What is the kindest thing you could do for yourself?
Could it be to take 5 outside?
Could it be to change the bed sheets?
Could it be do to make that Doctor's appointment?
Could it be to say no to something?
Could it be to have ten minutes playing the guitar?
What could it be for you?
Road trip time.
Car is packed and you are on your way, destination may be known, it may not be.
You've been driving for a bit, and there's a sign that says scenic lookout. Do you stop?
Bit further along there is a lovely looking cafe and you are feeling a bit peckish or maybe in need of coffee. Do you stop?
A while in to the journey you see a sign for some waterfalls that you've always wanted to visit, but alway driven past. Do you go and explore?
You see cars parked in the streets and there seems to be a market on. Do you stop?
I remember while road tripping about a year ago my heart and soul would be wanting to stop and explore/investigate, but my head would be determined to get to wherever we were going, even if we didn't know. That time my heart and soul won and I was so grateful, had a beautiful curious experience.
This can also be applied in life. When are you going to stop along the way, rather than constantly striving and driving to get somewhere. Where are the places, you can take in how far you have come, when can you recharge, or explore or have fun?
It's not about the destination, it is so about the journey...
Sometimes all the sleep in the world won't leave us feeling refreshed and energised, not if it is our soul that is tired.
We can be physically exhausted and mentally exhausted and sleep will help them, but if our soul is empty and we are not doing anything to fill our tanks up, have me-time, take time out, look after ourselves, things that bring us joy, then our soul is going to be what feels weary.
Could you start with writing yourself a list of all those things that bring you joy, those things where you get lost in them, maybe its a jigsaw,a book or a craft. I remember listening to a podcast once and it talked about two groups of people in this study, they both had the same amount of free time, one spent it on devices and social media, the other spent it on reading, taking classes, going out, getting creative, pottering in the kitchen. The second group reported that they felt they had more time, even though it was the same amount.
It tends to be those latter things that top us up, that recharge us, that get the blood pumping again and boost those energy levels.
So if sleep doesn't seem to be recharging you, is it time to try topping up the tanks? Something for your soul...
iFor some, Lockdown, Level 4 will seem a distant memory. Life has started happening again, and whether that means the old normal for you or a new normal, it certainly didn't take long for our roads to get busy and things to start moving again.
Whatever Lockdown held for you, this could be the time for rethinking the next chapter. These choices may have been out of your control through job loss, change in housing situation or plans in some way. Or maybe it has given you time to review where you are at, and how you want to make some changes in life.
We can so easily get caught in routine, and stick with what we have always known and done, but now could be a time for you to have a think as to what you want the next chapter to look like.
Did you enjoy more family time during Lockdown? How can that be brought in on a more regular basis? Did you get out and walk more, can that be part of a regular routine?
Or maybe Lockdown highlighted what you don't want more of. Maybe it highlighted the number of hours you have been working, or that actually life has been lived at a crazy speed up till now, and is there a way of slowing it down again.
Maybe it has shown you changes that you want to make in your life, or for the environment. Maybe it is now time for you to take a different route on your career path, to retrain and maybe fulfil some of those dreams.
Maybe it is time to be gentle on yourself, to give yourself a break, to just focus on the basics, and ensure they are covered.
Maybe it is time to reach out and ask for help.
We are always here.
Liz our Life Coach
On a coaching call last night, and I asked what does Level 2 mean for everyone. For some it does mean freedom and the chance to move forward with plans, for others it brings with it a huge amount of anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Whether people are immunocompromised and are fear of still getting COVID, or whether people have lost jobs in this time, or the future of their business is uncertain. Maybe relationships have changed over this time and now is the time where affairs need to be dealt with. Maybe as Te Raumahora. Our Whanau Leader, mentioned online recently people have been supported with housing or other living arrangements and now are facing struggles as those options come to an end.
For others it may be that for a while we were all in the same storm, but as we head towards a new normal, some may feel like they are being left behind again.
For some it may be that actually what they are going through has nothing to do with COVID, and it is ongoing battles they are fighting and that actually it makes no difference what Level it is.
If this is you. We hear you. We hear your pain and your struggles and we want to reassure you that you are not on your own on this journey. We may not have all the answers, but we are here in your waka to weather the storm with you.
I have been having many discussions with clients and in different groups that I run, around feeling safe during this time and really any time that causes us anxiety. Here are some of the ideas people find have worked for them.
Support and connection with others. Having a support network, this comes up so often, but in this case it really is those people, or even one person that can help reassure you, that gets it, that understands. It may not be a friend or family member, it may be a therapist, a member of the Retreat team or someone from another organisation that you have that relationship with.
Support and connection with ourselves. When we don’t have this self-connection going on things can feel very rocky, or we may feel that all the ‘good stuff’ is going to disappear. Tuning in to our own needs and responding to them, being kind, being gentle are all things that will help us feel calmer, feel safer, more grounded.
