We are a month in now and I think I’m feeling about as comfortable as I will do with lockdown. I’ve seen and heard people struggling with what’s going on at the moment so I wanted to share some of the things I’m doing to try and keep me positive through these weird and strange times. I’m not professing in anyway that I know best, or even that I’m not having days where I do struggle… But if it helps people in anyway then I feel this blog is worth writing.
Most people NEED routine. I certainly do. Even people who claim to be laid back, take it as it comes and go where the wind takes them still, when you get under the surface, often seem to live by a routine of some sort. I like that it gives some sort of purpose to my day. So, I’ve sorted a new routine. My wife will laugh when she reads this- I’m forever trying to get her into a routine. So…it’s nowhere near as structured as my life was but there is at least some kind of routine- here it is.
Exercise at 9am
Shower at 10am
Check emails 10:30am
Respond to emails and do other work in the afternoon.
I must admit at first, like I always have, I felt very guilty if I wasn’t working. All of you with your own companies will no doubt feel that same guilt. Truth is there just isn’t the same volume of work to do for me at the moment, we had very clear plans for this year anyway, they haven’t changed and all of our ducks were already in a row. So it’s making sure things are ticking over and that we are planning well in advance for when we can re-open.
I can see some of you roll your eyes… (that will be my wife again) but hear me out. It’s always been important to me. Not necessarily for the physical benefits but for the mental. It’s a great way to start the day, clear the mind, re-focus, feel a sense of achievement and release those endorphins (your happy hormones.) What better way to start the day than to have a rush of happiness!
People think sometimes they have to go all out, you don’t! Don’t compare yourself to others, just do you. If the first step for you is just to do 5 minutes of exercise 3 times a week, even if that’s just something like stretching then go do it! The next week do 10 mins, the next week 15 etc etc etc. That sense of achievement, working on yourself and gradually a healthier you in body AND mind is what it’s about.
It’s not about showing a 6 pack on instagram… it’s about simply feeling good about yourself, for yourself.
- Focusing on positives
Some of you will have read my “9 things that have made me happy this week”
This has helped me for many reasons. Firstly, hopefully its put a smile on other people’s faces, I like doing that! Secondly its made me take stock each week and really think about the things that make me happy. It’s easy, particularly at the moment, to catch the wave of negativity and uncertainty. So I am trying to create my own positive wave, there’s still so much to be grateful for, sometimes we just have to stop for a minute to think about what they are.
It’s something I’m definitely going to continue even when this is all over, the end of each week write a list of why it was a good one for me. So if you’re feeling in a funk, try it. You’ll be surprised at the amount you will have.
People worrying = people worrying = people worrying… which = people worrying.
Focus on your bubble. What’s actually worrying you? We can get swept up in the media and other people’s anxieties and without realising it make them our own. It’s at that point it can become overwhelming. I try to follow these steps:
- First make a list of what’s worrying you and causing anxiety
- Now on that list put a tick next to the things you can do something about, that you can control and influence.
- Write a new list ONLY putting the things down with a tick next to it.
That right there is your list of worries. The other things aren’t your concern right now. On that list make a plan next to each thing on how you can influence it for the better. You’ve already said it’s something you can do something about so… What are YOU going to do!
- Stay in touch/surround yourself with the right people
Modern technology is wonderful. I’ve actually spoken to friends face to face more than I usually would have. When I say face to face I obviously mean through zoom or other methods. But still, I’ve seen them! Can you imagine having to go through this before that technology was there, before even normal telephones were a thing- we’re lucky!
So if you’re missing someone speak to them, if you find a certain somebody cheers you up then get in touch. If you know somebody tends to get anxious, spend time seeing if they’re ok and reach out. It’s actually a time where relationships of every sort should flourish not drift. How often do we normally say we wish we had more time to speak to, or see (virtually) our family and friends? Lots of us right now do have the time, so use that time.
I also find that podcasts can help in a big way. For example, if I want that feeling of sitting in a pub with the lads I can listen to “That Peter Crouch podcast”. If I want business inspiration I can listen to “Conversations of inspiration.” If I want to feel like I’m sitting down for a family dinner I can listen to “Table manners.” The list is endless but means you can control your environment for an hour and create the feeling you want for yourself.
So there’s my list of the things that have helped me so far, I hope it helps you guys to, even if it’s just a little bit and even if you only take one thing from it then it’s done it’s job.