Guest Post: How to make a fresh start as the country opens up By Sid Madge, Meee
Are you ready to get back to your ‘normal’ life? As more covid restriction go away it is time to adjust. Let’s make some changes so that the rest of the year can be so much better than what we’ve been going through.
I’m a great believer in ‘micro-moments’, the ability to change our life in any moment and how to use these tiny manageable interventions to gain positive momentum – even when things are challenging. I’ve written three Meee in a Minute books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
To help you make a fresh start here are 5 micro-moment ideas (using the word C-O-V-I-D to help you keep them in mind):
C for create/ Create a better situation for yourself and others
The pandemic itself has been a nightmare. But it has brought some stillness and reflection into many of our lives. Forced, at least temporarily to exit the hamster wheel of our busy lives we have been given a unique opportunity to stop, breathe and ponder our lives. And that stillness seems to have created a real desire for change. According to a YouGov poll only 8% of Britons want to go back to life as it was before the pandemic.
What’s shifted is that many of us have come to appreciate, perhaps for the first time in many years what’s really important. And it’s not been what we thought it was. Primarily that reconnection to what’s important has come from extended periods at home with family but it is also encouraging us to consider what life is going to be like after. C is an invitation to create something new or better. Something that works for all the parts of your life. Take a minute to consider your current situation. Imagine the pandemic is a distant memory – what is your ideal life like now? Forget about bold dreams and grand gestures, focus on the little things, the insights you’ve learned in this stillness about what makes you happy – go after more of that.
O for optimism/ Optimism is opportunity
Are you a glass half-empty or glass-half full person? Most of us believe we are one or the other. However, science has proven that we operate across a range that is impacted a little by genetics but mainly environment and mindset. Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology, suggests that pessimism is largely learned. Which means it can be unlearned. The key is our ‘explanatory style’, the way we draw meaning from events and situations we face. The uber-pessimists tend to see things as personal, pervasive and permanent i.e., when things go wrong it’s their fault and will ‘infect’ all areas of their life.
If things are challenging in one part of your life, don’t allow that upset to seep into other areas. Instead, be grateful for all the things that are still going well. By nudging our way to the optimistic end of our range, we’ll see more opportunity and feel better.
V for values/ Values will keep you focused on what’s important Our actions and behaviour are usually a living expression of our values. Do you know what your values are?
When I worked in the world of branding, we used to help organisations get clear on what their values were so they could understand the impact they were having on the business, behaviour, recruitment and culture.
When I started the Meee Programme I created something similar – a set of 56 values cards. We ask participants to pick five values that resonate with them or that they want to demonstrate in their life.
Take a minute to visit the Meee website (www.meee.global) and take part in the values exercise. This will help to identify what your values are. What’s most important to you? Money? Family? Honesty? What are your ethics or code of conduct? Can you see evidence of these values in your life? For example, if you believe you value honesty, when did you last demonstrate honesty? Use your values to keep you focused on what’s really important.
I for involve/ Involve those that need your help, love, support and leadership
Humans are social creatures. This is a huge part of why Covid has been such a nightmare for so many. The threat of the illness itself is almost secondary to the loss of contact with those we love. No hugs, no meeting for a coffee or a couple of beers. But we can still get involved and stay connected.
Maybe slip a note through a neighbour’s door to make sure they are OK. Can you do some shopping for someone who needs a little extra help? Pick up the phone and actually make a call. Not a WhatsApp or Instagram comment. Just call them. Have a chat. The Samaritans have been promoting a brilliant idea – Brew Monday. Instead of Blue Monday they suggest making a brew and calling someone for a natter. Set up a quiz and get all your friends on it by zoom. Now that we have a little more freedom, go for a walk, get out into nature. Whatever you do - reach out, get involved. We might not be able to do all the things we used to do quite yet but we can still talk and stay connected. Hugs should be coming soon. Can’t wait!
D for dial/ Dial down
I know this is easier said than done but invest in selfcare, offer kindness and hope to yourself and others. Be gentle with yourself. Make sure you eat properly and get out into nature if you can. Do some form of exercise or activity a few times a week – it will help to discharge any stress you feel. Take some time to wind down – give yoga or meditation a go. You’ll find free resources online.
Let go of stress and always remember the wise words ‘this too shall pass’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.