Making positive changes as we make the transition out of COVID By Sid Madge, Meee
After the unexpected and overwhelming experiences we’ve had with Covid now is a good time to reset and make positive changes in our lives.
I’m a great believer in ‘micro-moments’, the ability to change our life in any moment and how to use these tiny manageable interventions to gain positive momentum – even when things are challenging. I’ve written three Meee in a Minute books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
Here are 5 such micro moments ideas to help you as you review, reset and make positives changes that will impact your life, as we transition out of Covid. The initial letter of each idea spells C-O-V-I-D to make them easy to remember.
C is about: Creating a better situation all round
The last 16 months have been a nightmare. However, the pandemic brought some stillness and reflection to many of us. For a while we stepped off the hamster wheel of our busy lives juggling family and other commitments. We had a unique opportunity to stop and ponder on life. According to a YouGov poll only 8% of Britons want to go back to life as it was before the pandemic, so there is a desire for change. What’s shifted is that many of us have come to appreciate, perhaps for the first time in years what’s really important. The C in C-O-V-I-D is an invitation to create something new or better. Something that works for all the parts of your life. Perhaps you’ve decided you want to change jobs or move to a new house or start your own business? Does that dream that’s always seemed too far away seem doable now? Perhaps you’ve decided that maybe part-time would be a nice compromise. Perhaps all you really want is to go for a coffee and give your friend a hug! What does better look like for you now? Take a minute to consider your current family life and wider situation. Imagine that the virus is a distant memory – what is your ideal life like now? Forget the grand and the bold. Focus the insights you’ve learned in this stillness about what makes you happy. Decide to go after more of that.
O is about: Optimism provides opportunity
Would you describe yourself as a glass half-empty or glass-half full sort of person? Most of us believe we are one or the other though science has proven that actually we operate across a range that is impacted a little by genetics. By far the biggest contributors are environment and mindset. Genetics is a tiny player in our optimism levels. The father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, suggests that pessimism is largely learned. Which mean it can be unlearned. The key is through what he called ‘explanatory style’. This is the way we draw meaning from events and situations that we face. Uber pessimism tend to see things as personal, pervasive and permanent. In other words, when things go wrong it’s their fault and will ‘infect’ all other areas of their life. So, a lost job will spell doom for a relationship and lead to ill health – that sort of thing. And all of this is permanent (in their minds). Optimism just feels better and it gives us access to more resources. Besides, it’s more real. Nothing
is permanent not even Covid For a while try flipping the switch. See every challenge as beyond your control. That’s not to say you avoid responsibility, we all still need to do our bit and stay safe. Don’t allow upset from one part of your life to seep into other areas. Instead, be grateful for all the things that are going well. By nudging our way to the optimistic end of our range, we’ll feel better and see more opportunities.
V is about: Values – keeping focused on what’s most important
Everything we do can be explained by our values. Our actions and behaviour are usually a living expression of those values. Do you know what your values are? When I worked in the world of branding, we used to help organisations get clear on what their
values were so they could understand the impact they were having on the business, behaviour, recruitment and culture. When I started the Meee Programme I created something similar – a set of 56 values cards. We ask participants to look through the cards and pick five values that resonate with them or that they want to demonstrate in their life. Take a minute to visit the Meee website (www.meee.global) and take part in the values exercise – this will help you to identify what your values are. What’s most important to you in your life? Money? Family? Kindness? Honesty? What do you stand for? What are your ethics or code of conduct? Can you see evidence of these values in your life? For example, if you believe you value kindness, when did you last demonstrate kindness? If you really want to know what you value look at what you do. Use your values to keep you focused on what’s really important.
I is about: Involving those that need your help, love and support
Humans are social creatures. This is a huge part of why Covid has been such a nightmare for so many. The threat of the illness itself is almost secondary to the loss of contact with those we love. But we can still get involved and stay connected. Maybe slip a note through a neighbour’s door to make sure they are OK. Can you do some shopping or walk the dog for someone who needs a little extra help? The Samaritans have been promoting a brilliant idea – Brew Monday. Make a brew and call someone for a chat. Just reach out. We might not be able to do all the things we used to do yet, but we can still talk and stay connected.
D is about: Dialling the stress down
Be gentle with yourself and help family members and friends do the same. Make sure you eat properly and get out into nature if you can. Do some form of exercise or activity a few times a week – it will help to discharge any stress you feel. Take some time to wind down – give meditation or yoga a go. There are loads of free resources online. Cycle back to ‘I’ – our stress levels are usually reduced when we have company. A problem shared is a problem halved. It may not be the same as it was just yet but we can still in keep touch, talk and laugh.
And most of all remember, this too shall pass. I am ready for positive change and hope you are too. Use the 5 micro moment ideas with C-O-V-I-D as a reminder and prompt. We can put them into practice to make positive changes in all areas of life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best
creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education
and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to
parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change
your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.