I am sure I am not alone when I say that it feels like it has been a long few months since we welcomed in 2020! The uncertainties and changes have been coming at us all thick and fast and my mind is drawn back repeatedly to Darwin's quote
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Here are my top 5 tips for adapting to change:
1. Embrace it – when we feel that change is being imposed on us it can be our natural human instinct to resist it or be resentful. The best use of our energy however, is to accept and own it, and to explore ways that can positively influence the changes coming at us.
2. Create a new routine – I have found that the more I create a routine, the more settled I feel when everything else around me is uncertain. Missing the gym; join an online class or hop on your bike. Missing your local restaurant or date night; find a great new recipe and surprise your family or partner with a delicious meal. Build new daily routines; and with it you have the chance to build in more 'me' time.
3. Journal your experience – in my clinic, we always encourage our clients to keep a daily journal. Put it all down, thoughts and feelings, goals and aspirations, achievements and failures. Make positive notes to yourself, add great ideas that you'd like to implement one day, or record the funny things your kids say. We also encourage noting your foods over a week and seeing how your mood is affected, good food puts you in a good mood!
4. Create pockets of joy – the last few months have been stressful so creating even small windows to 'be happy' are key. Celebrate Summer and all that nature provides for us in these bountiful months. Maybe grow some food, it can bring really joy and reward. Go anywhere and walk, whether it's along the coast, through a forest or across a field, embrace nature, breathe her in. Play, with your family, with your pets, with a friend on online but disconnect from reality and play (try it, you'll thank me for this one!)
5. Be gentle with yourself – we are all processing the 'new normal' differently and there is no right or wrong way, only the best way for you. Stay informed not alarmed, neutral instead of emotional and logical instead of reactive. As Max Ehrmann so profoundly said in the Desiderata; “Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
I'm thinking about…
…surfing! How much I miss it, how much I rely on it for my sanity and my escape and my joy! Having moved from Barbados back to the UK the toughest thing has been missing my 'warm water' surfing and it's been 6 years without the courage to dip my toes into the UK sea. Soooooo I changed! I meditated on it, positively visualised it and manifested it! I put on my wetsuit, grabbed our son and our boards and hit the ocean… and it was FUN, cold but so much fun! What new things have you done? Share some pictures of what lockdown has inspired you to do now that it is lifting slowly. #iembracechange
…a phenomenal online programme and webinar series for YOU! Our amazing clinic team have used lockdown to brainstorm how we can expand what we offer you. We are a few months away from the big reveal, but we're working hard and we're super excited. Watch this space for more updates and do tell us what programmes you would be interested in.
…the harvests of our garden. My wife Cath jumped in at the deep end when lockdown started and went all 'farmstead' on us! We've got our little ladies laying us delicious organic eggs everyday and we've been harvesting beets, celery, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries and now our zucchinis, beans, pumpkins, cucumbers and potatoes are all on their way! It's been inspirational and motivational for the entire family and a great way to get out into nature everyday. Don't have much space? Most of ours is growing in recycled toy bins, DIY raised beds, old recycled pots and even shipping containers from our lab panels. Reduce, reuse, recycle! For more inspiration on what you can grow right now take a look here. And tell us… how does your garden grow? We'd love to see pictures and will share them on our pages!
…with Sam Harris. It's a great and affordable app and well worth it. I find it a superior meditation app and I like that he is both a neuroscientist and a philosopher, we all know I'm a bit of a science geek. Check it out here. Cath and I made a pact in January to restart our daily practice with more gusto and thank goodness we did! It's kept us grounded, calm and communicative, not to mention more focused and with greater clarity. We have created our little space and time at the start of everyday – it's so beneficial.