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Focus, resilience and blue sky thinking

If you are reading this just after I posted, then you will have changed your clocks two days ago (if you haven’t then you might want to do that now…)

The saying Spring forward and Fall back is the only way that I can ever remember which way the clocks need to go.

And it’s the Spring Forward bit that I am concentrating on today.

Moving the clock an hour forward obviously means we lose an hour of sleep and yes, this might play a bit of havoc with our body clock.

Whilst I was altering the clock on my fridge, it occurred to me that changing the clocks is just like the process of making any change in our lives.

When we make a change, it might feel hard when we start, particularly if we put our focus on what we are losing or leaving behind – in this case, the missing hour.

If we change the focus to look at what we stand to gain when we make the change, ie the hours of extra daylight, then the lost hour pales into insignificance.

It’s always about where we choose to put our focus.

What are you going to do with those extra hours – what are your plans?

In life generally, I would like to encourage you to focus on the outcome of what you want to achieve, what you could gain and how good that could feel, rather than what you might have to give up to achieve it.

We have all gone through so much in the last year and the start of Spring feels even better than ever, and we are only a few days in.

This Spring it feels that we have got so much more to gain.

Can you feel that too?

Right on cue, the weather has warmed up, the skies are blue, the blossom and the buds are out and the sunshine is covering us with a positive vibe.

Why is it that sunshine and good weather make us feel so much better?

The term ‘blue sky thinking’ is used to describe the sort of creative, almost day-dream-like planning ahead that is so good it might not come true. And why do you think it got its name?

We are more optimistic when the weather is good, the extended daylight hours boost our brain chemicals and the general sense of wellbeing all adds up to a happier outlook.

The combination of warmth and putting our ‘big’ coats back in the wardrobe, the promise of better health and also now the thought of soon re-connecting with family and friends. These all add up to a huge mood boost.

We can ‘see the bright side’ basically, and in turn that makes us generally more resilient in terms of how we handle the general stresses of life.

I believe that resilience in our lives is about the whole picture, from the amount of daily life stress that we can personally work with, to our immune systems and our physical energy levels.

Resilience, in my mind, is the ability to stay afloat, be calm and be mentally together when life is happening all around us.

Just because the sun shines, it doesn’t mean s**t doesn’t happen, but when we feel optimistic and happier, we can cope with it better.

Resilience is knowing what you need, where your boundaries are and being sensible enough to ask for help if you need it.

When you are healthy and supported in both mind and body, then you have resilience.

Much of what we need to do to cultivate mental resilience involves being proactive – putting some simple things in place to keep ourselves feeling happy, supported and strong.

Knowing that we get more out of the day as there is still daylight for hours into the evening, lifts us up and our world feels more open to us, less restricted.

Things feel possible.

We can get outside more easily and it’s really important to do that if you have been or are usually indoors for long periods of time.

Even on a grey day, your brain knows the difference between daylight and artificial indoor lighting.

If you are inclined to add in a little exercise, then a pre-work walk or jog in the morning sunshine is a great way to start your day. If that’s not your thing, try having breakfast outside or by a big, open window.

If you are feeling stressed and find it hard to wake up in the morning, then perhaps leave your bedroom curtains or blinds slightly open.

Let the dawn wake you up naturally, flooding your brain with those little chemical signals that boost your natural cortisol, which in turn wakes your body up and gets you moving.

Talking and hopefully meeting with our loved ones will really help to boost our mental resilience and bring back the sense of connection that we have all been missing this last year.

Remember to pace yourself and always take a reasonable amount of time for yourself, every single week. Prioritising your own needs over the demands of the outside world is another wellbeing boost.

So, Spring forward – are you going to focus on the one hour that you lost or the extra daylight hours that you gained?

Where are you putting your focus so that you can thrive and feel the joy in the little things?

As always, the choice is yours.

If you would like to have a 20 minute (free) chat with me to have a talk about how I could help you to focus on what is important for you or perhaps to look at the changes you would like to make to become more resilient, please get in touch.

I would love to hear from you.


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