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5 Minutes For Your Mindset

April 8, 2020

For many of us, our new "normal" doesn't feel like any kind of normal. We are all trying to figure it out, doing the best we can with what we have (including resources).

When I schedule zoom meetings during times I think my kids will be doing an activity that will require their full attention, they often have different plans. It seems that just when I think they are sitting quietly with their play-doh, here they come trying to get into the frame of my laptop camera. I've learned to appreciate those moments, even when I'm presenting something and need to be focused on what I'm doing. I'm grateful that one of my "problems" is trying to get my kids to stop interrupting my zoom calls. I'm thankful that I have zoom, a job, a laptop, and kids who want to spend with me. The list could go on and on.

But each day can feel chaotic. Trying to manage everything (life, work, caring for loved ones, worrying about loved ones from afar, practicing self-care) seems like it's too much sometimes. The chaos out there is starting to create chaos in our minds.

What if we chose to enter tomorrow with a different mindset? It doesn't mean things go smoothly or that the day is sunshine and rainbows, but it means we can show up with a different perspective and more positive intentions.

Do you have 5 minutes each morning? Try this when you wake up:

1. When you wake up, don't touch your phone or your laptop. Especially if you are checking your work phone or your personal phone with a news feed on it. Please do yourself a favor and don't start your day with endless to-dos and the news. Do you feel great after reading that stuff? Exactly. Are you excited to see a list of everything everyone else needs you to do? Probably not. Besides, they can wait 5 minutes.

2. Grab a pen and a paper 🖊(if you have a journal, that's even better but not necessary) and write down three things you are grateful for. If you want to use the Notes app in your iPhone or other phone, do what works for you. Lately, for me, I've been writing down that I'm grateful for life, love, family, health, creativity, supportive colleagues, and nourishing food. Gratitude is about acknowledging how incredibly thankful you are for what you bring to others, what they bring to you, and what the universe has provided you.

There is powerful research on the benefits of doing these types of gratitude exercises (check out Brene Brown's research). The actual practice of gratitude can make you experience more joy. You are changing the way you see yourself and your life when you see things through a gratitude lens. (And, yes, you can be grateful and not complacent.)

3. Write down one thing that would be amazing to get done that day. Pick only one. This is the one thing you are committing to, like doing the laundry (it piles up fast with kids especially!) or sending out that memo, email, or presentation for others' feedback. You likely have a ton to get "done", but I'm asking you to focus on your one thing. You will feel so fantastic when you get it done.

4. Finally, write down one positive thing about yourself. Yes, this is a positive affirmation. Don't roll your eyes just yet. Positive affirmations are powerful. I don't believe they alone can transform our mindset, but in combination with other practices, it sure does make a difference. Don't knock it 'til you try it! Use the "I am .... " prompt when you write them out. Lately, my affirmations have been: "I am capable. I am disciplined. I am consistent. I am doing my best. I am focused. I am contributing."

The point of this is to be intentional about your perspective and mindset, when you enter your day.

Try starting with positivity and gratitude in this way, rather than kicking off your day with the potential negativity, worry, and stress that typically comes from getting on your phone first. Give yourself five minutes to check in with yourself, before you check in on everyone else and they start demanding your time and attention.

For my fellow moms, that means you may want to wake up earlier so you can do this before your kids starting running around you and before you get to work! I recommend the same for working out. For moms with infants or toddlers regressing when it comes to sleep (you thought the sleep deprivation was over, but it's coming back for a bit), please show yourself the compassion and grace you would show others in your shoes.

Do what you can. It has to be enough because it's all we have.


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