Loralyn Mears, PhD
Monday Motivation Asks: Are You Okay?
This article was originally published on April 13, 2020 at https://gritdaily.com/monday-motivation-self-awareness/
Monday motivation may be hard to find week after week of quarantine but, rest assured, we’re here for you! We see you, struggling to get your day started and in need of a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. If you’re a podcast person, listen to our Monday Matters content on our Spotify Grit Daily podcast channel. Or read on to get our Monday Motivation quick tips. If you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday Motivation! Are you self-aware? Today’s Monday motivation theme is all about self-awareness. Now, more than ever, as we enter week four, five, six or longer of self-isolation and quarantine in a COVID-19 era, we’ve had time to ourselves for the first time in a long time. For some of us, it may be the first time that we can recall where we have time to be alone with our thoughts and to reflect on life, love and work. For others, the insanity has been heightened with children and spouses home at the same time, all the time, and we find ourselves with little freedom to move or breathe. Monday motivation nudges us to pause, even for five minutes a day, to think about how we’re feeling. Maybe you can think about this during your shower – assuming you’re still showering daily and performing your “normal” grooming routine which has gone out-the-window en masse. Perhaps you can use the time that you would otherwise spend mindlessly as you brush your teeth and wind down before bed. Think about it how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Don’t be sheepish about it – ask – and ask for help if you need it!
Why self-awareness is more important than ever For the most part, the world is collectively holding its breath. When life returns “back to normal” and what the “new post-pandemic normal” looks like is anyone’s guess. We’re all woefully ill-prepared to manage a crisis of epic proportions because most of us have never experienced one before.
As part of our Monday motivation series, we’re urging readers to look at how they’re feeling, what they’re thinking and to probe why they’re thinking these thoughts or feeling the way that we are. Many of us may be unaware of how a mixed bag of feelings is completely normal at this time. We’re all experiencing grief and grieving the loss of loved ones, our freedom, our well-being and our mental peace. Stress levels are at an all-time high as financial pressures mix with stressful living environments that threaten our ability to cope with our new situations.
Are you okay? The Kübler Ross Curve highlights the roller coaster of emotions that are normal at a time like this. Most of us have probably already worked our way through the shock and denial phases but may have been ill-prepared for the ups and downs we’re experiencing now. Personally, I’ve been surprised at my own reaction. Writing this weekly Monday motivation column forces me to think critically about the topics that I select and to carefully research them so that this can be both and informative and inspirational read for you.
Just when I think I’m consistently at the “tail” of the curve which demarcates the final phase when I’ve integrated all the new changes so that I’m ready to move on, I slide down. There’s been a couple of times, recently, that I’ve found myself sliding back down to the depression and anxiety bottom of the curve yet I had convinced myself that I had sailed right through it the first time.
I’m an over-achiever that isn’t self-indulgent so it never occurred to me that I needed to grieve, but I’m learning. Once I’ve realized that I’m not at the tail, I spent the next day pushing myself hard and working towards something positive so that I’m back up on the high end of the curve. I’m generally the energizer bunny uber optimist but, I’ve realized that I’m not immune to the emotional roller coaster that has resulted from a global pandemic. What’s important is being able to self-assess where I am on this curve so that I can acknowledge how I feel, process it then plan for what I need to do to push myself back up to the tail of the curve. That way, I can keep moving forward. It’s not easy – but it’s essential. It takes self-awareness and self-discipline, but it is possible to make forward progress. Monday motivation is here to encourage you to do the same by following these tips.
Monday motivation tips to boost your self-awareness #1 – interrogate yourself in the mirror Ask yourself some easy questions to warm up like, “Is today a good day or a bad day? How am I feeling?” It’s important to use the mirror because it forces you to look at yourself and be honest. Work your way up to tougher Monday motivation questions like, “How has COVID-19 impacted me? Am I okay?”
#2 – share your interrogation answers with someone you trust This Monday motivation tip is even harder than the first one. Not only do you have to be honest about how you’re feeling, but you must be accountable, too. And that’s tough. Really tough in some cases. But this is the important part of self-awareness: admitting that you may need help is a big step and sharing that need with someone else will take some of the pressure off. You don’t have to go it alone.
#3 – write it down This tip combines honesty, integrity, self-awareness, self-discipline and accountability into a single act. Write it down. Document how you’re feeling and set a list of goals for the day or the week. Look at those goals with objectivity and compassion, not self-loathing if you didn’t hit them. These are weird and wacky times and you need to give yourself some space, but you also need to keep trying.
This is not the time to give up. It’s the time to rally, even if it’s a weak rally, it’s still an effort. Making a consistent effort each day to look at how you’re feeling and to make the changes that you need to modulate those feelings must be a daily responsibility. Take a break from news, social media, streaming movies, working, playing with the kids all day; whatever it is, find a way to give yourself a bit of space. Be kind to yourself and others.
We WILL get through this.
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay