughts to confidence and optimism, and shut out the negativity – ( trust me it can be a total game changer especially first thing in the morning, your whole day can improve!)
- Putting the washing away followed by a victory lap! (Seriously I always feel I deserve a gold medal when I accomplish this one 🏅)
- Choosing boiled potatoes over fries
- 2 minutes connecting to your breathing
- Drink an extra glass of water during the day when you’re feeling foggy
……Be creative, and don’t take it too seriously.
Positive Thoughts and the Internal Coach
Keep training your thoughts and actions to the positive bit by bit. Experiment, then build on the things that you feel help and inspire you. Through this approach you can learn to coach yourself. Just remember to celebrate that thing you’ve done, and if you do find yourself in another rut then simply try something else.
You can do the above whether you’re snowed under with work, or are isolating at home and feeling desolate.
You GET to do it!
The perception of ‘getting to do it’ rather than ‘having to do it’ can also help.
I learnt that after badly slipping a disc in my back (an injury I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy – the pain is indescribable). I was forced to give up a lot of what loved doing, and genuinely thought my life was over. I had taken so much for granted, so much so that getting to walk down the road without feeling excruciating pain was something I dreamed about.
When I finally started to heal and was able to do that again, I realised how lucky I was. I didn’t have to take another step, I got to.