Isn’t it great how time flies when you are busy? In my case, it has flown way past my intention to write a newsletter on the first Monday of the month! But, beyond the guilt, I feel so satisfied having put my first weekend workshop on Retirement planning to bed, and I have set the date for the next one. Read about it here
As we discussed in my workshop at Temenos it is so important to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then. As we age we get less flexible with respect to adjusting to change, and as a result, we are more reluctant to step out and do something new and different. But, if you go back to a previous blog of mine around the 6 Human Needs, you will recall that it is essential to have some “Variety” in our lives. A sure way to get that Variety is by stepping out and challenging yourself every now and then.
During the past year, most coaches have been talking about Resilience – an important part of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and deeply intertwined with the ability to bounce back from a challenge. We can look at Resilience as a muscle that needs to be used regularly in order to keep it alert and flexible. Lockdowns and restricted movement have meant that many of us have stayed safe within our comfort zone at home and many are now stuck in a rut. Many are also living with varying levels of underlying stress and anxiety and, the Resilience muscle has become a little stiff and reluctant to move.
Why am I talking about this here? Because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and I discovered I did not bounce back quite so easily now that I am over 65. I was exhausted after running a whole weekend workshop and I needed more than just a day or two for my physiology to return to its normal energy zone. We do not need to challenge ourselves in this extreme fashion (the Type A personality is still alive and well in me!) but we do need to bring it out of the subconscious and dust it off occasionally to avoid feeling stuck.
This can also be closely linked with maintaining our brains and staving off dementia. Scientists are saying that learning one small thing each day is the easiest way of preventing brain deterioration. Simple maintenance would not mean stepping right out as I did, but it does require consciously learning new things regularly. Even extending the boundaries with your memory. I heard the other day of an 85-year old who memorizes phone numbers to keep her brain healthy, and my mother played bridge till she was 92. Testing your memory is a good way of keeping your brain active, and though it is somewhat different from flexing your resilience muscle, it is about keeping ourselves in a healthy, alert state.
Are you stuck in a rut and afraid because of the pandemic? Here are a couple of small things to get you going and flexing your resilience muscle:
- change your daily routine. Don’t turn it upside down, simply turn things around. e.g. shower in the morning instead of the evening or take your exercise at a different time.
- Start a new hobby that will require learning something new
- Choose to read a book that is totally different from what you normally read
- Cook your meals from completely new recipes every single day for a week
It is time to step out and prove to the world that you are not aging rapidly and getting stuck in your ways!