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X101 Lockdown Lessons Learned (not in business)

When it feels as though the world has stopped spinning on its axis an opportunity is created for us to press pause and to reflect on our lessons learned to pave a more positive way forward for ourselves...

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The X101 things that I have learned over the last few months since the world has changed are more than what I’ve seen and experienced or even written about in business…

I thought it was time to put my thoughts into words and to see what comes out. So, I’ve compiled together this listicle that’s easy to read, skim and flow through –– hopefully some of these might resonate with you too…

1. Money may make the world go around but people truly hold your heart…

2. Those relationships that you hold dear will raise you up when you’re down..

3.  Children really are the best medicine everyday…

4. Your inner strength is your greatest mental strength…

5. Life doesn’t have to be as busy as we make it, you can step off the ‘busyness’ wheel and know it’ll still be okay…

6. Nature is a natural mood booster that expects nothing and gives everything…

7. Writing can be your saviour with the clarity and focus that your mind craves…

8. Digital boundaries enable you to enjoy life that happens around you and when it’s happening…

9. Normal is by our own definition…

10. Doomscrolling can become the saboteur to your day…

11. Taking time out for your own wellbeing and mental health so you can stay present for others is not selfish…

12. Creating healthy daily habits to boost our mood can only be seen as a good thing…

13. Boundaries full stop in life and business give you the support and comfort of knowing where you’re at. Simple repetitive daily tasks such as making the bed and getting out of your pyjamas do count as well as forming your working day around exercise and regular breaks….

14. Knowing yourself and what drives you makes knowing what you need and want from others far easier…

15. Book in calls with your favourite people if you can’t see them. Together you can lift one another’s spirits and talk it out…

16. This may well be a time that we wouldn’t have chosen but that doesn’t mean we can’t seek the positives where we find them….

17. Smiling and laughter is always allowed and much like with children, it can be the best medicine on a dark day….

18. Not every call needs to be a video call. Especially if you’ve reached the fatigue phase…

19. Always be kind. You can’t always see what pain and suffering others are experiencing…

20. We all want to feel heard. Listen intently without the need to form your own response…

21. Be brave and courageous. Sometimes that may mean taking a moment or some timeout…

22. Never feel guilty about wanting and needing some ‘you’ time. Your sanity is just as important as anyone else’s…

23. You are always enough even when you don’t feel it…

24. If your mind is foggy build lists to help focus what you want to achieve….

25. Listen to your gut. It knows what’s right and what decision needs to be made when and where…

26. Don’t overdo the caffeine. If you’re feeling anxious it can exacerbate it.

27. When you eat well you feel well. Wholefoods, healthy drinks, cutting out refined sugars and making your own sauces –– not only feeds the soul but it nourishes your body…

28. Know your neighbours. Community and belonging really is grounding and lifts you all up…

29. Exercise is a powerful deterrent or solution to those down days or feelings…

30. Fight the urge to have all the answers and ask for help when you need it…

31. Know that now isn’t forever and that tomorrow will be different whenever it comes…

32. Check on those around you even if it’s a small message to ask if they are okay…

33. Whatever you feel in that moment will eventually pass…

34. Reading is pure escapism. Fact or fiction….

35. You can observe time but you can’t gain more of it. Be intentional…

36. Always have gratitude….

37. Let’s rally together even through our differences. Our boats may well look different but we are all in the same storm. Showing compassion and understanding is never a weakness…

38. Your perceived weaknesses can be turned into your strengths and if they can’t it doesn’t make you a failure –– it makes you human…

39. Don’t get bogged down in your own head. You could get lost in there…

40. Decide your own pace of life…

41. Procrastination will weight you down if you don’t take a form of action….

42. Your emotions can paralyse you into inaction if they are not understood and given time to resolve themselves…

43. Whatever you think is your limit there are always reserves. Don’t forget to fill the tank.

44. Be unapologetically you. As Oscar Wilde was famously quoted to have said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

45. Spend less time or no time with the people that don’t make you feel good about yourself…

46. When you can’t see the wood for the tree’s –– get some fresh air…

47. Your hopes and dreams always have a value…

48. Your values in life and business are like a compass that leads the way…

49. We all make mistakes. Don’t let them stop you moving on…

50. Not everyone may get what you do, but as long as you do and you can see where you’re going then that is enough…

51. Sometimes you do just have to be strict with yourself in order to achieve the things you want to do and the goals you want to reach…

