Imagine, we bring in the dawn of a new decade in January 2020, you make your New Years’ resolution, set goals such as lose weight, stop smoking, save money, find new love, or seek a new career.
Then we start planning holidays, celebrating special occasions with friends, or book concert tickets (which I did in London) and I’m sure many of you may resonate with that.
Then COVID-19 comes along social isolation and lockdown.
For many, this is a worrying and challenging time—the most challenging for many of our lifetime.
I contacted a friend recently who works in an NHS hospital in London. She didn’t take my call but later replied by text, telling me that she was scared, frightened, fearful of her life. I tried to arrange a call, but she declined but thanked me. The pain, heartache and suffering that she’s experienced.
She’s not alone, humans, like all species, have a self-defence mechanism to help us survive. The body’s Fight, Flight or Freeze response is designed to prepare the brain and body in case of pending danger, but the threat doesn’t always happen.
In our head, FFF alarms cause our brain to focus on negative memories, probably so it can scan them and avoid danger and negative outcomes. And it can only do this if we have previously been faced with a threat or a challenging situation and learnt how to deal with it.
Anxiety, depression and high levels of stress all harm the brain’s ability to cancel or slow down the mind’s false fight flight or freeze activations.
Making them appear more often; knowing the symptoms of false activations makes it easier to recognise and reduce their effects because what we need to do is bring the body back to equilibrium.
When you change your mind about stress or challenging situations, you can change your body’s physical response to stress.
Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal implores us to see stress as a positive, advises us to view stress as a positive and introduces an unacknowledged tool for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
Positive thinking increases the chance of positive outcomes. Vice versa! “Think you can think you can’t – either way, you will be right” Henry Ford. Positive thinking increases the chance of positive outcomes.
5 Tips You Can Use Today in Your Personal Wellbeing Strategy:
- Personal Insight – Evaluate your behaviour, characteristics or mood change. Or ask some who knows you well that you trust to be your accountability partner.
- Personal Coping Mechanisms– Review your current level of fitness, use this present opportunity to go for daily walks, don’t be tempted to overindulge with more food in the house. Create a daily routine for work and pleasure
- Supportive Environments– Can’t just pay lip service or tick a box. Otherwise you could create an imbalance. It’s the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for employees to work in. Working from home can create additional pressure; however, stress is inevitable, whether working from home or the office, so speak to your manager if you require support to adjust.
- Communicate and Talk– Up your talk time, bring in support as and when required. It’s not a sign of weakness if you need help. If someone says to you, I’m fine, or I’m OK, don’t take that as gospel. Enquire a little more. Ask what they’ve been doing and take a genuine interest.
- Create a Pivot Mindset– A pivot mindset emphasises natural changes within our current job and from one position to the next while staying open to a range of opportunities. One constant in life is that things will change, and they’ll change often, and they’ll change in ways we don’t necessarily like. So why not get better at changing? At dealing with change. Why not adopt the pivoting mindset? Because when we do, these changes will be less stressful, less upsetting and it removes the uncertainty. It’s about building a portfolio of lifelong skills, connections, and expertise, and adapting to new tools and tactics.
How you respond to remote working is completely dependent on your individual needs and triggers—if you feel overwhelmed trying to balance family life and work, worried about the future, or your wellbeing deteriorating due to an underlying condition.— and are unsure what to do, consider talking to you HR advisor or line manager for help. Or you can reach out to me and arrange a free 30-minute chat on Zoom about your possibilities.
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