Enjoy Fall…And Don’t Feed The Monsters!

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. Halloween is a part of it, although we aren’t quite sure yet how that will look in 2020!

Halloween is also all about ghosts, goblins, and monsters. They are generally pretty fun, on and around October 31.

Monsters, however,  are not fun when they take the form of distressing thoughts in your mind. And when you feed them by focusing on them too much, or suppressing them too quickly, they get stronger and stay longer.

One area of distressing thoughts occurs when you compare yourself to others. ‘How come he is doing so much better than me in business?’; ‘Why can’t I find cool clothes like she does?’; ‘Why am I envious of that person; what is wrong with me?’

First, remind yourself that distressing thoughts are normal. We all have them from time to time. Next, practice a strategy to manage those distressing thoughts without ‘feeding’ (magnifying) them.

Tara Brach teaches a method known as RAIN:

Recognize what is happening:

The first step is simply to recognize that the thought, emotion and behavior is occuring. Just notice.

Allow the experience to be there, just as it is

Allowing means simply that. Allow the distressing thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations to be there, without trying to fix or avoid them. You can even say something to yourself like ‘It’s ok.’ Allowing creates space to pause and go deeper.

Investigate with interest and care

Be curious. Direct focused attention on your present experience. Ask yourself questions such as: What most wants attention? How am I experiencing this in my body? What am I believing? What does this vulnerable place want from me? What does it most need? This will be most useful when you bring your primary attention to the felt sense in your body. Then simply say say, ‘Hello, I know you are there.’

Nurture with self-compassion

Be kind to yourself, and that part of yourself that is hurting. Try to sense what the wounded, hurting part of yourself needs, and then offer a gesture of active care. Does it need a message of reassurance? forgiveness? companionship?love? Experiement with what gesture might soften and open your heart. You might mentally whisper,  “It’s going to be okay. You are okay. This is a challenging time right now. I love you, and I’m listening. Trust in your goodness.” Practice with a hand over your heart, and envision being bathed in warmth and light.

Check out Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation here:

 

May is Mental Health Month: Talk It Out!

Eric Ibey is a most interesting speaker and podcaster, who I met at a conference in December and with whom I had a strong connection. Eric and I both speak on the topic of resilience, and we are both interested in sharing others’ stories.

Some of his accomplishments include:

  • Creating a blog called the Year of Fear and facing personal fears every month for one year, including stand-up comedy, hitchhiking, and visiting a nudist beach.
  • Designing, building, and marketing an online course called the Breakup Challenge that has helped over 500 people trying to heal and move on after a difficult breakup or divorce.
  • Launching The Eric Ibey Podcast, a conversation with ordinary people who have extraordinary stories to share.
  • Oh…and he also has an Engineering Degree and whole bunch of experience doing that!

I was honoured to be on his podcast, which you can check out here!

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!

Strategies for Successfully Working Remotely

What follows are a few strategies to enhance your experience, productivity, and well-being while working from home:

  • Set up a work station in your home that is for work only, if possible. Keep all of your work-related items (laptop, files, pens, etc.) in your ‘home office’.
  • Manage your time as you would if you were in the office (as much as possible). Optimal performance is achieved when you work in 90 minute segments, then take a break.
  • Move away from your work area – to another location – during break time. Maintain comforting rituals that help you relax and refresh, before returning for your next 90 minute segment.
  • Continue with regular Check-Ins using the your organization’s performance mangement/team development process, to ensure that you continue to:

               Create Clarity.

                                Generate Energy.

                                                 Deliver Success.

  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Engage regularly with your manager and with your team. If your situation is such that you cannot maintain regular working hours, or if you expect to be distracted by family or other obligations during certain times of the day, let your manager know. If your situation is untenable, consider taking vacation days so you can focus your attention where it needs to be.
  • Use video platforms whenever you can. For your regular Check-ins using the TDP, for conversations throughout the day, and for team meetings. Use good meeting protocol for video exchanges: have an agenda, come prepared, make commitments, agree on actions to move forward, and take minutes.
  • Schedule times for fun, non-work related conversations – just as you would ‘around the water cooler’ or in the lunch room back at the office.
  • Share tips and strategies on working remotely. If you have discovered something that really works for you, share it with the team. If you are struggling with something, reach out and ask for strategies from others.
  • Keep your wellness regime in place. Eat well, exercise, think positive thoughts, learn, get outside, connect, meditate, sleep….do all those things that you have always done that help you to feel well (while keeping a healthy social distance).
  • Remember, successful performance systems are built on a foundation of appreciation. Be sure to let your department team, your manager, or any member of the organization (or it’s stakeholders), know what you appreciate. And, appreciate yourself for each new strategy you learn and use during this temporary challenging time in our world.

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!