Is anyone else finding the constant change and uncertainty we have been living with for the last 15 months exhausting and overwhelming at times? Well, if you have, there’s some very good reasons for this. It has certainly helped us at Shine Business to understand what’s going on with ourselves physically and emotionally as we emerge from the year of lockdown into our ‘New Normal’.
Our Brains & Our Emotions
Ask yourself some questions. What have the levels of change and uncertainty felt like for you over the last year? How do you manage your own response before supporting your family, friends and colleagues? How comfortable are you with change in general? When faced with uncertainty, who do you turn to for help?
These are important, self-reflective questions! We know that the world has been dealing with ‘unprecedented’ levels of change throughout the pandemic, but never underestimate the effect of even minor changes on your outlook and wellbeing. As business owners, we can be very good at talking ourselves out of seeking help, as there’s always someone who is more in need, or perhaps facing more than we are. But this does not mean that we are not in need of some support too as we face the future (and the present).
It is helpful for us to ask what we can do to help ourselves and who can help us as we move forward in our businesses. What would that look like for you? Would you have more time, more clarity, take better decisions, feel more positive, approach work with more energy? Our brains are busy processing facts and information all the time. They quite literally never stop! Some are rational thoughts, some are more emotion-based. Our memories, our decision making and our perceptions are all affected by either fear or worry responses, joy and happy outlooks, or a mixture of both. There are also chemical reactions taking place. This all makes for an extremely tiring process during periods of upheaval, even due to the planned changes we make ourselves. Think about what it’s like to move house for example! It makes sense that we experience that change fatigue to a greater or lesser degree during times like this; it means we are perfectly normal.
Psychologically, our brains are programmed to be 5 times more powerful at finding threat in our surroundings than finding reward. If we are faced with change, our brain perceives it as a threat, as if we are going to lose something. This is why talk of the “new normal” or “getting back to normal” can be an anxious subject for some of us as we think of the changes we have been through and have to continue to make for ourselves and our businesses.
Its back-to-basics time: we need to prioritise our lives to help build the resilience that we all have within but just need to tap into and invest in. The four key areas we should prioritise are our physical health, our mental health, our emotional wellbeing and our spiritual connections. Now this means something different to each one of us. For some it’s a long walk, regular running, exercise classes or swimming. It might be mindfulness, meditation, self-care, shopping, cooking, cleaning or outdoor exploring. Others love art, creativity, reading, music or crafts. What’s important is that you make time for yourself, to invest in your own wellbeing and keep a regular connection with the people in your life who are important to you.
Lockdown has taught us many things, not least the power and importance of human connectivity, love, support and understanding and these are what we should be prioritising as we move forward together into the months and years ahead. No man, or woman, is an island…
Together we can make a big difference in the worlds that we occupy!
Join us over in Shine Connect to be supported in that journey by our community of like-minded business owners.