The ‘emotional’ vaccine we all need.

We’ve been doing our best to stay safe. We’ve been keeping our distance and we’ve been sanitizing our hands like it’s going out of fashion.

The news IS still bleak, but at least the vaccine has arrived. Hallelujah!

But. I reckon we need more than the Covid jab.

We also need an Emotional vaccine.

We need a potion that will free us of self – doubt, banish the bad habits that have crept into our daily routine, and sanitize our minds of worry or negative thinking. We need help over and above the medical kind.

Slowly but surely, many of us have stopped making the effort when we get dressed each day, because why do we have to? No one sees below our waist on a Zoom call.

The trend for wearing ‘leisure wear’ (Aka PJ’s and scruffs) will continue for some time to come.

And yes we know we should exercise.

The fresh air and other benefits to our well-being were made clear to us last year – but it’s not so easy to keep up especially when it’s cold and dark outside and when you’ve had enough of lockdown.

Our big dream and plans for 2020 disappeared before our eyes and with the pressure of work (or no work) it’s now more common than ever to find ourselves mentally slipping down that negative spiral. If you find yourself thinking ‘What’s the point?’; ‘I can’t be bothered’ or ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get through this’ you’re not alone.    

We’ve seen a host of celebrities speaking openly this year about their struggles with anxiety or depression (Prince Harry and Meghan,  Chrissy Teigan, Jesy Nelson and even Joe Wicks, to name a few) – it can happen to any one of us. And it is. Far more of the coaching I’m doing is less about work performance – it’s now about coping mechanisms and holding up.

Your Covid Comeback starts now

So as we launch into 2021, we need a personal roadmap out of Covid life. If there is (as Boris says) ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ we’re in need of something that will provide a bridge to help us regain our life.

It’s time to take off the metaphorical mask and start moving mentally and emotionally forward. That means gearing ourselves up to come out of our Covid comfort zone.

The government’s advice of Hands/Face/Space will be valid for many weeks; but we can’t let this virus put a halt to our life any more than it has.

Covid’s ‘success’ is in its ability to go viral. But the only way we can bounce back is to make something positive about ourselves go viral, such as:

Our attitude, our optimism, our connection to others, our willingness to help, and our absolute belief that we can come out of this stronger and more determined than ever before.

So perhaps it’s time to think about your Covid Comeback for 2021?

Here are 5 tips to help boost your mental and emotional immunity ready for the year ahead:

1. Reflect: What has 2020 taught you about you?

It’s only when we look back that we can see how far we’ve come. Make a note of anything you did that helped you get through the year:

What did you learn? How did you adapt? What did you discover about yourself? What kept you going on your toughest days?  Did you surprise yourself (in any way)?

Reflecting will build confidence, greater self awareness, a sense of achievement and knowledge that your resilience got you through.

One thing you can say for sure is that you are not the same person that you were in January 2020 – none of us are.

Use what you’ve learned to make 2021 a year in which you have greater inner strength and self-belief.

Personal progress – of any kind – means your chances of future success or happiness is greater. And you’ve earned it.

2. Readjust: How has this year made you think differently?

If we have to manage without things that we normally take for granted, we will. And that often results in us reassessing what we actually need. What are those things for you?

Consider how working from home has altered your spending habits, can you save more or reduce your personal debt?

What about the people who are in your life, are your friendships as solid as you thought they were? A crisis can build – or break – any relationship.

Readjusting helps us to clear our head and start focusing on what or who is really important.

Be prepared to ‘clear out’ anyone or anything that brings unhappiness into your life. It’s your life, you’re in control.

3. Rebound: Know what you want for the year ahead

Covid and the restrictions may be around for some time yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan or take steps towards what we want to achieve this year.

Think about what you can do rather than what you can’t.   

What do you enjoy doing now that you didn’t get the chance to do before? If you are currently in a job, are you making the most of it or do you want out of it? What about your work/life balance?

If you’re job hunting, check that your CV reflects the person you are now and the range of skills that you can offer.

This is an opportunity to start as you mean to go on.

4. Reset: Get the help that you need

2020 has seen a huge rise in mental health issues from people of all ages, races, background and gender. This can range from bouts of feeling down to severe depression and varying forms of anxiety.

Be honest with yourself. If you need help, ask – we know that life is too precious to hold back or struggle.

In my experience as a coach I talk about how we can help ourselves by being aware of our thoughts and managing that pesky inner critic that causes us to doubt our every move. If we don’t believe in ourselves we are facing a challenge before we’ve even started. Rather than accept the negative thoughts that swirl around your head, challenge them – and get good at turning them around.

Stop talking yourself down, start removing your own blocks and use your strengths. You know how much you have to offer, now give yourself the chance to shine

5. Ready: Now is the time to take action

2021 has started with physical limits and boundaries imposed on us but we can still connect and reconnect to anyone, anywhere.

The best start you can give yourself is to take action so dare yourself out of your mental comfort zone – small steps are better than no steps.

You have more life experience now and perhaps new skills in your kitbag, but the spark that will fire you up will come from your ’emotional vaccine’.

That potion is made up of your ability to reflect, adapt and drive yourself forward and the way in which you manage whatever is going on in your head. It’s the injection you need to succeed. The challenges and hurdles you face don’t hold you back when you have inner strength and ‘bounce back- ability’.

In fact, these 5 tips will fill up your emotional vaccine and could make you contagious for all the right reasons.

Now, we all need a boost of that, don’t we?

Spotlight Coach: straightforward, straight talking

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