I am writing this from my own home where we were put into effective ‘lock-down’ this week. My husband reluctantly closed the doors of his coffee shop exactly 6 years from the day he opened it – how ironic is that? For the first time since 2005 when I started my consulting business, I have no work other than a few on-line coaching sessions. So, this represents the biggest shift in our daily lives ever and the future of our businesses is uncertain.
Social media is currently swamped with tips about how to deal with the crisis, yet most people are not following them. They are not alone because information by itself does not get people to change their behaviour. So why it is so hard for human beings to change their behaviour?
In a crisis our routine goes out of the window which causes many of us to go into information overload along with high stress levels. It’s feels a bit like attention deficit disorder or ADD as we find we can’t focus or concentrate on anything for very long. Have you felt like this over the last few days?
From a psychological perspective, we all have our unconscious habits and routines. In fact, Duke university measured in 2006 that at least 40% of our behaviours are entirely unconscious. This means that when we are triggered by certain things we behave in a certain way. For example, every morning before I leave for work, I have toast and coffee for breakfast before catching the 6.30am train to London and so on. So, when I am told to stay at home, and I can’t go to the office I am rapidly thrown off course. The first thing we can all do is to recreate a feeling of stability in our lives and a structure to our day, especially now many of us are spending all day in the same place.
This situation also creates a feeling of fear in many people. We are scared of being hurt, we are scared of the economy, we are scared of not being in control, and now we are even scared of each other. What can you do differently starting today?
The risk that when in fear mode is that we feel stuck and end up doing what we know isn’t good for us such us spending all day eating and watching Netflix. So, in our house we have been creating a new routine. It is keeping to a similar timetable to ensure we all get enough sleep. Sleep is needed for resilience. For me personally, I make sure that I do my physical exercise followed by a full day in the home office working on priority tasks that I can do to ensure my business can survive into the future. I stop at the ‘normal’ time and then have the evening for watching Netflix, reading and so on. Start by asking yourself ‘What is a normal day for me even in isolation?’. This will start to re-create stability and structure. Do it consciously and feel good about it. Next time more ideas to keep a positive mindset.
More next time….
Lindsey Agness and Team NLP x