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E-Quipped to... Rethink Your Response
This newsletter refers to The Wellbeing Wheel, an article I have written and posted on my website.
Recently a friend sent me a text message which read: “I’m sick of this disrupted life!!”
My response was a laughing-face icon and the words: “This is not a disrupted life. This IS the life!”
The interaction really got me thinking about how many people are living their lives in limbo… waiting until COVID-19 goes away so they can pick up their lives again and carry on as before. We had hoped that 2021 would be a better year than 2020, but so far, it’s just more of the same – and in some cases worse.
The reality is, COVID-19 is here to stay.
This is not surprising. As a living organism, the COVID-19 virus is just doing what all living organisms try to do - ensure its survival as a species. Humans do it, animals do it, plants do it and so do viruses.
The goal of the COVID-19 virus is to try to reproduce itself as much as possible, as quickly as possible and it uses humans and animals as hosts to achieve this.
We don’t like it and we don’t want it, but it is here and so we must adapt. We can’t live in limbo waiting until this disruption is over, until COVID-19 goes away, until we can do what we used to do. We need to rethink our response and live as fully as we can right now.
Do I mean we must ignore COVID-19? Absolutely not! It’s real. It’s serious. People are dying from it. Some are taking many months to recover from it and the pandemic is having a major impact on our mental health. In some way, everybody is affected. We are “sick of this disrupted life” and we’re getting fed up.
But as Richard Buckminster Fuller (American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist) said:
“You never change the existing reality by fighting it.
That’s exactly what we need to be doing. Not resisting and fighting reality, but rethinking our response to it. It is actually what the COVID-19 virus is doing (without conscious thought). Quite independently, in different countries of the world, it is mutating and creating a new variant so that it can continue to spread and reproduce even faster. We already have the 501.V2 variant first identified in South Africa, the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the UK, the P.1 variant first identified in Brazil - and if the virus can evolve, so too can we with our ability to think and make decisions.
What Does the New Response Look Like?
Our new response is about living a full and meaningful life right now and enhancing the physical and mental health of ourselves and of others.
We should all be doing all we can to prevent the transmission and reproduction of the COVID-19 virus according to the guidelines we now know well - washing our hands frequently, wearing masks in public, physical distancing, avoiding large group events, staying home as much as possible etc. because as Pope St Francis, head of the Catholic Church, made so clear “as a people we have a shared destination” and “we are bound by the bonds of reciprocity”. In other words, I am not safe until you are safe and you are not safe until I am safe. And this applies at all levels - be it individual, city or country level.
But just as importantly, we should be aiming to create the healthiest immune system we can for ourselves, because it is the surest way of staying healthy if you are exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
If there was ever anything to give you a reason to live a healthy lifestyle and create and maintain a healthy immune system this is it! I can’t think of a better reason to get healthy, than that you can stay healthy.
And a healthy lifestyle means all aspects of your life get attention - physical, medical, environmental, spiritual, interpersonal, financial, occupational and intrapersonal – because a deficit in one area causes stress and tension in the other areas.
How do I Start?
The first step is to take stock of where you are at right now. Do an audit of your life, so to speak. This will enable you to clearly see what you are doing to ensure your health and wellbeing and what you are not doing.
For example, because it is not easy to go to their gym or exercise classes anymore, I am finding that many of my clients are waiting until they can go back and are not doing any other form of physical activity at all. And because they are not able to go to their church, temple, mosque or synagogue their entire spiritual life is non-existent. Not doing these sorts of things is having a negative impact on their health overall.
The Wellbeing Wheel will help you to do your audit. Download The Wellbeing Wheel poster and rate yourself on a scale of one to ten in each area of your life. My article The Wellbeing Wheel gives you some questions to ask yourself as you do this.
Then take a look at the results of your audit and decide what is positive and needs to be maintained, what is not so positive and needs to be improved on and what is negative and needs to be stopped. Think about how you are going to make these changes – what you need to do and how much time you need to do it for, and schedule it in your calendar. Some things will happen yearly, some monthly, some weekly and some daily. Scheduling time for it is critical for creating the new model.
I often say, “Don’t tell me what is important to you, just show me your calendar, because if it is not in your calendar then I don’t care what you say, I know that it is not important to you”.
If you make time for all the areas of your life then you will be creating a full and meaningful life right now. You’ll be enhancing the physical and mental health of yourself and, in turn, that of others. You’ll be responding in the most positive way you can right now.
Thank you for the Feedback
Thanks to Sharon, Chantaul, Suntosh, Bill, Milica, Cheryl, Michael, Julie, Diann, Vanessa, Sally, Heather and Tess for the feedback after the last newsletter.
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About These Emails
You may have been forwarded this email by a friend. In that case, allow me to introduce myself. I am a psychologist, speaker, trainer, coach and hat lover based in Kloof, a suburb of Durban, South Africa. I also do online counselling and coaching and I have clients all over the world.
On my website you'll find lots of free articles, posters and worksheets. I have written and created them all with the intention of helping you find your inner winner. Read, them use them, share them!
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