“Staying positive/motivated doesn’t mean you have to be happy all of the time. It means that even on hard days, you know that there are better ones coming”- Unknown.
I will be the first to say that this past month was a hard one for me. The reality that this way of living may become our “new reality” really took its toll on me. It hit me hard. And I couldn’t understand why. I am usually pretty easygoing. Life’s uncertainties don’t turn me upside down. I always felt that when life gives you lemons you either make a great cup of tea or lemonade. I was built “Ford Tough”. Then COVID-19 came in like a rushing wind. It hit me hard and I couldn’t talk, cry, or sleep my way out of this. It was here and it felt like it wasn’t going anywhere.
What affected me most was not being able to pinpoint why this pandemic was affecting me so much. I mean outside of homeschooling two children at the same time, life was normal. Both my husband and I had been blessed to work from home way before COVID-19 so our income was stable. We have a roof over our heads. Close friends and family are safe and healthy. So what was it? Why was I so unmotivated? Why was I in this serious funk? After much consideration and deep thought, I was able to come to the conclusion that I had no idea, LOL! That’s how life is. There are ups and downs but learning how to deal with those times as well as learning tips to staying motivated is key. I took all the time I needed to get out of my funk and then I went back to work.
I’ve come up with 5 simple tips on how to stay motivated during uncertain times.
1. Take A Deep Breath/Accept Negative Emotions: Let’s be real for one minute. It’s damn near impossible to be motivated all of the time. So take a deep breath and don’t be so hard on yourself. I was reminded of this by some of my closest friends and family. It’s okay to have a bad day or two or three or four! It’s really okay. It’s what you do with the good days that counts. Research has shown that when you avoid negative emotions they will only grow stronger and last longer. If/when you are having those negative thoughts, embrace them responsibly. Feel these emotions and the effects they are having on you, document them if you have to, then let them go.
2. Set Goals: I talk about goals all the time. The importance of knowing your goals, setting your goals, writing your goals down. It all matters. If you do not know exactly what you want, how are you going to get there? At the beginning of the week, set goals. I usually take some time on Sundays to write out my weekly goals. I compartmentalize them. I set goals to accomplish for the week, then I set goals that need to be accomplished each day. Bills, kids’ homework, blog ideas, grocery list, email follow-ups, etc… Setting goals and adding timeframes to them will really keep you motivated to accomplish them. And during these times, it may be hard to plan way in advance. So take it a week at a time. This will allow you not to get overwhelmed with the unknowns.
3. Create A Journal of Gratitude: At the end of the day once the kiddos are to bed, or the house is quiet; take 5-10 minutes and spend time reflecting on what you are happy with within your life. What are you proud of and what are you thankful for? This will really allow you to place things into perspective. Life could be so much worse, yet reflecting on what is going good in your life will help keep you on track to accomplish those goals and stay motivated to keep going. There are so many things to be grateful for during these times. Life, health, family, instacart, grubhub, doordash, lol…soo many things to be grateful for.
4. Change It Up A Bit/Develop New Routines: By now, I am sure that most households have been shaken up a bit, if not a lot. Daily routines have been changed and we had no say in it. Not having control over certain areas of our life may cause major anxiety. Establishing structure and predictability in your daily life can bring back motivation in our lives. Studies have shown that planning and starting new routines in times of unpredictability or crisis are excellent for mental health. These new routines should be positive, things that are good for you. Such as implementing a morning walk before the day gets started. If you are using this time to look for a new career, implement routines that involve time being set aside to update your resume and LinkedIn account.
5. Nurture Relationships: Even during social distancing, you can use this time to develop and deepen relationships as well as network with new connections. The importance of this is while you are nurturing relationships, you, in return, may develop an accountability partner. Someone may have experienced the same feelings you are feeling regarding a lack of motivation. Having that opportunity to share with others allows you to see that you are not in this alone. You will get through this! This is just a temporary setback. Your motivation will come back and when it does, take full advantage of it and be as productive as you can be.
Life has a funny way of keeping us on our feet, even when we feel like we have been knocked down or out. It’s not about how many times we fall, it’s about the times we get up and keep moving. We are resilient. Take each tip and customize it for you. What areas in your life can you apply these 5 tips?
Until Next Time,Lindsay