52. Life isn’t always fair…

53. Acceptance allows you to acknowledge how you are feeling and to move beyond it…

54. The simple things in life quite often are the best things in life…

55. Not everyone will get my humour…

56. In fact not everyone will get me and I’m okay with that. (Mostly. Although the people-pleaser part of me wrestles with that.)…

57. Life can be hard but can also bring us the best lessons if we’re prepared and willing to see them…

58. There never will be a crystal ball. Work with where you are and where you’re going…

59. TEDx talks are a fountain of knowledge and a great learning resource…

60. Not every course has to have a monetary value for you to gain learning from it. Some of the best lessons come from our daily experiences, reads and even those free courses…

61. Controlling news sources and daily consumption is necessary for our sanity and wellbeing…

63. It’s okay to have an off day and to lean on others for support. Asking for help isn’t a weakness…

64. Our mental health is fragile and needs to be looked after with proper self-care…

65. There’s life outside of our screens…

66. Leaning into a feeling or situation enables you to go with the flow and move with it rather than to try to always control it when it can’t always be controlled…

67. There may not always be a solution but more of a way to navigate a challenge…

68. A smile really can boost the room…

69. The world may well not be perfect but with baby steps we can make small changes that can positively impact us all.

70. Find what grounds you and hold onto it or them dearly. For me it’s my family that keep my feet quite firmly where they need to be…

71. I place huge value on the people in my life and treasure our time together…

72. Having your perceived freedoms restricted or taken away for a period of time due to lockdown really does give you the opportunity for gratitude…

73. Our brains much like our muscles (although it is a globular organ) need exercising –– just like our bodies do…

74. Restricted activities give you the time and space to think…

75. You can save quite a few pennies when you’re not going anywhere to spend it…

76. When time feels like it passes slowly you see the beauty of what lies around you…

77. There’s so much joy in the ordinary that you see it as the extraordinary…

78. Feed your body well and you feed your soul…

79. Your priorities are rapidly thrown to the forefront when the world is sent into a spin…

80. Your own quiet zone whether that be meditation or simply space to think is a vital place to be protected (without guilt)…

81. Finding a way to work and live in the same zone is in allowing yourself to find a natural adjustment that works for you…

82. House plants definitely raise your mood and lift the room. Some of mine even have names –Derek being one. (As labelled by one of my children.)…

83. Boundaries. We all need them…

84. Conflict and resolution is a part of life and a demonstration to our children on how to handle even the trickiest times…

85. Music attaches itself to the memories you commit to your mind…

86. Every piece of us is every bit as important as the other…

87. What you miss about the activities you can’t do becomes a movie in your head and a greater desire to be able to do it when you can…

88. A friendly voice is soothing to the ears…

89. Ours hearts and our minds don’t always marry up and discover the same solution.

90. Technology has been a positive connection amplifier pulling and keeping people together.

91. Only we get to choose what unites and divides us.

92. We can only impact what we feel is right and other people have to live by their own decisions.

93. A virtual hug may not be a real hug but it’s still like wearing a warm and fuzzy jumper.

94. Reach out to those that are lonely. Make them feel a little less alone and let them know they are cared for too…

95. You don’t have to have all of the answers and that’s okay…

96. When it all feels like it’s too much break it down into digestible and manageable bites, so you can take it moment by moment, day by day and month by month…

97. Have those crazy and mad moments but hold onto the good memories too so they can carry you through those grey days…

98. Having support around you through challenging times means you can lift up one another…

99. Your wealth will always be your health. Which includes your mental health. Everything stems from having that…

100. Life has a funny way of thrusting things into perspective for you…

101. Hope. We’ll always have it.

And breathe. That’s it for now. Well, for me anyway.  I’ve discovered as I’m sure you have too that life is irrevocably intertwined with what happens inside and outside of our working lives — how we feel in one part of our lives directly impacts the other. Taking time to reflect and pause on what you’ve learnt about yourself during this time can be a huge undertaking of help in knowing how to positively move forward.

Even as a business writer I felt compelled to put something together to mark this time. Something for me to look back on and to remember how I felt because once we move beyond this, (and we will), I don’t want to forget the precious thoughts and people that held me together.

It’s impossible to stop at a particular amount of lessons learned from this period of time but 101 had a nice ring to it. Have a think about what would be on your list –– you’d be surprised how good this is for the soul and mental wellbeing…

(Taken originally and expanded from X10 to X101 learnings from my LinkedIn post in September 2020. Pinned to my online LinkedIn profile for anyone wanting a super quick read.)

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