A New Year and a new opportunity for R&R – time to Reflect and Regroup.
Where are you with your responsibility to take care of yourself and nurture the next generation? How are you doing with your social responsibilities?
A few thought starters for your mindful moments of reflection to regroup for this new year:
- Is your body in your best possible health?
- Are you treating your body nicely with healthy habits (food, exercise, water and sleep)?
- Are you expanding your mind with learning?
- Are your challenging yourself to think and be creative?
- Are you building a relationship with your inner being?
- Are you nurturing your faith and belief?
- Are you learning about, embracing and experiencing the wide variety of emotions we are capable of experiencing?
- Are you focusing on being fully present in the moments?
Goal setting isn’t just a business thing; take time to set a couple S.M.A.R.T.* goals for yourself. Make plans for R&R at the end of each quarter.
*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound
Feeling a bit stressed? High levels of personal stress within and outside of the workplace are becoming commonplace. Stress is not going away, which is why focusing on developing your resilience will help you deal with the daily stressors you are faced with. Resilience is being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Resilient people have an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situations. They are able to find potential or value in most challenges. The following characteristics will help you develop your resilience.
Filtering information and interpreting your world
- Personal Responsibility – the extent to which you believe that your success at work is determined by you talents and motivation as opposed to external factors such as luck or good timing.
- Realistic Optimism – seeing the world in a positive way, but also remaining grounded in reality. It is noticing and appreciating positive experiences whenever and wherever they occur, not taking things for granted.
- Personal Beliefs– seeking and embracing the sense that life has meaning and purpose. This may be in the form of religious observance, spirituality, or devotion to a particular value system or cause.
- Self-Assurance– the extent to which you believe you can
successfully perform work-related tasks or behaviors. Challenge your reflexive thoughts and negative self-talk; change emotional patterns, restrain your negative thinking and stoke your positive thinking.
- Self-Composure – the extent to which you manage your stress and remain calm under pressure. Take stock of how things might have been otherwise, instead of just how they are, use strategic positive thinking to increase gratitude, which then builds resiliency.
- Self-Care – good physical health, including a regular routine of healthy habits is foundational to both mental and emotional resilience. This includes taking mental breaks and time to relax, especially spending time outdoors and surrounding yourself with people you enjoy. Research suggests that spending just 20 minutes outside leads to more expansive and open thinking.
- Problem-Solving– the extent to which you can plan and resolve problems effectively. One strategy to fostering a learner mindset is to use “question thinking” (“What is useful here?’ or ‘What are my available choices?’), as opposed to ‘Judger Questions’ (‘What’s wrong?’ or ‘Why me?’)
- Goal Orientation– the extent to which you set appropriate goals and monitor your progress on those goals. While it might sound cliché, the more you can consider challenges as opportunities to learn, grow and develop, the more resilient you are likely to be.
Communicating and connecting with others
- Courageous Conversations– the extent to which you communicate with others in a candid and courageous way in the face of difficulty.
- Social Support– the extent to which you have a supportive social network. Being of service to others is a potent way of fuelling resilience. Studies have shown that serotonin (the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being) is used more efficiently by people who have just engaged in an act of kindness. There is a cumulative effect to continued acts of kindness and the serotonin boosts that accompany them. You can fill up your well of resiliency when you consistently add to it. When times get difficult, you can draw upon this well
What are you going to do today to start depositing into your resiliency account?
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” ~Humbert Wolfe
The autumn equinox marks the arrival of the season of fall, traditionally seen as a period of changes leading to the dark of winter. This change in the amount of light is a signal to animals, plants and, before the light bulb, people, of changing seasons. Darkness can be a place of silent nurturance, where the slow, steady gestation needed for inner growth can occur. It’s a time to look inside yourself and reflect on what you see. It’s a time of focus. The hustle and bustle of the warmer months is dying down and you have more time to focus on change; it’s quieter and easier to listen to your inner voice.
As you watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, be reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in your life. Autumn is a time for letting go
and releasing things that have been a burden. The energy of your surroundings changes, and as energetic beings you reverberate that. What fulfills you in the winter is not going to energize you in the summer. Just as what invigorates you in the spring will not humble you in the fall. Change is important. It keeps you alive and present; it keeps you going. And it’s the only constant you can rely on.
As the seasons change, it is a good time to take a good look at your health and lifestyle. Review your dreams, hopes and desires for your personal and professional life. Do you need to make changes to your behaviors to realign to your goals?
Whatever changes are calling you this season, honor them. If it’s your job, feel inspired and excited to begin the search for a new one. If it’s your diet, enjoy the bounty of nature’s harvest available in the fall. If it’s your exercise routine, be grateful that the heat of the summer has died down and it’s easier to be outside, enjoying nature. Whatever it is welcome that change into your life. Use this change in seasons, this change in the Earth’s energy to move forward, out of the now and into the new.
Learning about and living in harmony with the nature of each season will help you stay healthy. Live in harmony with the world around you, see that nature is slowing down and contracting; preparing to rest so it is good for you to do the same. Sleeping a little longer, eating warming, nourishing foods, and moving inward – paying extra attention to your internal life. This is the season for you to give yourself some extra attention and self-love. Be content inside; be thankful for your present state because it is a gift that is meant to help you experience your life in an exceptional way.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Shhhh, do you hear that? Listen. What is it you hear? Your body is communicating with you. What is your body telling you? Is it telling you it needs rest? Does it need nourishment? How about activity? Or does your body need you to take time to connect with nature or people?
Your body is amazing, incredibly wise, and constantly communicating with you. It isn’t using vocabulary, it is using the language of feelings or sensations to communicate with you. Your body responds to everything going on in your life. What you feel from moment to moment as you move through the day is not random and it is not without purpose. The sensations or feelings you experience are feedback to alert you to the fact that something is right . . . or that something is wrong. Your body provides feedback about your health, your responses to foods, and other external influences. Every animal listens to the feedback their bodies are giving them. You are the expert in the nuances of your body and its needs.
Nurturing and supporting your body the best that you possibly can in any given moment will help ensure you are well and in balance. Let your body guide and help you with what it needs. Learn the language of your body and become an active participant in your journey towards wellness.
Take a moment right now. Close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths. Ask yourself, “What is my body telling me right now, what can I do to support it?” Trust your body, it will guide you to the activities it needs. Be mindful and honor what your body is requesting of you.
A body in healthy balance feels good to live in!