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Last year was supposed to be the year of #20plenty.

This year, let it be the year of #20won

Let this year be the year where we win the war against::

  • The COVID virus
  • Remote / hybrid working becoming acceptable and not just because of the pandemic.
  • Mental health being an every day necessity and not just because we have to social distance.
  • Eradicating other pandemics such as gender based violence (GBV).
  • Bringing the humanness back into the workplace and our homes
  • Diversity, equality and inclusivity

Many people thought once we got through December and into the new year, things would return to normal and we could put COVID and an awful year behind us.

But…..over the past few weeks many parts of the world have gone back into lock down or had restrictions imposed on them again with the second wave of infections.

As we continue with the need to social distance and work from home, it will be necessary for us to continue to take care of our own and our employee’s well-being in order to function and remain productive.

Coping skills and tools that worked last year will perhaps not be as effective this year as reality sinks in and we experience more of the same conditions going forward.

3 key skills that you should look to develop going forward are:
  • Self-discipline – finding compelling reasons to do something and committing yourself to see that task or activity through to the very end.
  • Self-leadership – the ability to consciously influence your own thoughts and behavior in order to achieve your personal goals or an organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Resilience – the ability to adapt to difficult situations, manage your emotions and able to keep functioning.

Why are these skills so critical?

They empower us to manage our mental health, our motivation and energy levels, the ability to cope, adapt and be creative and productive.

On a personal level:
  • These skills help us to manage ourselves, our emotions, our personal relationships and home environment, anxiety and stress levels, work through challenging situations, adopt a positive mindset and implement boundaries where necessary.
From an employee level
  • These skills help to develop employee’s problem solving abilities, to be creative and innovative, to manage their energy and productivity levels, prioritise tasks and deliverables, take care of their mental health and the ability to be flexible and adaptable in uncertain times.

So what should you do to get back into the ‘rhythm’?

  • Set yourself a daily  goal or task(s) to complete – preferable 3 goals / tasks if you can.
  • This helps to keep us focused, keep the momentum and gives us something to work towards.
  • Completing each goal / task gives us a sense of accomplishment and that we are making progress and moving forward vs feeling “stuck” or in limbo.

How do you find the motivation and remain enthusiastic during such a time?

  • Use positive anchors such as a daily gratitude journal, affirmations etc
  • Celebrating and rewarding their accomplishments no matter how small they may seem.
  • Listen to / read self-help, motivational books, podcasts, webinars and YouTube clips
  • Have a support structure in place that can keep you accountable and also celebrate your wins

Don’t be hard on yourself on your journey

  • You’re only human and some days you will be more motivated than others, and that’s ok. What’s important is to get back up and keep going.
  • Call on your support structure to help you through the bad patches if need.
  • Build in self-care and self-love/self-nurturing practices whether that be meditating, journalling, exercise or reaching out to a professional that can help you.

As we’ve come to realise over the past few months, change is the only constant, and the more we become comfortable operating in an ever-changing environment, the better off our well-being and the happier we can be.

If you would like to develop these skills for yourself consider joining the Mancave and Womenology self-leadership programs starting on 19 Jan or please get in touch for team development options.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or not able to cope, please encourage them to reach out for help, either to your employee wellness service provider or to the national support services such as LifeLine and SADAG.

A version of this article also appeared in BizCatalyst360 here and Modern Athlete #LiveWell section here.

Paula Quinsee: Relationship Expert and passionate advocate for creating healthy relationships at home, in the workplace, and against GBV, to co-create a more human connected world and positively impact people’s lives. Paula is also an international speaker and author of Embracing Conflict and Embracing No.