It doesn’t feel like we’re getting that much hoped for victory day.
The past few weeks I’ve struggled with feeling emotionally flat. It’s tiring to go on without any clarity about when life will return to normal (whatever that means now). Fall is also here. That usually means a fresh start but after 18 months of the pandemic—I’m not feeling it.
Right now, from a mindset perspective it’s all about how to get back into the growth game. If you’ve been feeling depleted and emotionally disconnected, here’s how I’m managing my mindset to make the most of the 2021 home stretch.
1. Understand pandemic flux syndrome.
Read the excellent article by Amy Cuddy and Jill Ellyn Riley in the Washington Post called “Why this stage of the pandemic makes us so anxious.” The authors capture this prolonged state we’re in and the mental health toll as “pandemic flux syndrome.” The idea of surge capacity particularly resonates. Cuddy and Riley describe how we all have mental and physical adaptive systems that we draw on for short term survival in stressful situations. That response can go for only so long until we deplete our capacity and need to recharge. It felt like we were about to get that break. It didn’t arrive. My takeaway from a lifestyle perspective: it’s not the time to push through intensive physical exercise. I’m allowing my system to recalibrate with movement practices that are low impact, restorative and energizing such as yoga, Pilates and outdoor walking/running.
2. Take refuge.
It feels right from a mindset perspective to take inspiration from Sharon Salzberg, a renowned meditation teacher who teaches what it means to take refuge. One of the contemporary meanings of seeking refuge is that however broken, vulnerable or flawed you might feel, there is an expansiveness that comes from knowing that you are not alone. I’m doubling down right now on appreciation for the power of coming together with people who give me a sense of support and reliance.
3. Build momentum.
If your motivation feels blunted like it has for me lately, focus on figuring out step 1, 2 and 3. If we focus on just the first few steps that’s enough to build momentum. Momentum then feeds into motivation because it reignites belief in our capacity. We feel better about ourselves and that leads to further action.
– Coach Liane