I’m going to learn to play the mandolin, read Dostoyevsky, and Marie Kondo everything…
This is the biggest change any of us have ever encountered.
And I’ve noticed quite a few folk feeling distressed that they’re not “making the most” of the opportunities presented by the change.
So it seems important to remind ourselves that this is only week two in the lockdown house.
I’m recommending to all my clients that they not force anything on themselves right now.
If people around you are talking about daily yoga practice, going to Zoom parties, redecorating, reading Dostoyevsky or writing symphonies, don’t think you’re the odd one out if you don’t want to, can’t, or else you start and then don’t keep it up.
Why do we think that just when we’re undergoing the biggest change of our lives, we’re “finally going to get around to…” being the best version of ourselves ever? I get that some of us have more time, space and flexibility now, but we’re still reeling, consciously or unconsciously.
Let’s pace ourselves, be gentle, and consider the possibility that introducing one new behaviour at a time will be more sustainable than an overnight life overhaul.
Try being “structurible”…
When you do start to feel some sense that you have settled down a bit and are starting to adjust, maybe consider being “structurible” – structured but flexible. Think of it less like a time-table and more like a slider-puzzle, less like a ladder and more like a climbing frame…
Ask yourself what “chunks” you’d like to have in your day to day life right now to be healthy and content. And each day, shuffle the chunks around inside the time available.
It doesn’t need to be the same combination of chunks in the same order each day unless that helps you feel grounded. Yes, it can be great to exercise and meditate first thing, but maybe you’re not up to that right now (and maybe you never have been and this is your opportunity to drop that expectation of yourself).
But until you feel like getting ‘structurible’ then simply keep one eye on Five a Day… The basics of sleep, food, exercise, work (if you must or want to), and play. These are a good start to getting some ground under your feet. If these five things appear somewhere in your day in some (even small) form, most days, consider yourself to be doing just fine.
Maybe world domination can go in the diary for next week…