What Works for Me Might Work for You?
Let’s not stop this particular motivational roller coaster COVID-19 presents us. I want to offer some alternatives to all the emails and advice you’ve already been given, so here are some of my additions:
- What’s your power tune? You don’t have to be a music geek (like yours truly) to realise the power of music. A recent study determined that the most asked question by college students when forming friendships with peers was, “What music do you listen to?”. This enabled them to get a clear idea of the values and compatibility with the person they were speaking to. Music is a connector, a community and plugs straight into our emotions. So, find the uplifting power tune that gets your motor running, turn it up and dance like nobody is watching, because chances are there is nobody watching… In case you’re wondering, my power tune is Thunderstruck by AC/DC.
- Take notice of nature. You think you’ve heard this before, but are you really taking notice? Whilst amateur naturalists can’t currently get out to effectively conduct surveys, the general feeling is that it is a bumper year for our wildlife. In fact, I am sitting here, tapping away and can hear the sparrows, and the blackbird sitting atop the hedge opposite, yes, there is the rumble of a truck going past, but I’m noticing this world of natural sound punctuating the man-made noise. Nature deficit disorder has been recognised as being detrimental to wellbeing and creeps up on us and our busy screen-filled lives; now is the time to reconnect. Take notice of the natural sounds and shapes around you. Increase the natural experiences in your life, even just a little.
- Grow a little. I’ve been digging, planting, growing veggies, Cirsium, Peonies, Iris… or rather my partner has, but I have been helping and learning, helping me to switch off and boost my motivation. There is also great satisfaction to be had in witnessing a colourful flower burst from bud to bloom and become what it is meant to be (I’m sure there is a metaphor to be had there…).
- Keep learning. This may be an opportunity to learn new skills, develop professionally using free online resources such as Futurelearn. However, all learning doesn’t have to be work related, by committing your mind to other learning experiences you can energise yourself and refresh your motivation. YouTube videos are useful when learning a new craft or skill. My colleague has been learning to make wild garlic pesto and home-baked sourdough bread, a taste sensation, apparently, which I look forward to trying.
- Unearthing old talents. What used to light your fire? Now is a great time for self-reflection and reigniting the embers of interests that made you come alive before the rush of adult routine took hold. Express yourself! Write poetry, paint, tap dance… I restrung my guitar and blew the dust off my 5-string banjo and have been recording songs for family and friends. I hope they appreciate it, but I’m doing this for myself as much as for them. Playing music is an opportunity for me to transport myself and rejuvenates my motivation and wellbeing.
- Tomatoes. Or rather the Pomodoro Technique (Pomodoro being the Italian for tomatoes). The breaking up of work into 25 minutes of focused attention with 5 minute breaks has helped me get stuff done and stay motivated… Want to know more? Click on this link to a YouTube video, The Pomodoro Technique.
So, these are some of the more practical things that have been helping me to stay motivated, taking myself out of a lockdown bubble, keeping me engaged with my work and connected with loved ones. However, I am mindful of those we, as employment specialists support… our clients. We’ll explore more of that in the next blog post!
Matthew Morris, Employment Officer