Written by: Rachel Tindall, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
This pandemic has caused a lot of change in our daily lives. Most of us are out of our daily routines and still trying to find some kind of normalcy, even as society opens back up, and business goes on around us.
The reality is that we don’t live in “normal” times. Although the unemployment rate has started to come back down from the incredible heights we saw in April and May, many of us have been or know someone who has been furloughed or laid off from a job they thought was stable.
It’s a trying time for everyone, and that can be incredibly hard not just in terms of everyday work and family balance (or lack thereof), but also in creativity and being personally confident and fulfilled.
The question becomes how to deal with everything going on around you in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling even more miserable. As a writer and editor who regularly works with professionals (and other writers), our best work doesn’t come from burnout. And our passion ceases to be exciting and inspiring when it feels like another thing to check off on a mile-long to-do list we have no hope of completing.
I’ve found these 3 methods to be extraordinarily helpful not just for my clients, but also in my own creative and personal life.
1. Meditate: As much as people think of meditation as a spiritual act, it doesn’t always have to take on that role. I meditate almost every day, and on extra stressful days more than once.
Even just a few minutes of meditation each day can drastically help you stay centered. It gives you the quiet space you need to take back your thoughts that may be spiraling out of control.
If you meditate at night, which is one of the things that helps me most, it can also help you sleep more soundly so you can wake up refreshed in the morning rather than desperately trying to drag yourself out of bed.
Pro Tip: You can try these apps for free! - “Stop Panic and Anxiety” & “Insight Timer”
2. Take Purposeful Breaks: If you’ve been working from home or laid off during this time, you’ll probably know the struggle of trying to figure out how to best spend your time.
Look for a new job? Try to start a business? Find freelance work? Take care of a partner, kids, pets, elderly family members, or some combination? It’s exhausting!
So when you think about what you need to do (especially when it’s an overwhelming number of things), take a break. It doesn’t have to be extensive (and you don’t need to go binge watch 5 episodes of your new show on Netflix) but give yourself time to disconnect and just be with yourself.
Pro tip: Do NOT use your breaks to go on social media! This will stress you out more and you may fall into the trap of endless scrolling or comparing your situation to others.
3. Time It: This is probably the most useful productivity hack I have been able to implement both in the workplace and in my own business because it allows me to be focused and productive, but also take those breaks we need so badly.
When everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control, you can time your tasks. Whether you work better in 20-minute chunks like the Pomodoro technique or a little bit longer, set yourself a timer, remove the distractions around you, and stick to it.
When your timer is done, stop your task and stretch. Take a little break. Then set your timer again and do another focused session. You’ll be surprised by how well this works in most areas of your life, including creativity!
Pro tip: Try the Forest app. I’m a little obsessed, but it’s great because timed writing is SUCH a valuable tool in a writer’s toolbox! It can take the pressure off of being perfect, and when you know you want to start something, it will show you that you can actually make progress, even if you don’t have time to set a SMART goal.
Rachel Tindall, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Rachel Tindall is a Writer and Writing Coach at Capturing Your Confidence. Her lifelong love of learning inspired her to pursue education in writing, as well as teaching. Throughout her years of teaching at the university and community college levels, she has developed a strong desire to continue to be the best learner and educator she can be – a coach. Rachel uses intentional motivation and empowerment to facilitate growth for driven writers and creatives on their journey to becoming unstoppable dream-getters. Building confidence in her colleagues and students is at the heart of all she does.