Washing your mind as well as your hands #2

Another week of adapting to our new lives in shut-down, with our home, work, parenting, partnering, daughtering lives all meshed together.   I’ve kept up the MidLife Hacks – short 3 minute videos with some coaching and life skills to help us all through these days.

Below are a one-place stop summary of last week’s:

MidLife Hack #6 – Hierarchy of Care

MidLife Hack #7 – Water the good seeds.

MidLife Hack #8 – Triage the moment

MidLife Hack #9 – Friend Yourself

MidLife Hack #10 – Become an Influencer

 

MidLife Hack #6 – Hierarchy of Care 

This is an issue that shows up time and time again in my coaching with women, with this insidious, conditioned belief that our needs are somehow less important than those of the people we care for and about. Not true! If you don’t take care of your needs first, it will impact the quality of love, care and work you give out. It may not show up immediately but it will show up down the line – in you being ill, run down, resentful, irritated etc

So at the top of the hierarch triangle is you. You alone. Unless you rest when you need to rest, reboot when you need to reboot, nourish, stimulate, ask for help, take time out when you need to, you won’t be able to work, care for, love as well as you want to.

This is not selfish (despite what you may have been conditioned to think and feel guilty about). It is common sense. So top of the Hierarch of Care is you, then your close family, and then everything else in whatever order you like. It might feel really hard to do that.. but it’s a lot less hard than running yourself into the ground.

 

MidLife Hack #7 – Water the good seeds

What this means is that we always have a choice (and maybe it’s more important now than ever to practise this choice) – that we can water the ‘good seeds’ by giving attention to the things that are good, calming, enriching, nourishing, uplifting and beneficial, or we can water the weeds by giving attention to the things that cause and sustain fear, jealousy, drama, stress, anxiety, and negativity.

What we feed (pay attention to), will become our experience. So next time we go to say something, post something, read and dwell on something, we should ask ourselves first; am I watering the good seeds, or the weeds.

 

MidLife Hack #8 – Triage the moment

One of the things I’m seeing a lot of at the moment with friends and coaching clients alike, is the feeling of overwhelm at times. In those moments, it’s going to make it a lot easier if we take a second to ‘triage’ all the things that are coming at us. You can triage your week , your day, and even the morning, or afternoon. And especially those ‘moments’ that feel too big for our brains!

Triage – what’s priority, what needs to be done soon but maybe not immediately, and what can be done later, tomorrow, or beyond that. It allows you to stop seeing everything that needs to be done as a large cloud looming over you, and puts it all in a little perspective.

 

MidLife Hack #9 – Friend Yourself

This is important at any time, but especially important now. While we are no doubt caring for lots of the people in our lives, offering comfort and support, keeping up momentum in work and at home, and spinning multiple plates, we can forget that we need to be offering that same level of comfort and support to ourselves. We need to give ourselves a PAT on the back. P – patience (with ourselves that we aren’t going to getting everything done to perfection A – acknowledge (to ourselves that this is tough, there are challenges, and that if your friend was calling with the same levels of overwhelm, you’d be telling them to ease off and take care of themselves). T – treat yourself – even if it’s a moment to collect your thoughts, time out for a run, meditation, glass of wine, calling a friend. We’re all being told to be kind and calm with others…. it starts with giving yourself a pat on the back and being kind and calm with yourself.

 

MidLife Hack #10 – Become an Influencer

No unfortunately this isn’t about making your fortune on Instagram. It’s about understanding where your influence lies, and where, in fact you have little or no control. Often we spend our energies and thoughts in the latter. Imagine two circles, one inside the other. The larger one is your Circle of Concern – the things around you that you are engaged with, but don’t actually have any influence or control over – social media, the news, the corona virus, the economy, other people’s behaviour, what your mother-in-law / teenager thinks about you. The inner circle is called your Circle of Influence or Control. In this circle are simply the ONLY things you can impact – your thoughts, what you read, your behaviour, what you post, who you engage with, what you buy, what you eat, how you treat your body, what TV you watch, your attitude to something or someone. Often when we feel frustrated, afraid, overwhelmed, it’s because we are investing our energies on the outer circle… a place where we have no influence or control. But we can reduce that circle, and increase the Circle of Influence by what we do within in. Trying to stay grounded and present in the Inner Circle of Influence will keep you much more relaxed and empowered.

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