This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership.
I want to start this post by saying this: it’s ok to not be ok.
Seriously, your world has been turned upside down. Your home life and work-life have collided. And you’re confined: your movements and interactions with others are seriously restricted.
So, of course, you’re not ok.
I’m an introvert. I’ve been #WFH since 2014. My kids are 8 and 12 and need relatively little help from me with their school work.
They have rarely been fighting during this lockdown (but that may be because I take away the iPads if they fight – they need to work through their problems. They need to use their words).
My life hasn’t actually changed that much.
And I’m not ok.
I’m kinda ok, but I’m not ok.
Two days ago, I had trouble with my words. I kept using the wrong word in sentences, saying things like bread instead of book. My kids found it hilarious. I did too, the first couple of times. After I spent the morning doing it, I knew something was up.
I’m tired. Having people around me ALL THE TIME is exhausting. I’m an introvert; I need HOURS of alone time to recover. And right now, I’m not getting recovery time.
And whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, I bet there is something that you need right now that you aren’t getting either.
So what’s my coaching tip?
- Say out loud: It’s ok to not be ok
- Put down whatever it is you are doing, and just stop. For 2 minutes
- That thing that you need to help you recover? (alone time, company of others, etc) Give yourself 5 mins of it
I can already hear you saying
“yep, yep, what? I don’t have 5 mins. She craycray”
(ok, you probably didn’t say “she craycray” but I’ve been locked up with my family for over 3 weeks, I’ve started to say weird things).
But seriously, how do you actually make no. 3 happen?
Minimum. Viable. Product.
This is not the time for perfection or high standards. Lean into your creativity, and get into “good enough” and “that’ll do”.
And embrace the minimum viable product approach: “…the most pared-down version of a product that can still be released”.
It’s an approach in product design that allows creators to attract early adopters and validate their assumptions about what customers actually want, by releasing the essence of the product and getting feedback from customers.
So what’s this got to do with you?
When your world has been turned upside down, and there is stress, and you aren’t getting what you need: you still need something. When you want a day alone, but can’t have that, do you need to suffer?
If you need loads of alone time, but can’t disappear for hours, then go to the essence to create your MVP:
- What do I actually need?
- time to myself
- and I need to hydrate
- fresh air
- What’s the minimum I need to help me right now?
- oh my god can I just get 5 minutess peace?
A 5 min timeout with a cup of tea, and no-one can interrupt unless the house is on fire, or someone is bleeding like a river (scratches don’t count, kids)
Open a window or actually be outside (where it’s allowed)
And I know this sounds really simple. It is. But there is one problem that gets in the way of this.
Inside your head, you are probably telling yourself this lie: I don’t have time to do this.
As someone who did 24-hour shifts of intensive care for an incredibly sick baby, for months, on her own, believe me when I say: you have the time.
During my most intense period of intensive nursing care for my kid, I thought I didn’t have time. So I didn’t take time. But, I had the time.
Not taking the time meant that later, I had a massive burnout, which took years of recovery. And all that productivity? it got wiped out. So much lost time. Oh, the irony.
So, from someone who’s made that mistake, and believed that lie, here’s a message:
You have the time to take 5 minutes for yourself.
You can’t afford not to.
And will this mean that you are smiling and everything’s fine when you take those 5 mins?
Of course not. You need the hours alone, or to actually be in a room with other people and feel that human connection. So no, it won’t be all fine.
But it will be a little bit better.
And when you make one day a little bit better, you’ll find the headspace and energy to make the next day a little bit better. Think of it like compound interest, but it actually works in your favour.
It’s ok to not be ok.
It’s not ok to do nothing about it.
Take the 5 mins.
If you want some help with this, get in touch. Coaching can help you with this, and I’m not charging. Why not? #payitforward and coaching other people makes me feel better.