What has it been like for you these last two weeks? Are you sitting with mixed emotions? In the whole scheme of things, many of us have never lived through a pandemic before- we have to adjust and stretch in ways we never thought.
So how do we reset and recalibrate? We have to be self-compassionate- spend time with ourselves and understand what’s happening within.
For many of us, meditation is tough and we need something more structured, so this exercise provides a foundation to go within, understand what is happening, and to give some self-compassion and clarity as to what we need to do next.
Here are the six steps to reset and recalibrate:
Step 1: Put your thoughts and judgments on paper.
Some therapists call this a brain dump, but it’s the idea that you put everything that is in your mind on paper. Give yourself two minutes and clear your mind and vent.
Step 2: Observe what is happening from a birds-eye view.
Once you’ve put our judgments on paper, it’s helpful to write down the facts. It helps remove the emotion from what you’re experiencing and to see your situation from a birds-eye view.
Step 3: Fully sense your feelings.
Your feelings are a doorway to allow you to feel what is alive in you and what’s important to you. There is no such thing as a good or bad feeling- they are just comfortable or uncomfortable.
In the practice of self-empathy, you permit yourself to feel your feelings and emotions fully. Take a look at this worksheet here and ask yourself which ones are you experiencing at this moment.
Allow yourself to recognize where your feelings sit in your body and describe them.
Permit yourself to normalize your feelings because EVERYONE HAS THEM!
Your feelings will be the doorway to your needs and what might be missing in your life.
Step 4: Fully sense your needs.
We are a society that ignores needs. Our needs are qualities that we all share in common such as connection, physical well-being, honesty, peace, safety, security, play, peace, autonomy, and meaning. These are the qualities that allow us to feel alive, important, and meaningful to us.
During this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, your needs may have shifted. Take a look at this worksheet here, what are your met and unmet needs at this moment?
A big part of self-empathy is to recognize and honor your needs because you realize what is important to you and where you might need to make some shifts or changes.
Step 5: Giving yourself positive affirmations.
A big part of self-empathy is giving yourself the messages you need to hear that are supportive and loving. These messages are free of judgments, “shoulds”, and demands.
They might sound like, “You’ve got this.”, “I trust myself.”, “I’m on my journey.”
Just try saying a few to yourself and notice what happens.
We can only make changes and shifts when we have supportive and loving messages are behind it.
Step 6. Come up with a strategy.
And now that you’ve down the work to reset and recalibrate, you are ready to come up with a strategy.
The strategy will come quickly at this point because you are in touch with your needs at the deepest level and given yourself the support to take action.
Whether your strategy is a request of yourself, someone else, or something you need to do, it’s going to come from a place of alignment because you’re in touch with yourself.
And if you would like to practice self-empathy with me, I’ll be hosting a free virtual workshop on Friday, April 3rd, from 6:00-7:15 AM MST, 8:00-9:15 EST. Please click here to access the Zoom link or call +16468769923,,4950069639#.
I’m hopeful despite these tough economic times.
I started my career in career services in 2009, during the financial crisis, and my business in 2013 during the start of the upturn.
With the volatility of the stock markets, the looming Coronavirus, and a subsequent economic downturn, these times can be scary.
I started my career in career services in 2009, during the financial crisis, and my business in 2013 during the start of the upturn.
With my history in career services, I am incredibly hopeful, and here is why.
1. We have an opportunity to reset the work-life balance equation-
During the 2008 financial crisis, companies had massive layoffs and expected more from the employees they retained.
The work-life balance became so off-balance because one employee would do the work of three employees. When the economy began to grow again, the expectations of our workforce remained similar to that of the financial crisis- long hours and high-performance expectations. Our workforce has become so overworked, and stress levels have become higher than ever.
I am hopeful that social distancing allows us to have more time with our families as we explore working from home. Our workforce has desperately needed to recalibrate our work-life balance, and now it is being forced upon us.
2. Creativity and ingenuity are going to be more critical now more than ever-
Many companies survived the last recession such as Groupon, Amazon, Netflix, and Citigroup. There were also new companies that blossomed such as Lyft, Zoom, WP Engine, and so many more. What was the commonality with all these companies- the creativity and ingenuity behind their products and services.
Companies who work quickly to shift their business models will survive this possible downturn such as the restaurants that changed into efficient and hygienically safe delivery services, the companies that figured out how to turn their conferences virtual, and the hotels that figured out how to get customers to pre-book vacations.
I am hopeful because we need your creativity and ingenuity during times like this to come up with ideas on how companies can survive and eventually thrive again.
3. Our workforce will adjust-
Yes, we are already witnessing specific industries taking a significant hit such as hospitality, travel/tourism, restaurants/service industry.
On the other hand, certain industries continue to hire, such as technology, e-learning, delivery services, and healthcare.
I am hopeful that in the next few weeks, many businesses will figure out how to remain afloat while employees work remotely, and hiring will restart with virtual interviews in the spring.
I am also hopeful that industries such as hospitality, travel, tourism, and services will pick up again over the summer.
We need optimism, positively, logic, creativity, innovation, and love more than ever. What part do you want to play during this situation?
About the Author:
Danielle Menditch, LCSW, GCDFI, CCSP, has more than eight years of experience in career development. As Founder of Inner Compass Coach, she uses a unique blend of career development and psychology to help her clients get unstuck and guide them towards a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.
