Right now things might feel strange, they certainly don’t feel normal.
When we experience difficult or challenging situations so often we end up craving the way things were.
You might find yourself longing for the simple everyday things you used to do like working in an office building, travelling by train and seeing full shelves in the supermarket.
Once the situation passes you have to establish a new normal because challenges change you. It will be almost impossible to go back to the way things were because what you’re experiencing right now is significant.
We all have the opportunity to let this situation change us for the better. To become more resilient, self-aware and perhaps a little kinder or more thoughtful.
I start each day with a gratitude practice of listing 10 things I am grateful for.
Things are changing quickly and becoming quite difficult in some ways. It can be difficult to keep up with gratitude through challenging times.
You might find yourself wondering what exactly there is to be grateful for in a time of such great uncertainty. But I find that if you focus on the good bits (no matter how small) there is always something to be grateful for. I have no doubt that before you know it you’ll have reached 10 things pretty easily.
It could be sunny weather, the people you live with, the food in your cupboards, your health, the smoothie you made, being able to communicate with loved ones far away, the fact that you’re able to work from home, the friend that sent you a song as a pick me up, the extra time you have now you’re no longer commuting to work or even your favourite (almost) daily blog.
It might be difficult to think of things when you’re fearful or overwhelmed but know that this the perfect time to put your daily gratitude practice into practice
A useful skill to acquire is to know what you need in your off moments. But then to go one step further and honour those needs.
So often we get a feeling for what we should do but we push it aside and trudge on. We tell ourselves it’s inconvenient, we don’t want to offend people or we feel stuck with where we are or previous decisions we’ve made.
But when you ignore the feeling of knowing, there will always be consequences. Things like feeling uncomfortable, regret or frustration.
And often we put those feelings on the person or people we were with at the time. In those cases, it might feel easier to blame others because it relinquishes you of your responsibility.
However, perhaps next time the feeling of knowing what you need comes around you could try following it. Of course be polite or respectful of who you’re with but don’t forget the importance of taking care of yourself.
I recently had a conversation where I was explaining my neutral feelings towards a topic. As the words poured out I thought I was almost on a bit of a high horse.
But as the conversation went on I realised that my neutral feelings were just a defense mechanism or a coping strategy. Turns out the topic did bother me after all.
However, instead of working to overcome my feelings I’d masked them in neutrality. I think sometimes it helps to be neutral instead of negative but you can take it one step further and have more positive or uplifting feelings.
It really surprised me to find out that I’m not quite there yet but now that I’ve realised, I think it’s something I want to work on.
It’s easy to fall into thinking that you only have 2 options.
Do nothing or do what everyone else is doing.
Sometimes that works out okay but other times you need a third option.
That third option is to carve you’re own path and do what feels best for you.
And sure that might draw attention to you or people will have something to say about you straying from the norm but it’s better than the alternative.
I’ve learnt that it’s important to be able to stand in your truth without considering other peoples opinions and thoughts before you’re own.
It could be pursuing a career that others see as risky, taking a solo trip or even speaking up about issues that are important to you.
It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you do what’s right for you.
Or perhaps the title should read ‘How to be eternally disappointed‘.
I don’t believe in working yourself to the bone (well it’s not for me anyway) however if your expectations are sky high, you might have to.
You can’t sit around passively going through life like a sociological ritualist and expecting the world.
You’ll only end up disappointed.
You can’t be half-hearted either.
You gotta go, go, go with full gusto.
But to avoid burnout you have to be smart about your approach and find ways to be productive and get things done whilst maintaining your overall well-being.
A few ideas are to have set working times, get at least 7 hours sleep a night and make time to do something relaxing like meditate, get a massage, or go for a walk.
You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.
In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.
So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.
What do you do?
It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.
First up, ask for what you want/need?
Ask confidently, ask a second time.
Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.
If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.
Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.
Lastly don’t expect too much from people.
Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship, they have their own stuff to do too.