Looking after ourselves. This is probably talked about in every wellbeing article ever, but a reminder is always good! It can be hard to feel safe when we are not sleeping well, eating well, getting enough water, moving our body in a way that works for us. There are basics for survival (check out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and it can be very hard to plan/move forward/create/resolve/action when we don’t have some of those basics going on. So what could be something in this area that you could do to look after you today?
Having a purpose. Some felt that having a sense of purpose helps bring meaning in to their life giving them another focus as well as the warm fuzzies when we do make a difference in someone else’s life. Sometimes when we are struggling that’s all we can see, it’s all that goes round in our head, a focus like this can help us give our mind a break from that for a while.
Imagine that safety. Thinking back to a time or place, whether just quietly or through journaling, that gave you that sense of safety, where were you, who were you with, what were you doing, sit in that space for a while and really wrap yourself up in those feelings again.
Identify your reliables. Whether that’s a playlist of favourite songs, a cuddle with the cat or a walk with the dog, a favourite spot around the house, in the garden or locally that just helps you feel the love or through four-legged ways, gives you that unconditional love that is so magical at these times.
So whether you have read this article for yourself or maybe there’s someone you can pass it on to, we hope it’s given you some thoughts to ponder on, and maybe spend some time with these points and seeing what may help you feel reassured, safe, secure, and grounded, because you so deserve to feel that way. And if you are feeling strong, confident and okay on all of this, maybe keep eyes and ears open for those that may not be. It may not be who you think, and they may be finding it hard to put their hand up or reach out.
You are loved.
You are supported.
We are here.
Liz the Life Coach
You may have heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs being mentioned on social media over the last few weeks. It explains what we need in order to survive, and how over these times, actually sometimes we just need to focus on the basics.
Feeling safe is one of these basics. It can be very hard to think about a new career path, finding a new job, or even rewriting our CV, when our foundations are feeling very unstable and there are so many unknowns out there.
Talking on a group call recently, and we were discussing how we feel safe. One of the ways just before lockdown for me was to fill my car up with petrol. Ironic as we weren't allowed to go anywhere, but that felt right for me. There would have been many reasons why people panic-shopped, but I can imagine for a large proportion it was around feeling safe, whether it was a conscious thing or not.
What can feeling safe look like for you? On the call I mentioned, there was a real feel of needing to have a purpose helped people to feel safe. I have one friend who has posted amusing things on his Facebook feed, and when I talked to him about it, he said it was to break up the tirade of fear and conspiracy etc that can sometimes collect there. For others it has been connecting with friends, supporting neighbours or the elderly, for others, fundraising, whatever that purpose is, it has helped people feel grounded and safe.
Something else that came up on the call, was support, and being really specific with this. Identifying those friends that we can call upon, others that maybe we can be distracted by and just have a giggle. We may not ever need to call on them, but just identifying who they are, can be really helpful.
For me, its also around having a physical space. A spot that I can go to and hunker down for a bit. Do you have a spot at home, in the garden or local to you, maybe by the river or down at the beach, that help you feel connected to Papatuanuku and safe?
Maybe it is through meditation, yoga, other practices, that help you get out of the overwhelm of fear in your head, connect in with your body and soul, and feel grounded once more.
How about spending some time thinking about what it is for you, so not only can it become part of a regular routine, you also have it up your sleeve for those times that those foundations are feeling a bit unstable.
And one last thing, don't forget to put the team at the Taranaki Retreat down in your support crew. Always here.
Liz the Life Coach, who hangs out over here
You may have heard quite a bit recently, about how things will look different moving forward. Restaurants and cafes working out new seating arrangements, schools coming up with new ways of running, workplaces entertaining the idea of teams working a lot more from home.
Sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming, but then there are also the thoughts out there of what have we learnt during this time, about ourselves, our habits, the wider community and beyond. We have heard stories of Papatuanuku having a chance to breathe once more and to heal. We have seen how communities have got together and connected while still abiding by physical distancing rules. We have seen how there have been some amazing fundraising efforts still going on. We have seen how people have reconnected, and even been trying new activities.
I feel there needs to be a balance between the two, to comprehend the seriousness of what the situation could have been, but also to really acknowledge some of the things that have come out of this time too. At a team hui last week, the word rhythm came up three times. After it had come up twice, I thought to myself if it comes up once more I will write about it. Sure enough...
Whether it is the rhythm of the moon and the tides, the seasons changing, the beginning and ending of old relationships and the beginning of ones, whether it is doors closing while others open, whether it is the rhythm of the sun rising, only to set again in the evening. All rhythms constantly happening in our world, consciously or not.
While I was writing I went to substitute the word routine, but it didn't feel right. Maybe routine was common in our world before COVID, but maybe finding our rhythm is key now. We have experienced what a slower world feels like, we have made do without access to a lot of shops for a fair few weeks now, we have been without the pressures of go, go, go, where busyness seems to be a status of success or something to compete with.
How could the rhythm of your life change in a positive way moving forward? What are some things that you may have done differently recently that could be sustainable?
Henry David Thoreau said "if a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Liz the Life Coach to be found at www.liz-fry.com