With so much uncertainty, so many unknowns, it can be difficult to stay grounded. We find ourselves not always eating the right foods, maybe a few too many drinks to take the edge off, and watching movies late into the night when we are unable to sleep. In the short-term, this won’t have a huge impact. However, since there will be a lot of new nexts coming at us, we all need a few practical ways to move forward. Yes, we can do that, even if we aren’t sure where the path may be going.
Understand your health and wellbeing baseline. For some of us, there has been a major impact to our lives over the past few months. It might be the loss of a job, loosing someone you love, or struggling with being isolated, even if there are others in your home. For those that have had a major change, it’s important to honor the impact that change is having on you without judgement. You may be thinking this is not the path you thought you were on a few months ago. It’s jarring. It may feel frightening. You may be angry, frustrated or even depressed. Take the time to honor your feelings. Ask yourself if they are having an impact on your health and wellbeing. Are you self-medicating, ignoring warning signs, or are you making sure you have times in your day that you are actively supporting your own health and wellbeing? This is a good time to make a commitment to doing a few things everyday that support your health and wellbeing in a meaningful way. It can help support you through our next normal. It can be as simple as a quiet five minutes sipping on your favorite tea. Walking up and down the stairs a few times a day. Stepping outside, if you are able, to connect with nature. Get to bed on a regular schedule. What can you add to your daily routine to keep you thriving and resilient?
Do a deep dive on what you want in your future. You may have more time to reflect right now on what you need and what fulfills you instead of being caught up in the busyness of life. Often there are habits and ways we approach challenges and people in our life that may not be to our benefit. Do you find yourself not using your voice, overreacting, feeling stuck? Understanding the gap between what we do and what is truly valuable to us can help us move in a new direction. Really examine those disconnects can feel uncomfortable, but be transformative. Taking intentional time to evaluate whether or not the direction you have been going is the one you want for the future is a gift to yourself. Who, in your life, is helping you move towards your best self? Who isn’t? If you have been in a specific career path, is that where you see yourself three years from now? What needs to change, if you want and need something different to live a more engaged life? This is an exercise you can do on a regular basis, maybe once or twice a week. You can record your answers and then go back and see what consistently comes up for you. These insights can then help you take step in a new direction with more clarity. Though we cannot predict the future, we can start to map out what we want to do and start taking one or two action steps. What steps will you take in the next two months?
Reinforce your social support system. Multiple studies have sown that good social connection strengthens your immune system and can potentially help you heal from disease faster. As we are now all very aware, we cannot have a viable company or community without understanding and supporting the workforce’s health and wellbeing. On a personal level, social connection is your seatbelt through a rough ride. It will support both your physical and mental health. Take a few minutes to write down the names of people that will respond back if you have an emergency at 2 AM. Then write those that have supported you to move towards a personal goal, personal or professional. Who is not on that list? Who are the people you want to get back in touch with? Which of these people are key to your better future?
In this very unique time, there are many things we can’t control or predict. However, it can be a time to honor where we are personally and professionally. We can find simple tools that work for us to support our health and wellbeing. We can take some time to dig deep into what we want for our future. And we can actively connect with those that support us, value us and are there to walk forward with us even when we can’t see around the bend.