COVID-19 series: How are you today?
“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.”
These lines capture the heart of this post. How are you today?
I’m sure we’ve all experienced waking up in one mood and going to bed in another. This happens because we are continuously responding to the ever-changing world around us. Even once you’ve finished reading this blog, something in your thoughts, emotions, or physical body will be different, even if it’s only slight – my hope is that it’s a helpful shift.
Feelings never last forever. It can be helpful to remember that our emotions are not static, the clue is in the name… Emotion = ‘E’nergy in ‘motion’.
In the previous article we explored our human response to change, noticing our personal reactions to the impact coronavirus has had on our lives. Today I’d like to share with you some simple strategies for checking-in with how you are on a daily basis.
Whether you’re navigating home-working, on furlough, or out of employment; with greater self-awareness, you can put your energy into actions that will boost your holistic wellbeing.
I invite you to resist a Ross Geller “I’m fiiiiiiine” moment and be 100% honest with yourself. Acknowledging and accepting where you’re at today – the good, the bad and the ugly! We’re looking to build awareness and acceptance of our:
Physical sensations in the body
The following ‘check-in’ exercises are super short, helping you to self-assess your wellbeing regularly. I recommend experimenting, try one out each day and see which works best for you.
Journaling. A daily habit of many high performers throughout history – all you need is a piece of paper and something to write with.
Spend a few minutes responding to the question “How am I doing right now?”
By writing without stopping (known as free-writing) you can tap into some of your non- conscious thoughts and feelings.
2. Body scan. Our autonomic nervous system has three key states – stress (fight or flight), shutdown (freeze) and social engagement (the good life) – and the body can tell us a lot about where we’re at before our conscious thoughts do.
Wherever you are, sit, stand or lie, in a neutral position and gently close your eyes.
Now mentally scan through your body. This means taking your attention to specific areas and noticing how they feel.
Start by focussing on your toes, and then moving up through your legs, pelvis area, chest, and back, then move up through your fingers, arms, shoulders, finishing with a scan of your neck, head and face.
No need to rush this. When you find any areas of tension, imagine breathing into that area of the body a couple of times before continuing.
3. Ask for an outside perspective. Really important that you choose someone who has spent time with you recently (be it virtually), someone that you trust, who has your best interests at heart and can be honest.
Simply ask them, how do I seem to you lately?
4. Plot your energy zone. Visuals work well for some of us.
Where would you plot yourself on this graph today? Name any emotions you’re feeling right now.
To learn more about emotions, triggers and responses I highly recommend visiting The Atlas of Emotions and spending 5-minutes exploring the timelines for the 5 basic human emotions.
When is a good time to do a ‘check-in’?
Whenever you feel you need to. Once a day can help track themes appearing and make it easier to form a new habit, however more or less often is also good. Find your own rhythm.
If your thoughts and feelings are overwhelming right now, that’s ok and please know you’re not alone. We’ve put a comprehensive list of helplines, including crisis phone & text services, here.
This article was originally written for The Drinks Trust as part of their COVID-19 updates. If you haven't heard of this wonderful charity then do pay their website a visit and see how you can support, or be supported, as a member of the drinks and hospitality industry.