Ok, so we are headed into week 3 of quarantine here in North America (depending on where you live it may be longer) and you may be hitting your stride OR you may be hitting a wall. Whether you are feeling the former or the later, know that whatever you are feeling is OK.
This is something that as a society we have never experienced before and as previously discussed, this will likely bring up all the feels.
So this is what has been coming up for me, so I thought I would share.
The first few weeks, I felt like I had to DO IT ALL. People NEEDED ME. After all, this is a time for mindfulness.
So I did an online workshop, offered free online meditations, offered free 30 minute coaching calls (it was so great connecting with all of you!), in tandem with doing a brand redesign (more on that soon), developing a new corporate wellness offering and virtually coaching all of my existing coaching clients. Oh and trying to fit in a daily workout and feeling guilty when I didn’t because you know #quarantinebod.
Sound familiar? Did you also try to do it all? DO MORE, ACHIEVE MORE, GET MORE?
I quickly saw my old patterning sneaking up. By the end of week two I was feeling burnt out and less connected to my intuition than ever before. Too much screen time, not enough nature and too much comparison to what other people were doing. I mean should I be doing MORE instagram lives? NO…
True, this is an unprecedented time, which means for the first time ever, we have the opportunity and time to connect, I mean really connect. So whether you are braving this alone, with a partner, friends or family now is the time to connect to yourself and to others. Call that old friend you haven’t spoken to since college, clean out your closet, learn a new language or sit on your couch and do absolutely nothing for the day.
This week I decided to slow down and see the beauty in how we are being united during this time. I ordered Scrabble, Connect 4 and Jenga and also may or may not also have a puzzle on the way ;)
I am reminded to pause and reflect on what is truly important. I mean, when else can you do a plank challenge with your entire family on different parts of the globe? My 68 father is up to 5 minutes…
I understand that this is not the case for everyone and my heart and thoughts go out to those suffering with the pandemic right now or have lost loved ones.
For those of you in a similar situation to mine, I would love to hear what is coming up for you (old stories) and how you are passing this time.
What a wild experience we’re all going through right now. With a little bit of extra time and space on our hands, it’s more important than ever for us to drop into stillness and allow for our true feelings to bubble to the surface.
So how can you make the most out of this time of social distancing? And how can you use it to level up in areas you’ve been putting off? Keep reading.
If you’re like any of my clients, chances are your day-to-day life is packed and there’s very little time left to observe your thoughts and feelings. But right now, most of us are not on our regular schedule and spending more time in our homes, which is essentially forcing us to deal with the stuff we so expertly push away in our daily lives.
But what if instead of burying and avoiding these feelings you took the time to notice them? What if you got just a little more comfortable with those thoughts that are there in the background?
To start, simply observe, without any judgment, your behaviors, thought patterns and beliefs. Which ones are positive? Are there any you want to shift? This practice alone can be transformative.
Maybe you’re noticing feelings of loneliness, panic, or a belief that this situation will never end. Allow all of your feelings to come up, without fighting them. And instead of simply ruminating on these thoughts and driving yourself crazy, grab a pen and paper and write them down.
The following journal prompts might help:
1. What am I afraid of?
2. What’s the worst-case scenario?
3. What’s the best-case scenario?
Notice what answers come up. It’s likely that when it’s out of your mind, the answers won’t be so bad after all. And if you notice your thoughts are a little more pessimistic, know that you can always pick a new thought or look to the best-case scenario instead.
Continue to write down how you can use this time for growth. Is it taking on a new hobby? Launching your website? Trying a new course? Committing to your health and wellness goals? Pick one you’re most excited about and make it your focus.
And remember, be easy on yourself! These times are hard but I’m right here with you.
Uncertainty is a fact of life. But the last few weeks have been especially intense with all of the fear, anxiety, confusion, and frustration surrounding the global outbreak of the coronavirus - on top of the myriad of pressures you already face on a regular basis.
But what if this was all happening for you, not to you?
What if the virus was meant to bring us together?
To remind how great it is to be alive?
To emphasize (usually) how easily we can access the rest of the world?
The truth is most of the get used to these luxuries in our lives. We take them for granted, forget to appreciate them, or focus on what is not working rather than on what is.
While it’s important to stay informed and not take the situation lightly, it is also an opportunity for growth, presence, and gratitude.
So, where to start?
1. Power of presence
You get to choose your thoughts in every single moment. You can choose to be anxious, fearful or you can choose not to be. Assuming you want to choose the latter over the former, a great way to get out of fearful thoughts is focusing on what is actually happening for you in this moment. Where are you sitting or standing? What can you hear? What can you smell?
Grounding yourself into what is actually happening for you will help you relax.
Taking a few deep intentional breaths will help reset your nervous system, allowing you to feel more at ease. Notice where your breath feels most alive in your body and use that as an anchor point. If your mind is racing, fearful or frustrated, direct your attention to your breath.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely not at high risk for the virus. Can you think of other things (besides your health) that are a part of your life that you can be grateful for?
I invite you to notice something about your current situation that can make you feel safe. Whether it is a roof over your head, support from friends and family, pets -- let this be your reminder that at this moment you are okay.
Staying healthy is at the top of everyone’s priority list right now and we can all support our immune system by washing our hands frequently, sanitizing our work and home environments, avoiding shaking hands, and staying away from anyone who may be showing any symptoms.
Thinking healthy thoughts helps too!
Sending you so much love.
Have you ever wondered what trait makes someone successful at work?
Is it their high IQ? Their relentless hard work? Or networking their way to the top?
The truth is, it is none of the above.
I work with a lot of successful business leaders who have shown me that in the modern workplace, an individual’s ability to thrive during periods of stress and change is really what sets them apart from the rest. The other factors above may help, but not in the face of failure, stress, and emotional experiences.
Enter the concept of resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability to overcome obstacles on the way to a goal, without being distracted by the things that happen along the way. It means having a home base to return to, even when things get hard. It means knowing how to ride out the hard times without being too hard on yourself. It’s the ability to just keep going.
The best thing about resilience is that it’s a skill-- something you can practice and get better at over time.
It is something that I am constantly cultivating in my own business.
So, what are some ways you can flex your resilience muscle? Keep reading.
1. Access your inner calm
Applying various mindfulness tools can help us come back to our own foundation of resilience. Everything from meditation, to breathing exercises, journaling, and more are great tools for leaders to continually train their resilience.
2. Emotional reflection
Like all emotional experiences, success and failure manifest strongly in our bodies, so we must develop and strengthen our ability to reflect on emotional experiences.
3. Cultivate cognitive resilience
Failure is a part of doing business. What sets successful people apart is how they experience and explain their own failure to themselves. People who are pessimistic tend to internalize their failures, take them personally, and think they are pervasive in all areas of life. On the other hand, people who are optimistic see their setback as outcomes of certain conditions and temporary in nature.
By practicing positivity at work, leaders are better equipped to adapt to challenges that may arise.
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.