As we begin 2021 I felt moved to pen some thoughts on something that has been on my mind over the last few weeks. Let’s call it, ‘The Power Of Flexibility’.
When I was younger, and I made plans, my dad would always say, ‘all being well’, which would frustrate me immensely. I would mimic the phrase and laugh in his face. ‘Don’t be so doom and gloom’ I’d say. After 2020, I can confidently say, I now understand this phrase and can actually get on board with it! It has become something of a catchphrase in our house.
2020 taught me the absolute importance of rolling with the punches, pivoting quickly, and the unique power of flexibility. Building that resilience muscle has been a graft, throughout the seasons of this year for all of us.
So how then do we harness the power of flexibility as we enter a new year, with fresh hope, and looming uncertainty? Here are my top five tips for a more positive and flexible 2021.
Top 5 Tips for a Positive and Flexible 2021
Master Your Thought Life
According to studies, we have around 60,000 thoughts per day. Yes, you read that correctly! So it’s important that we master our thoughts, rather than letting them master us.
We can do this simply by taking some time each day for ‘Worry Time’, set a timer for twenty minutes and allow yourself time to worry about anything and everything. Write bullet points of your worries. Then, cross out the things that are completely outside of your control.
With the other worries, write as many solutions as you can think of to aid those worries. When you actually set the time aside to write them down, it takes the power out of them, and gives you a bird eye perspective. It also empowers you to take positive steps towards eliminating the worries.
Think Outside the Box
When all my school work dried up as schools closed their doors in March 2020, I was left with the dilemma of how to communicate to school children about the importance of looking after their mental health without being physically present. This sparked the idea of creating an online learning platform. Thinking creatively and problem solving can be fun when you take the pressure off.
Why not have a phone call with someone you trust who thinks differently to you and bounce off each other. This gets the creative juices flowing and allows you to see things from a different perspective.
Did you know that The Lily-Jo Project has an online learning platform that provides teachers with mental health curriculum on a weekly basis? Check it out here.
Hold Things Lightly
Once we accept the fact that plans and ideas can change in any given moment, we take back the control. Our anxious brain loves to remain in control, so accepting, that yes, I may need to self isolate for ten days at the drop of a hat, needs to be considered, and also accepted (gracefully). The sooner I began to hold these things lightly, and let go of the frustration the pandemic was, and still is bringing, the sooner I could relax.
Look Out for Golden Gratitude Moments
Or GGM’s! Each day try to notice those beautiful moments of gratitude. Whether it’s a cuddle with a pet, or taking comfort in a cup of coffee. These moments are precious and beautiful, so let’s not forget to recognise them as such. Really noticing these moments as they happen is powerful.
Staying present in the ‘here and now’ rather than wishing it away, allows us the opportunity to relinquish anxiety and allow peace of mind a chance. Don’t forget to speak kindly to yourself and be grateful for your own health and strength or any achievements that you have mastered. For example, ‘although I found it difficult to get out of bed today, I made it through with a smile on my face for most of it!’
To listen in on conversations with Lily-Jo and her friends, check out our podcast, Eavesdrop. Listen wherever you get your podcasts, or check it out on our website here.
Rejuvenate and Recharge Daily
In order to be flexible, pivot, and get back up we have to make sure that we are looking after ourselves in the best possible way. Self-care is key to all of the above. Once we’ve charged our batteries through prayer, meditation, a long soak in the bath, or a run in nature, we then have the mental agility to think clearer and make good decisions and choices.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for being on this journey with me, and wish you a very Happy (and flexible) New Year!
About the Author: Lily-Jo
Lily-Jo is a qualified counsellor and counselling supervisor. She is founder of mental health organisation, The Lily-Jo Project, which specialises in online digital wellbeing resources for children, teens and adults of all ages. Catch her podcast here. Book a one to one session here. Or, stay connected by following her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.