Danielle has presented her one-of-a-kind approach to career transition in articles in National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Career Convergence Magazine, SkillScan, SharpHeels, the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle, and The Coloradoan.
Danielle earned a Master of Social Work at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. She is the prior Events and Outreach Chair for the Colorado Career Development Association. Additionally, Danielle is a Global Career Development Facilitator Instructor.
To schedule your 20-minute complimentary consultation with Danielle, please go to https://innercompasscoach.com/contact/
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I updated my iPhone several weeks ago and received an alert. Without much thought I clicked on the link and received a shocking dose of reality: I had used four glorious, precious hours of my life on my cell phone alone last week. What?! Four hours?! I couldn’t believe it. Four hours is half a work day. It’s an 8-mile hike. It’s the four hours I’ve been needing to finish one of my work projects.
This reality brought a hefty-dose of awareness to how often I was using my phone and the purpose I was using it.
Cellphones control our priorities.
There was the time I was sitting on Metro on my way to meet some friends. I checked my cell and noticed several work emails. “Better respond quickly,” I thought. So instead of using the ride to decompress, I elected to respond to emails.
Instead of meeting my friends excited and ready to engage, I was completely preoccupied with logistics and work. By choosing to be on the phone, I was unknowingly letting technology dictate my priorities (work over relaxation) and ultimately put myself in a stressful mindset.
The habit of checking cellphones creates more work.
I’m so thankful to my wonderful clients who respect my time and have reasonable expectations. However, I recognize that not everyone is so fortunate. I’ve seen too many people who feel pressured to respond immediately to a work email, ultimately sending the message that they are now available 24/7. An email leads to a phone call, which spirals into a sleepless night attempting to resolve a work issue. The reality is that oftentimes putting up boundaries and deciding not to respond in the first place might have led to resolving the issue the following day.
The constant connection reinforces limiting beliefs.
We all have some type of limiting belief about ourselves. “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t have enough,” “Others are better than me,” etc. etc. Our constant connection to our emails and social media reinforces these limiting beliefs.
How many times have you felt frustrated after checking your email after you’ve left work for the day? Perhaps it reinforced that the feeling you don’t work hard enough or that you did something wrong. Think about all the times you’ve compared yourself to someone else on Instagram, reinforcing the feeling that you’re not happy as someone else or lacking what they have.
And what’s the fallout from telling yourself negative messages all day? Do you overeat that evening? Binge watch television to escape from reality? Get frustrated when someone is trying to talk to you? The domino effect is not worth it.
At the end of the day, we need a break from our overactive minds.
Constantly checking our cell phones is pushing our minds into overdrive. Between the brainpower needed to solve a problem, or the thoughts that come from the comparison and judgement over social media, we need to give our minds a break.
We must allow ourselves permission to spend time alone or with loved ones.
Imagine your partner, friends, and children associating memories of you spending time with them, not your cellphone.
Imagine enjoying a vacation- fully unplugging and engaging in each beautiful moment of the holiday you worked so hard for.
Imagine a life where you are okay with turning off, being unproductive, and choosing to be fully present.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
What you can do about it.
- Turn off Notifications- I turned off all notifications from my emails, text messages and apps. The exception is inbound calls and calendar alerts. I find when I choose to check my apps, it’s about making a conscious choice instead of feeling to the need to react.
- Setting Sacred Time- I no longer check my phone before meeting with loved ones and during my time with them. It allows me to stay present and not get distracted with work. It also allows for me to take a break and truly connect. I’ve also set sacred time during walks, meditation, and even movie watching.
- Permission to Take Vacations- During my last vacation, I disabled my work email and put limits on my phone use. Because I’m self-employed and rely on new clients, I gave myself permission to work for two hours in the morning. After those two hours, I gave myself permission to turn everything off.
- Finding Other Things to Fill the Time- Since I’ve put my cell phone down , I’ve been able to enjoy listening to music as I drive, breathing in air as I walk, and watching people as I ride the train. I’ve also been writing, drawing, and painting.
By no means have I mastered my compulsion to check my phone. That said, I can report a newfound sense of freedom. My mind feels less stressed and more open. I’m feeling more balanced than ever before.
I want you to write a love letter to yourself this Valentine’s Day. Why? Because you deserve it.
How often do you acknowledge yourself and how wonderful you are? How often do you demonstrate self-love?
If you’re anything like me, I’m sure it’s easy to forget.
This morning, I sat down and wrote myself a love letter. I was surprised because it was partially a list of character traits I was grateful for and a list of changes I want for myself- to be more present, to be less future focused, to enjoy the moment. I was surprised how much I appreciate myself for my wisdom, intuition, and big heart. As I wrote all of these things down, I felt my heart grow bigger and felt a lot of self-compassion.
If you can give any gift to yourself this Valentine’s Day, write yourself a love letter. Sit down, and put your heart, your mind, and your soul into it and see what comes up.
And if it’s hard to write yourself a love letter, do it for someone else. It’s easy to buy chocolates or flowers on this holiday, but it’s much harder to open up and be vulnerable.
So give this a try. Let me know how it goes.
Happy Valentines Day!
Love (because I have a ton of it to give),