I am so lucky to work with some truly inspirational coaches and, given the fact that many people are slowly returning to the office, classroom or lecture hall right now, I thought it might be worth sharing their nuggets of wisdom for the benefit of readers.
Returning to our routine after being away for so long can feel daunting. Getting back into the swing of things, adapting to the ‘new normal’ and worrying about the continued threat of the Coronavirus all adds up. However, in addition to all these new anxieties, we also have our own underlying issues which could be anything relating to the day-to-day such as time management, focus, prioritising and that all too familiar problem of failing to prioritise self care.
So, I would say it’s well worth taking just five minutes of your time to soak up some of these brilliant tips.
Remember your worth at work
For many of us, taking time away from work can make returning feel a bit daunting. Ahead of your first day back, refresh your skills, strengths and successes by writing them out and take a moment to savour your list. Keep it handy for any time you need a boost!
Have a plan
As someone who has struggled with anxiety for years I realise planning can be a bit of a double edged sword. Personally, I’ve had to be strategic in the way I plan, to stop myself from running endless cycles of my plans in my head. To alleviate that I have embraced the use of technology. My plans now go on my online calendar (I use Google but any will do) and I colour code things so I can differentiate between client work, teaching, personal events and other work scheduled events.
The second thing I do is, at the start of the week I run through a visual of how my week will look. I picture where I will be, who I’ll be with and the journeys I may have between each calendar booking. This helps to consolidate my week in my mind so when I do think of what is coming up next I already have the feeling of being there, a bit like mental rehearsal before a stressful event.
Have a well-formed direction
One of my favourite parts of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is the idea of a well-formed outcome. This is a goal but with a difference. Rather than focusing on the specifics of a goal you focus on what the ideal outcome would be. This could mean that you are focusing on self-improvement, and as long as you notice positive change you are going in the right direction. Or perhaps you might be focused on learning and have a specific topic you want to learn more about. You’ll know you are going in the right direction when your knowledge is increasing and you have perhaps read some specific books or attended a course or webinar. My direction this September is to work on my online presence and to achieve good results in my ongoing studies. How I get there or what twists or turns I take along the way are unknown – but I’ll know I’m getting there when I can look back and see that I’m posting regularly, for example.
Ease yourself back in gently
My top coaching tip is to ensure that you only take on the essentials for the next few weeks so you can gently get back into the school / work routine. Focus on self care to help this transition including putting in place good sleep routines, lots of healthy eating, outdoor exercise, opportunities to connect with nature and planned downtime at the weekend. It’s going to take a while to get back up and running and we need to make that transition as smooth as possible.
Focus on the present
Stay present and in the moment and address/share observations based on what arises in those moments
Make an effort to listen to others instead of your own internal dialogue – which can at times be detrimental to our self esteem.
Increase your self-awareness
Take time to think about your triggers and what you project when you interact with others.
Being kind, compassionate, empathetic and gentle towards our own behaviour will help us demonstrate more empathy to those around us