Let us talk about embracing rapid change and the seven simple ways to manage life’s difficulties. Given that 2020 threw everyone into rapid chaos with the COVID19 pandemic. To put this into perspective, COVID has been one of the milder pandemics when compared to SARS and the Spanish Flu outbreaks. For example, if the world experiences 1.1 million deaths this year from COVID, let us look at Heart Disease and Cancer deaths instead. According to the WHO in 2016, approximately 17 million people died cardiovascular disease and cancers.
So why has this been hard to accept?
Because of COVIDs fast pace transmission, we are unable to move, travel or do normal social events. However, we have transitioned into a new world of growth, online connections and opportunities. In addition, we had a lot of personal time and space to think, do, learn, play, walk, sign, cook, craft, sleep, read and dance. How often does that happen?
In the past few months of lockdowns and restrictions, everyone had to adapt to change and adapt quickly. At first our freedom was taken away by Governments and Chief Medical Advisors. Plans had to change for many people, we had no control over our lives, and we had less self-authority. People focussed on the negative and got stuck in the crisis thinking.
Others of course became ill from COVID and hospital workers completed triple shifts and were overwhelmed by the disease that has no cure. The entire planet was impacted both socially and economically. While this continues to happen in Australia and in other parts of the world, it is important to understand how to embrace rapid change. Self‑refection will enable you to change your mindset and learn from the year that was 2020.
One of my favourite quotes is: “One reason why people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.”
The seven elements:
If you are struggling with rapid change, follow these seven elements, I know it works for me!
- Acknowledge your feelings. Listen to your feelings, write them down, speak about them and let them go. Acknowledging and being aware of your feelings is the first step.
- Be patient with your household. You may be having “confinement” issues with your family or flatmates and there will be an invasion of space at times. Everyone deals with change differently so be patient and give others in your household time to adjust and heal.
- Practice healthy wellbeing or meditation. Yes, there may be outside restrictions in place. However, you can keep up your exercise in many ways. Online yoga, Pilates, Nintendo or DVDs. Eat well, plan your meals, reduce fatty takeaways and alcohol intake. Think about undertaking guided relaxation or meditation and walking around the grass with no shoes.
- Set boundaries: Most of us will be working from home. If you are set up at the dining table, remove the temptation of working from 8am – 8pm and ignoring your breaks and mealtimes. Work as you would normally! Turn off the computer at 5.00pm and go for a walk, cook your meal, talk to your family, watch the news. Be very clear on work and home priorities and keep it balanced.
- Be kind to yourself and others: Always be kind, polite and gentle to yourself and others. You have no idea what other people are experiencing in their lives, so until you do show respect.
- Talk it out: Ask for support, share with friends, ask for input and have a discussion with your partner, loved one or best friend. Hire a coach or visit a Counsellor if you need to! It might be time to lean on people, and that is OK!
- Look forward and for the opportunities. The past is for learning; the present is for living and the future is for planning. Optimism is key. Remember COVID is not forever, it is just right now.
During times you feel caught up in an overwhelming moment of change, take a moment to shift yourself somewhere into a new environment (out in the sun, a café nearby, a different room even) and ask yourself these questions:
- What are my intentions today?
- Where is my attention?
- Am I still breathing? …. (oh, I am, thank goodness for that)