…make lemonade or add tequila and salt and drown our sorrows.
I am an optimistic person by nature. I see the glass as half full and will make every effort to see the good in any situation. This does not mean I don’t have my down days, or low moments. I definitely do!! This past week has been particularly challenging for my wife Caryn and I. We are frustrated with how much Covid is delaying the processing of our VISA. We were expecting to wait 5-7 weeks and it has been 13 already and no one can give us a timeline. Our kids are looking into schooling as we need to get them up to speed on the American system and they are also starting to feel the pressure a lot more. It is like every time we make a little bit of progress — WHAM another obstacle gets in the way.
We know that we are not alone in this and we know that everyone has their challenges. We all have our down moments. It just seems like I am having more of these down days lately. It is okay to feel down, it is okay to have low moments…I know this. I also am socially aware enough to understand that when I am really low, if I don’t get my act together, my family feels it and my motivation wanes which leads to me not wanting to get on with work and the downward spiral makes me not so nice to be around. As the heading suggests, we can make lemonade or add tequila and drown our sorrows. The word ‘make’ implies forming something or create something. Taking positive action! That certainly is my approach to the challenges we face.
Here is what I do to get out of the low feelings and sadness I feel from time to time. I hope that it will be of value to you too.
1. First step to anything is take ownership and acknowledge what you are feeling how you are feeling. Share this with those close to you and don’t be afraid to let the people in your team know. A burden shared is a burden halved. I let Caryn know I needed some time to process and went to my favorite coffee shop to clear my head.
2. Once alone, focused and open, do an activity that allows you to find inner peace. For me that means prayer. Being still and knowing that life has greater meaning and purpose than what is happening in this moment right now. This gives me perspective. For others it is mediation, listening to a ted talk or podcast. Just find that inner peace!
3. Make two lists by answering the following questions:
(1) What are my stresses and what is causing my anxiety?
(2) What is creating Joy?
4. Take a marker and highlight the areas you are 100% in control of. Doing this I realized I am 100% in control of what gives me joy – I definitely make those a priority in my week.
5. Create activities in your diary that produce your desired results outcome. As I reflect on the list I created, I know that being with my North Carolina Team and spending time with Family creates my highest level of joy and makes me feel my most productive.
6. Now all I need to do is place my greatest efforts into these areas. To be sure that the activities produce your greatest results use these as a guideline for prioritizing your activities:
(1) Is what I am doing on my agenda or someone else’s agenda?
(2) If I complete this task will it make my other tasks easier to get through?
This process took all of 45 minutes. I found I went from feeling demotivated and unproductive to positive and focused. Use this simple process to manage the challenges that are coming your way during these trying times. Please share how it worked for you, or what you do to manage the curves balls coming your way.