How do I make coronavirus lockdown a catalyst for change? Here are 6 tips for how to keep the changes you’ve liked.
Lately I have been talking recently with my friends and family and other people that I work with about how do I embed the most interesting and the best bits of lockdown into my future life? I have been encouraged by how people have interacted with each other and supported each other in this new difficult time. Personally, I am delighted to reconnect with friends who I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Professionally, I have enjoyed working with new people using zoom across continents. So how do I keep going with these wonderful initiatives? That’s the big question that I’ve been asking myself this week. How do I use coronavirus as a catalyst for change?
Tip 1. Identify what you have enjoyed
Write down all of the things that you’ve enjoyed doing. This can be anything from spending quality time with the children to FaceTimeing friends in different countries. The things that I have loved doing is FaceTimeing my friend is back in England every Thursday night as pub night. I enjoyed speaking to my mum every morning first thing and just doing a quick check in.
Tip 2. Why have you enjoyed them?
Review those things you enjoy doing and articulate why are you have enjoyed doing them. Some people find it easier to start from a place of vocalising the negatives and some people find it easier to start with all the positive things that you’ve got out of those experiences. So for example, you may have found it easy to reconnect with your friends because you knew they wouldn’t be doing anything else so you stopped worrying that you were interrupting their time. You may have found it easier to reconnect with your friends because you wanted to stop feeling lonely. You can see from these examples that you can start with why have you enjoyed these activities so much from either a “pulling” you toward an activity or from a “pushing” you away from a negative emotion, but there will be reasons why you have enjoyed doing these activities. Sit down and reflect on what parts of it you really enjoyed.
Tip 3. Use your strengths
Make sure you’re using your strengths. Your strengths can be found using the VIA Strengths Finder. Your strengths get you in the flow and therefore you will find things easy and enjoyable. Try and think about why you’ve enjoyed these new things you’ve added to your calendar and make sure that they are using your strengths. This will make it much easier to keep in your diary! For me, seeing my friends on a Thursday night uses my humour: I haven’t laughed so much in ages and I find it really easy to do because I know it’s going to be funny.
Tip 4. Be Realistic
Be realistic. I have nothing on right now but your life will get busy. Often these activities have been enjoyable because you’re not busy you are enjoying life and you have slowed right down. So make sure that you allow for the fact that you will have to commute back to work at some point and you will have to take kids backwards and forwards to soccer practice.
Tip 5. Tell People
Tell people why are you have enjoyed spending more time with them. Explain why you’ve enjoyed reading a book. Articulate why you’ve enjoyed the solitude. All this creates a sense of responsibility, a sense of ownership and an initiative to make you keep doing it. If other people know that you enjoy doing it, they’re more likely to help you keep doing it and get that engagement from them. If people know you enjoy doing something quietly on your own, they will give you time to do it.
Tip 6. Pull it all together
So now you have to put it all together. You’ve worked out what you like, you’ve worked out why are you like it and you started to tell people so they allow you the time in the space to keep doing it. How do you make yourself accountable? Do you like to write down goals, do you like to set yourselves calendars for a months time, do you like to create To Do list?
Use anyone of these techniques to make sure that you keep these things in your life.
Jar of Pebbles
A philosophy professor once stood before his class with a large empty jar. He filled the jar with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full.
The students said that yes, the jar was full.
He then added small pebbles to the jar and asked again, “Is the jar full now?”
The students agreed that the jar was indeed full.
The professor then poured sand into the jar and asked again.
The students then agreed that the jar was finally full.
The professor went on to explain that the jar signifies one’s life.
The rocks are equivalent to the most important things in your life, such as family, health, and relationships. And if the pebbles and the sand were lost, the jar would still be full and your life would still have a meaning.
The pebbles represent the other things that matter in your life, such as your work, school, and house. These things often come and go, and are not permanent or essential to your overall well-being.
And finally, the sand represents the remaining small stuff and material possessions in your life. These things don’t mean much to your life as a whole and are likely only done to waste time or get small tasks accomplished.
The metaphor here is that if you start with putting sand into the jar, you will not have room for rocks or pebbles. This holds true for the things you let into your life too.
If you spend all of your time on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the things that are actually important. So make sure that your big pebbles are put him first before Corona is finished.