Life has certainly changed with the pandemic. If you're frustrated, uncertain, or totally over it, you're definitely not alone. It's been over 6 months of pandemic restrictions in Victoria, and while there is some hope, we don't know when we'll get back to normal, or what that normal will look like.
With kids learning from home it's been a juggle on top of working from home. I want to support them through this, but it takes time and can be hard to concentrate on what needs to be done. So it can be a real challenge keeping up with everything I need to do, for work and around the home. Sound familiar?
I will now admit, that I was lacking the motivation for housework, exercise and was easily distracted, resulting in not getting enough done. I can be an overthinker, don't always get enough sleep, at times can procrastinate, then skip exercise so I can get stuff done. Which can leave me feeling agitated, because I didn't get a break.
I never thought I'd go down the path of wellbeing or life-change coaching to see me through this. Why would l need something like that? I'm outgoing, driven, organised, enthusiastic, friendly and sociable.
Usually, I can balance this, and it's ok. Sometimes I snap at the kids when I need to get stuff done. And at times, it's been a challenge helping the kids with school work too. But they know when to leave mum alone. I'm not perfect, but I'm alright, and I'm always there for others.
If I'm generally ok, why would I consider wellbeing-coaching?
Well, it turns out that talking through life's challenges can be hugely beneficial, even if you've got it mainly together. I was feeling trapped at home, zoomed out, and totally over it. I felt depleted and didn't have as much to give, as I needed to. Acknowledging this was one thing, but acting on it, made all the difference.
What did I do? I booked into wellbeing sessions, where I learnt some practical strategies which have enabled me to refocus and become more productive in work and everyday life.
There are many life-coaches, wellbeing experts, and wellness practitioners out there, and they come under other names too. It can be confusing when they call themselves different names and take different approaches. Some specialise in work performance or family life, while others focus on yoga, meditation, nutrition or other things. As they're very different styles, you may need to search around to find someone who is right for you.
I was looking for work performance and family life, so I went with Rachel Sietzema from UchangeU. She was easy to talk to and understood where I was at, without judgement. I have to admit, that made everything easier and has helped me to reduce stress, better support my family and get more done.
Some of the topics we covered in wellbeing sessions are · Better managing stress for yourself and supporting others · Recognise unhelpful behaviour patterns that are holding you back · Strategies to cope with life's pressures, especially during the pandemic · Identify and manage anxiety in yourself or those you care for · Overcome procrastination – prepare your mindset for productive · Understand the power of the unconscious mind · Tap into emotional freedom techniques to balance your internal pressures
I booked into this because I thought it would help me support the kids better, after all, it's been tough on them too. But it turned out that these sessions have helped me recalibrate and focus on what I need to get done. Which means I can fit in that walk, find time to breathe, and can give more to my kids.
Fun fact: I learnt that the brain has between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Of these thoughts, 80% tend to be negative, and 95% of our thoughts are exactly the same repetitive thought as the day before.
If you can change your thoughts, you can change your habits and actions, which makes life easier.
After these sessions, I'm feeling more focused and am achieving a better home-life balance. The calming techniques I've learned are helping to maintain a perspective through the pandemic and also beyond, which is really helpful.
It's okay to admit it's tough, but for your own wellbeing and especially those you support, we need to accept this is the most unusual time. I hate the word unprecedented, but it is an unpredictable time, with a lot of unknowns, so no one knows what getting through this will look like.
These wellbeing sessions are offered as group workshops or personalised sessions. While I would have like to do this in person, it was convenient and effective online.
If you're unsure but have questions, it's best to contact UchangeU. Talking through where I was at, and what I needed to manage, really helped.
This was a big step for me, but small changes have made a wonderful difference. I won't say I don't procrastinate any more, but I'm getting a lot more done.
The next workshop series is starting on Wednesday, October 21st at 7:30 pm for 4 weeks.
If these dates don't work for you or if you're reading this after the mentioned dates, I suggest you make contact with UchangeU as there is flexibility for dates of future workshops.