Monday, 4 May 2020

YOU are the expert you need most of all

Have you noticed how many people have become ‘experts’  in recent weeks?

Everyone seems to have opinions on the current COVID-19 pandemic, which are often coloured by a 'gut instinct' response to media reports rather than any direct medical or scientific knowledge.

Many people seem to have become self-proclaimed business and life coaches and are hell-bent on making you feel a failure if you’re not on target to have learned at least two new languages, mastered website development, started a new business, lost a stone in weight, de-cluttered your entire house and run a marathon up and down your stairs by the time lockdown is eased.

For some people, it appears that anxiety and fear is prompting them to post harsh, judgemental statements on social media on every topic under the sun from a news reporter’s shoes, through the BBC’s arrangements for recording episodes of The Archers, to perceived breaches of lockdown.

I want to encourage you to take a step away from the noise and chatter and find your own way.

I believe that at this time you are the expert you need most of all.

Reflection and retrospection

Mouse brain!
I’m enjoying the opportunity to reflect on how I was working and living before lockdown. 

I’m also finding my mind wandering back over lots of random incidents from the past, which then came into sharp focus when I unearthed some old diaries while I was doing a bit of tidying. 

I call it my mouse brain. It has a little run-around and pokes its nose into the dusty corners of my memories. The trick is to put it back into its cage after its daily exercise and move on.

There’s nothing you can do to change the past so I try and use it as a positive springboard to do better for myself and others in the future. I know there are things that I am going to do differently when I get the chance. I hope that the result is a better work-life balance and more time for the things that give me real joy. 

We can learn a lot about ourselves, our motives and what matters most to us at this time.

Be kind to yourself

Just chill
My final advice for now (and it is advice – not instruction) would be to CHILL if you can.

I realise that lots of key workers are still hard at work and must be weary of people talking about being bored, or doing online quizzes or gardening. There are also people busy at home, still working on their businesses and in their businesses as they pivot to new ways of generating revenue.

But if you have more free time than you would normally, I think now is a good time to put yourself first and be kind to yourself and others. You don’t have to be a productivity ninja every day. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy rediscovering old hobbies (or new ones); favourite books; favourite music and films. 

Lots of people are doing this, which I'm sure is why we’ve seen those chains of posts on FB with friends challenging each other to post a favourite book and a favourite album every day.

Eating well and getting some exercise, these are important for physical and mental wellbeing. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a treat, Just be aware that too many of the wrong foods and drinks will put you in a bad frame of mind and may make any anxiety and sadness worse. 

I'm loving online yoga with Lisa Satchwell Energetics. It's something I'd only recently started at classes before lockdown and being able to do it in my home means I'm doing three one-hour classes a week which I find are doing me the world of good. Lisa also posts some great tips for general health and peace of mind.

I will be blogging again soon with some tips about writing, editing and marketing things you can be doing (if you want to) during these strange times.