When Wishing For It Is Not Enough
Like many others, at the end of 2020, I found myself wishing for a better year ahead.
Between the post-holiday adrenaline crash, the restart of virtual school, and the horrifying news peppering my smartphone, I found myself feeling downright discouraged.
As I connected with clients and friends, one thing was clear: The first two weeks of the new year were rough, and we are all really, really tired of things being hard.
So what is a guy or gal to do when the road ahead seems really hard to manage?
You take a small step forward. And then another one. And then another one...
We can do hard things. And we can keep doing hard things. The secret is that we have to put something back into our metaphorical emotional, physical and spiritual piggy bank so we have the energy to keep going.
Where to start? Glad you asked. Try out one of these three ideas:
Schedule Time to Connect with Positive People. Right now, connecting with others is hard. For many of us, safety protocols mean we have to schedule Zooms or meet up in a freezing cold park to have human connection outside our "bubble." Over time, it can just feel easier to stay in your cocoon, which leads to increased isolation.
Humans are designed for connection. So, find ways to connect with people who make you feel better after seeing them (your "positive people"). Make a commitment to connect with at least one positive person per week: Schedule a zoom, meet up at the park, eat outside, or maybe use the phone app on your smartphone to actually call someone!
Practice Gratitude. By now, you have likely read that practicing gratitude can actually make you feel better. The challenge is getting into the habit of actually doing it.
Don't over think it: Jot down 5 things you are thankful for each morning or at bedtime. Go around the dinner table and ask each person to say one thing they are thankful for (extra credit if you cannot repeat anything you have said before). Write a note to teacher, frontline worker or first responder. Or - Shout out some gratitude right now!
Prioritize Sleep: Sounds simple, but for many busy people, sleep is one of the first self-care items to go when things get hard. Sure - all the science-based data says you need eight hours of sleep, but you tell yourself that you only "need" five or six! Over time, a lack of sleep can seriously impact your physical and mental health - which is the last thing you need while navigating life, work and a global pandemic.
Again, start small. It will feel impossible to shift to eight hours per night if your current schedule only allows for five. Try out the "Power of 10." Simply try to get 10 more minutes or just 10% more sleep per night. Add another 10 minutes or 10% in two more weeks.
Small steps add up over time. You just have to take that first step!
This is just a starting place. There are dozens of other ideas that have helped my clients, friends, colleagues and me. What are your ideas for how to put something back into your emotional, physical and spiritual piggy bank? Send them my way!
Nicole Provonchee is an executive coach and strategist that works with women leaders and teams across the nation.
After 20 years climbing the corporate ladder, she started Bright Blue Consulting, where she can combine her skills as a coach with her practical experiences as a leader and executive.
Nicole is a sought-after speaker and can bring her "get out of your own way", self-advocacy, negotiation skills workshops to your organization or company. Learn more on her speaking page. Or, reach out to her today.