I wanted to share with you a great habit that I was taught to carry out at the turn of the year, and which has served me well .. which is reflecting on what happened in the past year and how I handled it.
I love the quiet time in between Christmas and New Year and I made a commitment to myself a while ago to take this time for myself, for quiet enjoyment of the season, the weather, and taking a look back over the past twelve months.
Life has a habit of throwing the unexpected in our way (thanks 2020!), however well we plot and plan our lives, and often I’ll be surprised at the things that happened that I could never have predicted the year before. Sometimes these are wonderful and sometimes less so: in examining how I responded I find clues to who I am and how I’m showing up in my life and others’
So maybe you’d like to join me. Carve out a little space for yourself in the next few days to ask these questions:
What happened in this past year that I could never have predicted?
How did I respond? Was that helpful to me and those around me?
Who was important to me in the past year?
What one thing would I have liked to be different?
What would I like to do differently in this coming year?
I’d love to hear your thoughts .. do you have any other questions you’ve found useful?
We’re so used to quickly capturing a moment in time, publishing it and moving on.
Take just six seconds today to stop, and share a moment in real time .. 6 seconds that will bring you closer with someone you’re with .. if you’re alone right now, use that 6 seconds to bring someone to mind you care about, and notice how that changes how you feel in your body.
Keeping a healthy sense of perspective is really important in maintaining our wellbeing.
Today, how about thinking how you can widen your focus and do something to give back to this beautiful world we live in .. pick up litter that you spot in the street, pop some money in a charity collecting tin or bag up some unwanted possessions in good condition for your local charity shop, save energy by having a short shower (after that yummy long bath you had yesterday), turn the lights off and have an early night ..
Words mean a lot to some people and less to others.
If words are important to someone you know why not write them a note to let them know how you feel .. or if you have writer’s block pop into a card shop and find the perfect message.
I’ve decided to take a little more time over my Xmas cards this year, to make my words a bit more personal and to the extra time to think about and appreciate how my relationships have sustained me over the past year.
It’s good to be shifted out of our routines .. once our relationships develop it’s easy to do the same things day to day. But doing new things together stimulates us to feel affection and encourages us to communicate more.
One of the things I’ve noticed about this year’s pandemic is that it’s jolted me out of my habits and forced me to find new ways of doing things. Friendships have deepened and I’ve got to know people in different ways .. who knew one of my colleagues has a chainsaw certificate!!
I invite you to reflect back on what and how you’ve done things differently this year, how that’s affected your relationships with others, and stay open to making this one thing you commit to continuing once all this is past.
The number one thing that shifts things for people I work with is when they start communicating differently with those around them. Sometimes that’s finding ways to say something difficult in a sightly different way, and often it’s about recognising and taking ownership of our part in an interaction.
Research shows that 5 positive interactions to every 1 more difficult interaction serve to strengthen relationships and make disagreements easier to manage.
So get into good habits .. Tell those around you what they did to make you happy today, whether that’s a ‘good work today’ to staff or a ‘thanks for that yummy meal’ to a family member or waiter.
Touch is so important in feeling connected, holding hands, being close, a hug .. this year has been so hard as we haven’t been able to show our affection through hugging and being around each other.
Many people also don’t have the opportunity to touch, people who live alone, maybe working from home at the moment. Studies show that when residents of care homes have affectionate consensual physical contact they report greater wellbeing.
So today how about showing someone you love them by sending a virtual hug, something to snuggle or if you can by using touch to show you care. You can even do this for yourself by wrapping yourself up in a lovely warm blanket and giving yourself a hug.