“Right – I’m going to start 5:2 again next week…”
“I’m going to do at least 30 mins exercise at the start of each day, then its’ done…”
“I need to rest my eyes at lunchtime daily…”
“I’ll spend 30 mins doing emails at the start of each day, so I don’t worry I’ll miss something important…”
Does this sound familiar? How often do you see something on the TV or read an article on some aspect of wellbeing that resonates, and you think I really need to build “that” into my day. So you set an intention in yourself - in complete good faith – that you will change your habits and weave this supportive new behaviour into your daily routine and then you’ll start to feel better about yourself – less stressed or overwhelmed and able to cope more easily.
Like me, I imagine you KNOW that taking exercise, eating healthily and getting enough sleep is good for our wellbeing… and yet the gap between my intention and action persists.
Yet, as we continue to grapple with the impact of the Corona virus, understanding the interconnection between mind and body and what supports us to feel good and function well is essential like never before. We have all had to learn how to create new routines and structures that help us cope better in both our work and personal lives. Whether we are working from home, on furlough or heading back to the workplace we are still dealing with multiple challenges and layers of complexity – both practical and emotional.
The most significant and constant impact of Corona Virus is uncertainty. For most of us this feels especially hard to deal with because it takes a toll on the functioning of both our brain and our nervous system.
My own struggle to adapt to this uncertainty got me thinking about successful wellbeing changes I have made in my life and what has made the difference. The key has been moving from “knowing” stuff in my head – that regular exercise and healthy eating help me feel good and function well - to understanding how my mind and body are interconnected and how they can hijack my attempts to change. These are just a few things I have learned:
· It turns out that feeling safe – physically, psychologically and physiologically – underpins our ability to learn, our capacity to respond rather than react and thus being at our best.
· The interaction between our brain and our autonomic nervous system plays a key role in our wellbeing, how we react to experiences and regulate our responses.
· The pathways between our brain and autonomic nervous system go both ways – brain to body and body to brain - with 80% of the information travelling from body to brain; this offers us a lot of useful information we can use to support ourselves.
Furthermore, we actually have lots of resources within us already – and available 24/7 – that enable us to protectively interrupt the unconscious hijacking we can all experience.
I know that coaxing my intentions over the line into action is essentially my responsibility – whether I do for myself or seek help from someone with skills or knowledge I might need. It’s also about change and of course change is difficult. I have to get conscious and proactive about doing something different if I want things to be different – otherwise as the quote says “If I always do what I’ve always done I’ll always get what I’ve always got….!”
I came across Alvin Toffler’s quote recently which sums up the current pandemic situation for me: “Change is about learning - where learning is a process to deal with new situations.”
So if you are interested in learning what resources you have to coax your own intentions over the line into action my workshop Being At Your Best can help you understand:
· How your body and mind influence each other and how this impacts your wellbeing
· The biological and emotional impact of uncertainty
· Why and how feeling safe underpins resilience
· What inner resources you have to help support your own wellbeing.
Full details are on my "What's On" page and I look forward to seeing you.
Everybody has resources & Every body has resources