How are you punctuating this unusual year? Most of us have been unable to get away for the normal breaks that would have given us downtime, space to breathe, and a change of pace and scenery. It has begun to feel like a very LONG year, hasn’t it? So how can we create punctuation marks in our weeks to re-energise and bolster ourselves for the last quarter of 2020? I want to share nine ways I am doing this in my life at the moment that may spark something for you.
Spring Strategies to Reboot Yourself:
Re-evaluate how you are making decisions. Are you in a rut of doing things for the sake of doing them without questioning your level of interest, passion, financial viability and investment of time? If they are not giving you enough reward, ditch them. Give yourself a score out of 10 in the interest and passion column, record the amount of money the activity makes for you in the income column and what percentage of time it takes in the time column. You, like me, maybe very surprised and you will stop doing certain things immediately.
See yourself through a new lens. Do Marcus Buckingham’s online Standout Strengths Assessment that will affirm your greatest strengths in such a fabulous way in just 20 minutes. Great to do for yourself and fabulous as a team exercise – what is the greatest gift you bring to your team. I am a creator-teacher. The list includes creator, teacher, connector, influencer, pioneer, advisor, provider, stimulator, equalizer. I have done it with a number of teams and it is so accurate. What are you?
Do some stream of consciousness journaling to write your sillies away and kill your inner critic. Yes, we all have one, that little voice inside us that creates imposter syndrome making us feel not good enough. I’m a fan of Julia Cameron’s tool from her wildly best-selling book, “The Artist’s Way, The Morning Pages.” Every morning, get up and write whatever comes to mind, without judgement – whether it is a whinge, whine, complain, boasting about yourself to yourself, questioning yourself, or just filling line after line with the words, “I don’t know what to write.” It’s amazing how clear you feel when you get this stuff out of your head and onto the page. You can destroy the pages afterward. No need to keep them to re-read later.
Go on some new walks or hikes now that they are open again. Be a tourist in your own town. I visited The Wilds in Johannesburg a few weekends back – it has been revamped and is worth walking through. The exercise and fresh air will also do you good. As my speaking colleague and resilience expert, Joni Peddie says, “Motion shifts emotion). I was fortunate enough to go on a wilderness trail through the Kruger Park with a friend last week. Space, sunshine, being close to nature, being away from my computer and my cellphone (and not wearing a mask1) were such an amazing way to reboot. We won’t talk about how stiff we were after walking 14km for 7 hours on our first day!
Try something new – to eat and to watch. New recipes – haven’t you got bored eating the same old thing over and over? Watch movies and TV series that you wouldn’t normally watch. It’s refreshing. You just have to look at someone else’s profile on Netflix to see how the algorithm keeps offering you more of the same. Try something off their list, you might like it!
Spring cleaning is not called spring cleaning for nothing. Clear out cupboards and drawers. Giveaway what you don’t need and then re-organise when you pack away what you are going to keep. If it is not useful or doesn’t give you a sense of joy, then get rid of it. I know this is rich coming from me as I like to keep things, but I have been doing a fair amount of chucking, clearing, giving away and re-organising and it feels so good!
Gardening is such a great way to connect with nature and change tempo. So many people who have lived with beautiful gardens for years have said, during the lockdown, that they are now really ‘seeing’ them and appreciating them now, as if for the first time. Plant a patch of new items in your garden. Move existing plants around. The arrival of spring, for me, has been so refreshing. Watching all the trees and flowers budding and blooming in my garden gives a sense of hope and shows us that, despite COVID, the sun will still rise and the seasons will still change. If you don’t have a garden, go and buy yourself some new pot plants.
Go without a list for a day. Yes, this coming from me is rich, but I try and use lists a little as possible for at least Saturday or Sunday, taking my hands off the steering wheel and giving up control of being a total driver for a while!
Socialise safely. Socialising with others does boost our energy levels because we are social creatures who are suffering from isolation fatigue. Find your own way to socialise safely at this time. Hiking and cycling with friends would be good for so many different reasons.
I would love you to share some of your spring strategies so that we can all learn from each other. You may find yourself contributing to a new book I am busy writing too!