Microwave or stovetop?
Ever wonder if you've left the stovetop on? For a lot of people, it's a real question because they leave the stovetop on a couple of times a week, and then, even when they do turn it off, they worry that maybe they didn't.
If that's the way your mind works, you learn to find workarounds. For example, you can make your cup of tea in the microwave instead of boiling it in a kettle on the stove (which might sound sacrilegious if you live in Kenya or the UK).
Rather than feeling bad about yourself for these oh-so-human traits, it can be super helpful to build empathy and support for yourself.
You can start by checking in with yourself. How's your energy? What's realistic? What feels good?
For example, I'm writing this message on a Monday morning. I thought I was going to do my usual Monday morning kitchen cleaning. But, after scrubbing down the stovetop and one counter, I started to feel weak and lightheaded (which has been happening a lot post-Covid...).
I checked in with myself and realized my body was asking me for a glass of water and to put my feet up. I'm happily writing to you now, with my feet up on my bed and an empty water glass on my bedside table. If and when I'm ready, I'll wipe down the other side of the kitchen.
If you're like me, your cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities change throughout the day, week, and month—and for me here in Europe, the winter season is very different from the summertime.
Encouraging acceptance and teamwork
In the grand scheme of things, boiling water can come from a microwave or a kettle. You might normally love your tea made a certain way, but your energy and personal needs can flex.
Pushing through, pushing back, forcing, and striving are no way to live over the long haul.
For example, normally my husband Ben makes the administrative phone calls in our house. But this morning, he just didn't feel like calling our landlord (in French) about the leak in the bathroom, and emailing the paperwork (in French) and it seemed easy enough for me to do (from my bed) so we switched roles.
Maybe you planned to do four hours of deep-focus work today. But your check-in showed that you'll be choosing different tasks for now.
If you have a leadership or influential role in your work team, you can invite others to accept what they find in their check-ins and do their activities in a state of flow, and a natural rhythm that helps them sustain their energy over time.
Consider starting meetings with a quick, "How's your energy as you come into this call?" Ask regularly for your colleagues to state any boundaries they need or obstacles they might encounter.
Everyone's just a person, and humans have ebbs and flows. You can let people know that you appreciate their honesty, encourage them to ask for what they need, even when it's different on different days, and build relationships that last.
How about you? How's your energy today? Is your mind sharp or fuzzy, is your body feeling energetic or a little sluggish? What is your mind/body asking for? Excitement? A big project? A nap? How good can you be to yourself just now?
With great love,