If you’ve been struggling to manage life recently, you’re not alone.
The drastic change we’ve all been through, coupled with the threat of illness and the need to distance ourselves from family and friends, has not been easy. Many of us have had to transition from having a “work life” “family life” and “personal life” to having a “Work, family and personal life”all under the same roof at the same time.
This is no easy feat to manage, and coping with the adjustment has likely ruffled even the most confident of people.
But as with anything, the way we respond is up to us. And I dare ask: is it possible to view this temporary situation as positive, and look for the silver lining amidst the chaos?
It’s OK to feel not OK
It’s natural to feel like things are a mess at the moment. None of us are perfect. Even if it appears that way on social media, remember that it’s rarely what is actually going on behind the curtain.
The drive to act like everything is normal when it’s not, or that you need to be as productive at home as you would have been at work (with kids running around and potentially 3 generations of family members all under the same roof) is simply unrealistic.
It’s OK to miss the simple pleasures of your old routine – grabbing a morning coffee, laughing with colleagues at work, or enjoying the peace and quiet of the evening commute.
If you’re an executive, it’s also OK to feel like things are a little out of control. Especially if you have never managed a remote team before and are learning as you go. This may require finding new internal stores of trust, or shifting your mindset to focus on outcomes rather than how much time people spend at the computer.
No doubt, there will be days when it feels as though nothing goes right. But there will also be days when everything seems to fall into place. My goal is to help you experience more of these days, and even develop the power to turn the bad days into good.
Find the silver lining
One practice I’ve found particularly useful in doing this is called “Silver Linings”.
Published in the journal of Clinical Psychology, the Silver Linings practice was tested with a group of people; many of whom reported feeling more engagement with life after just a few weeks.
How to do it:
1. Commit to a time each day to do the practice. You need about 10 minutes.
2. At that time, write down 5 things that make you feel good about your life. It can be as simple as a nice meal, a hug from your child, or a good book you’re reading.
3. Now write down something that didn’t go well in the past 24 hours. Perhaps it made you sad, angry or irritated.
4. List 3 things that can help you see the lighter side of the situation.
Repeat this practice every day for 21 days to see the results for yourself. To keep the momentum going, it’s ideal if you can continue the practice once a week or every fortnight afterwards.
Reach out if you want to talk
We’re currently exploring the Silver Linings practice in our weekly Positive Plenary sessions. Positive Plenary is a free Facebook meet-up every Wednesday, and is a great place to meet like-minded people and discuss strategies for building and sustaining a positive mindset.
If you wish to join, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would prefer one-on-one coaching so we can speak privately, please check out my coaching sessions. In the current environment, we can do these online or over the phone – whatever works best for you.