(Source: Marie Loney)
At the beginning of the pandemic I spent some time in total shock and disbelief, I felt as though I was living in a parallel universe or a movie that was playing out before my eyes then the reality of the situation began to sink in.
I had to dig deep and keep moving
Initially, I struggled to motivate myself, but I knew there was no other option, I had to dig deep and keep moving. I decided to learn new skills and enrolled on loads of webinars that would support my goals. I stayed connected to those closest to me and I found that communicating helped me not feel so isolated. I could only cope with small steps, BJ Fogg in his book ‘Tiny Habits: Why starting small makes lasting change easy.’ Looks at three options that will change our behaviour. One is an epiphany, that is not very common or practical. The remaining options are changing our environment and taking small steps these are feasible applications that can be implemented immediately.
Taking small steps
Changing my environment by moving furniture around, spring cleaning and discovered green spaces in my community, walking help me to meditate and appreciate life and nature. I shut down the news, fear, uncertainty and put my energies into projects starting with small steps to feel a sense of achievement and control.
I shut down the news, fear, uncertainty
Choosing to complete tasks daily was not without its struggles. I forced myself to stay motivated. I’m a natural planner, I’m a to-do list person. I understand some people are not but find what works for you. I began to set goals and plan for the future. I needed a road map, some people don’t but I needed to focus on something positive, a positive direction that would help me to navigate where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there.
I needed to focus on something positive
COVID-19 tested my resilience and took it to another level. The stress and negative emotions were overwhelming at times and my thoughts were clouded by fear. however, when I could find the space to breathe I reflected on my situation, broke it down and evaluating my circumstances based on the facts. The facts were we were in lockdown, I need a purpose, I needed to believe in a vision for my future, something positive to focus on. Seeing my situation in this way helped to reduce my stress and see the situation for what it was. This theory is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT helps people to find ways to manage stress, anxiety and mental health concerns by addressing a situation for what it is and managing small sections at a time.
COVID-19 tested my resilience
This was a journey. I understood the only way forward was to take small steps such as setting my alarm to wake up at a certain time each day. I started work at 9.30 am – 5.30 pm granted sometimes I had a 2-hour lunch but that would be to take a walk in the park. Research demonstrates that walking around a natural environment and noticing trees, colours, wildlife can reduce stress. After a couple of months and a lot of determination, I eventually developed new routines. I had to be flexible, change was here whether I liked it or not, so I chose to embrace it and use it to my advantage. Change has helped me develop and grow.
Do you want to share your COVID-19/21 journey with us? Let me know in the comments below.