So much uncertainty.
What lies ahead?
I’ve been leading motivational workshops during lockdown and all of them have touched upon the uncertain road ahead for our children.
We all need to think about positive ways to cope with this uncertainty. Not just in sports, but in all aspects of our life as things move forward.
But one thing I do know from leading in the education sector, when we start to put wellbeing, mental health and mindset support BEFORE results, then true transformation can occur.
Not just to others, but to YOURSELF. Practise self-compassion or self-kindness. The conversations you have with yourself matter. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend. If they were struggling with something, what words would you offer? I don’t have to guess that these words would be different to those you would offer yourself. Time to be self-compassionate. It really is hard for everyone in so many different ways. Nobody really knows what tomorrow is going to look like, so focus on today, breathe deeply and have a kind conversation with yourself.
2. Simplify and choose carefully what you ‘consume’
I made no secret of the fact that I was coming off Twitter as soon as the coronavirus outbreak started to ramp up and pools closed. Why did I do that? Twitter for me represents a rabbit hole down which you can easily fall. You can quickly lose an hour as you fall into conversations aplenty with people. It is an incredible community. However, with it also comes much negativity. I knew that this would draw me into conversations and situations that would suck up my time. And for me, having two children at home homeschooling, losing their sport and social connections, not being able to see our parents – I had an obligation to focus on them and their emotional wellbeing, as well as my own.
It drives me now to re-evaluate where I will put my energies in future. A digital declutter brings an overwhelming sense of peace and calm.
3. Consider Your Past Success
You have been here before. You have dealt with all kinds of difficult situations that have left you feeling uncertain or presented challenges to you. You have a 100% success rate at surviving your worst ever days in life. When the girls start to doubt themselves, I always ask them to think of a time when they experienced a really bad day. Talking it through by linking it to prior experiences really helps them to see that they survived, got through it, overcame the obstacles and managed their stresses and worries.
Remember just how resilient we are, and how the human race has a natural ability to adapt. Even if things feel really difficult right now, as clichéd as it may sound – we are all in this together.
4. Learn a little self-care
And as they say, self-care definitely isn’t selfish. Trust me on this. Having suffered my stress related heart attack aged 43, I quickly had to learn that putting your own self care first is absolutely ESSENTIAL. Having failed to do that for many years, I learnt the hard way.
This is what led me to train as a Teacher of Mindfulness. Knowing the true power of regular and consistent meditation and mindfulness was so incredibly instrumental in my recovery.
Most of our children currently have a golden opportunity for some extra sleep, to fuel their bodies with good nutrition and to try out different forms of exercise, including simple walks in nature for a true re-boot to the system. If music, painting, photography, TV shows, a new book or movie make you feel good inside, then do them! Generating positive emotions is key. Don’t feel guilty – the human body needs time to replenish.
5. Don’t dwell. It’s dangerous.
So much is totally out of our control. Talk it through with people, but don’t dwell on stuff. We really still don’t know when the pools will re-open or the gyms will be ours to claim again. Yes, it’s frustrating and tough when the pubs are packed and we feel incredibly let down. We have been proactive and signed the petitions – but now it is out of our hands.
Channel your energies into you and your families. Do something that will make a positive difference to your emotions and wellbeing. Something that leaves you feeling happy.
Gill Smith, Performance Mindset Coach for talented children who dedicate their lives to competitive activities. Working with parents and children, Gill works to help build confidence, positivity and achieve success at school, in sport and the arts.