When your best self looks a little different (and why that’s OK)

If I’m being honest, I’m just now starting to emerge from the shock of the past week.

Despite my line of work, which often involves helping others navigate periods of intense stress and uncertainty, I’m not immune to the same anxieties and fears—especially when the stress and uncertainty are of this scale. It’s undoubtedly a fraught moment, and I’ve felt every bit of that as I’ve come to terms with this new normal. (Moms with kids who’ve had school cancelled for the foreseeable future: I know you feel me here.)

But I’m quickly realizing that now is the time to double-down on being our best selves.  

I don’t mean this in terms of productivity or goal setting—though certainly, if you’re feeling hyper-focused and motivated, you should tap into that. But it’s more likely that right now, you’re distracted and uneasy and simply trying to put one foot in front of the other. That’s OK. That’s enough.

So maybe your best self looks different right now. And if you need it, I want to give you full permission to redefine what that looks like—and offer some inspiration based on what it currently means for me.

Here are some steps I’m taking to be my best self, to keep a clear head and a thoughtful heart.

I’m maintaining some sense of routine.

Before my girls get up in the morning, I’m doing my best to find a few minutes to meditate, a practice I started a few months ago that I think is especially important to maintain now. I’m also committed to staying off my phone for the first hour of my day, which helps me decide what kind of day I’d like to have, instead of having it hijacked by an email or the latest coronavirus news.

I’m seeking creative ways to connect with others.

I have a 90-year-old neighbor who I know is immunocompromised, so I reached out to her and offered to pick up anything she might need from the store. She requested crunchy peanut butter, which I happily delivered alongside some artwork from my girls. I’m also in talks with some friends to host a virtual dinner in the next few weeks so we can keep in touch and have something social-ish to look forward to.

I’m reevaluating what my best and highest use is.

Let’s be honest: Now is an especially challenging time for those of us who struggle with control. Much of this is simply not up to us. One of the best ways to manage the stress that comes with that is to ask yourself, What is my best and highest use right now? This way, you can identify the areas of your life that truly need your attention and not waste energy on the areas that aren’t in your control.

I know all of these things are easier said than done, especially right now, but start with one and see how you feel.

Remember, as the wise and wonderful Fred Rogers told us, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.”

If you need to talk through some of the challenges that are unique to this moment, I’m putting together a group call that will do just that. Let me know if you want to join by sending me an email.

And finally, I’ll be sharing more about how I’m navigating this transition on Facebook and Instagram, so please do follow me there if it’s helpful. 

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