What kind of question is this? “Do I hurt enough to change?” Well, let us get real here at the end of 2020. At the time of this writing, no one knows who has been elected President of the United States. No one knows what will happen with the viruses and medical problems or other issues, that may loom in 2021. The thing that you do know is you, and you have decisions to make. We are the product of our decisions.
What do I mean when I ask the question posed above? You have heard the phrase: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!” Right? So, what can I do the change from this sickness and negativity? This is the crux of the question. What ideas do you have?
I have a couple of ideas for you. Please take a couple of minutes and ponder what you are struggling with, and what gives you simple joy. Use whatever term resonates with you. The other day, I was on a virtual conference, and the facilitator held up what looked like a giant mug and asked, “Who loves a big mug of morning coffee?” Facebook Live blew up with emojis! That is what I am talking about. What about the other side of the coin? “Who just feels yucky after you watch any kind of news?” I bet your hands are going up right now. [You do know news all news basically, is purposely written to trigger you and get an argumentative interaction with the audience.]
Are you game to begin? Okay, take a sheet of paper and fold it in half the long way. Now at the top of one side write this: I AM STRUGGLING WITH…, now turn the paper over and write this: MY SIMPLE JOYS ARE…. So simple, right?!
Start writing; it does not matter which side you start on. Once you run out of items on one side, turn your page over and write on the other side.
Okay, Now What?….. you still sounding a little agitated to me, maybe let’s take a break and have some JOY and come back to this later.
Okay, now, let’s see about this; what are your options around the side which reads: I AM STRUGGLING WITH…? How much of what you have written down is in your control? How many items on the page can be changed by you through some means? Draw a line through all the items that you have no control over, physically. [You can do something mentally, and we will talk about that later.] OOMC – Out Of My Control.
Turn to the other side now. How often do you do the items you wrote down that bring you joy? DWMS – Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Seldom. Put a letter designation DWMS beside each one. If you have a lot of “S’s” next to the items you wrote down, what is that about? If they bring you joy, what stops you from doing them? Let’s not use COVID as an excuse because if you get joy from traveling, let’s say, and you can travel virtually. If you need to hug a loved one, you do have Facetime, Zoom, and many other avenues you can use. It will give you joy, even if virtually. I had an idea this morning about a new acronym! We all love this one TGIF [Thank God It’s Friday] what about this one TGIWFH [Thank God I Work From Home!] Pretty good huh! No commute, no money spent on coffee or lunches, or parking, no headaches, no car accidents, it could catch on!
Okay, let’s go back over to that negative side. Of the remaining items, how willing are you to let go of several of the items there that trigger you? You do have this power, you know. You can:
- Ghost or Unfriend a site or person who just negatively triggers you.
- You can unsubscribe from virtually everything and see how your life improves.
- You can add a line to your email signature that you do not answer your phone, texts, or emails after 5 pm. You will reply the next day after 10 am, for instance. [This is a miracle worker because we TEACH people how to TREAT us!]
- I know someone who has a “JAIL” for their technology with a lock and timer! Now that is commitment!
- You can decide to no longer engage with those people in your life who are toxic.
- Make a “Not To Do List” come January 1st!
- If you received too many texts or someone in your circle relies on you to the point of “codependence,” – simply tell them politely you are going on a technology fast until the new year. [I can assure you they will replace you with someone else, do not spend time fretting over this decision!]
- Take a technology fast for a period of time and see if your outlook on life doesn’t improve dramatically.
- Start to write your feelings down. It is not so much of a journal, but more of a way to get the angst out of your mind and body and paper. You might use the tried and true journalism format of “who, what, when, where, and why” you were triggered in the first place and then go back and see what you can do to stop the interaction.
- Remove yourself from the situation. This might be going for a walk outside, go to another room, shut up, and not be lured into the boxing ring [you know it takes two to fight!].
- I do have one more “Precautionary Note” to give you here; If by some force major [act of God – it’s a nautical term from French] life and work do go back to some resemblance of normal over the next year, be cautious and do not fill up your calendar with “STUFF” because it is there, being held or you can. Step back and see if those things grow you, move you forward, and bring you joy, if the answer is no, do not be bullied into participating.
Turn the page back over to the simple joys side now. Think about things that you know will bring simple joy to others you know and love. Make a list here. Put a date next to each one and begin to do what you know they will love and appreciate. Each time you feel triggered, turn the page over and do something wonderful for someone else. I know you will feel better. If you are a volunteer or serve in any capacity in your church, community, or elsewhere, begin to up your service hours. This, too, will lift your spirits by helping others. There are millions of things you can do and practice safe physical distancing practices.
This year as you sit down with whomever at your Thanksgiving Table, ask each person present to tell someone at the table why they value them and what it is about that person that brings them joy!
I’d like to hear from you!
Janice Bastani Coaching offers customized solutions for you and your team to resource and equips you to be a “Great Leader.” When you are ready, we are here to help, send an email to begin the process: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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