We recently had a chat with Tania Crivellenti, Facilities & Community Manager at Mirus Australia, on how to mentally prepare yourself for 2021…
I started my working year feeling guilty because I just had two (2) full weeks of leave and unfortunately still felt deflated, de-energised, not my usual self at all.
I was surprised that during the first month of work, almost everyone I spoke to was feeling the same. People who are usually highly motivated and energetic and love their job were struggling to start the year. They include not only colleagues at Mirus Australia but all my friends and family around the world.
If you are feeling like this, you are not alone.
(1) How you SHOULD be feeling is irrelevant
The way you feel is the way you feel, there is no need to justify it.
It is helpful to make a quick mental list giving permission to feel what you feel and then balance it with the positive aspects, to alleviate the effects of facing the negatives.
I have personally coined the phrase “riding the lows gracefully”. It means accepting the bad, sad, or boring moments for what they are, and riding them through to the other side, without resistance and drama which could compound whatever the original problem is.
Even if you are employed, your immediate family and friends and safe and well, and feel you have no reason to feel abashed, the big picture is daunting, and we are constantly managing change and demonstrating empathy for what is happening around us.
The solution is to be patient and kind to oneself, and give permission for whatever feeling to manifest itself and leave.
(2) Balance with gratefulness wherever possible
Thinking about every single thing you can be grateful for, is always a good way to soothe the soul. Keep in mind that these thoughts are not a reason not to punish you because you are not feeling that well, they are just thoughts to calm and work like a balm over the other stuff. Apply gently and all the time, they are not to be swallowed, but to work slowly, seeping into your core.
With persistence the gratefulness enters your subconsciousness, you will start feeling better.
(3) Use your leave if necessary
Many are tempted to hold on to leave accruals, saving them for when we can travel and visit family. Consider what your body and soul need now and take more time off if necessary and possible – don’t try to save it for later if you are not functioning at a reasonable speed. You must not only survive, but live until the new normal sets in, and being well now, thriving to whatever degree is possible is more important than saving leave for later.
(4) Deal with reality not fantasy
To nature, months or years mean nothing, the pandemic does not care if it is a new year. Unfortunately, it appears that it will continue to be a bumpy ride for an indeterminable amount of time yet.
Do not expect a smooth 2021 or a solution to all the world’s problems, just because it is a new year. Most countries are deploying vaccines to Covid-19, but when and how effective it will be is undetermined. Reality will include ups and downs, we must continue to take each day as it is.
Seeing reality is not to be overly optimistic, or pessimistic. Fantasies get crushed and pessimism can stop people from living. Staying in the present, managing what is real day by day is the way to go.
(5) Manage your energy, not your tasks.
Do what you can. Listen to yourself and what you need.
When your energy is low, focus on the tasks you like the most.
Remember that learning and training is a great option for when you cannot find the energy for your next task. At Mirus, we have LinkedIn Learning licenses for the team and I use this platform when I’m not feeling productive. Sometimes half an hour learning re-energises me.
As you start doing small things and ticking tasks done, you will feel more motivated.
(6) Move and connect, endorphins are the best
Physical movement saves lives. Anyone who has faced any type of depression will tell you that the first thing all health professionals will say is that exercises and endorphins change the outcome.
Getting back to a routine of whatever is your favourite movement will help to fill the well of motivation.
At Mirus Australia, our lifestyle program for the team includes Personal Training, Yoga, Mediation and Dance and all are available online and remotely. There is a lot available these days, online and often free to help people keeping their sanity and health.
(7) Connect meaningfully
Sometimes I wonder if the world is real? For people working at home, it sometimes can feel that everything comes out of a screen.
But even people working at aged care facilities or offices may feel disconnected because of the limitations of meeting and seeing people that matter to them.
We are all facing so many restrictions to meeting people, we must teach our brains that because we are just hearing their voices, or seeing them on screen, doesn’t mean the connection is less than it was.
The antidote is strengthening intimacy, connect more profoundly, finding conversations that are more meaningful around us and whenever possible.
In conclusion, do what you can, being kind and patient with yourself, and slowly and gently, you will find that 2021 has started and you are getting things done and your motivation is rising with each step.
If you are struggling with your mental health, please find the following Australian organisations:
Lifeline | 13 11 14
Beyondblue | 1300 22 4636