Daily Connections Recap - 4/7/2020 - Finding Balance

As we enter a period of renewal and change, Your Clear Next Step is committed to helping our customers make their businesses and workdays even better. We will be here to walk beside you, to listen, to connect, and to aid in your search for clarity. In doing so, we are offering a free, daily Zoom call, called Daily Connections, at 1:15pm (CDT) every weekday from 3/19/2020-5/1/2020.

These calls are a chance for us to share tips and discussion about relevant topics (working remotely, maintaining consistency in uncertain times, building relationships across geography, staying motivated, staying connected, etc) and network with each other to provide help and support during this time of change.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us today! The next call will be Tuesday, April 7th at 1:15pm (CDT). Click here to join.

On today's call...

YCNS Consultant and friend, Barb Rank, shared a few tips about finding balance, and the underlying theme of personal responsibility. 

When I talk about balance the two terms that come up are (borrowed from Harriet Lerner, via the Unlocking Us podcast with Brene Brown) are over-functioning and under-functioning. So first let me describe optimal functioning.

When you are you are functioning optimally, you are living in a state where you are able to make day-to-day life decisions. You don’t take on more than your share of responsibility. You have good balance. If you are optimally functioning, you are bringing your whole self to the table and you can take good responsibility for your decisions. Typically, in normal life conditions we can function optimally.

So, when we talk about under-functioning, you will start to check-out. You will need more help. You will start to be able to handle less than you could before. You will start to step back. You will need more outside help and advice to make decisions that you would normally be able to make on your own. Or you could start to make poor decisions (watching too much TV, choosing to eat unhealthy foods, neglecting exercise)\

So then, when we talk about over-functioning, it’s the exact opposite. Typically, you start to take on more responsibility. The person who normally gives 100%, starts to give 110% .Of course there are times when its appropriate to step up and help, but when you are over-functioning, you are stepping-up more than you maybe should be.

So how do we maintain balance?

For me it means remembering the basics when you get stressed out and returning to true self care.

  • For me the first one is drinking water.
  • Another one is eating something healthy, which requires me to take some responsibility and choose something that will make me feel good.
  • Another one is setting goals. Especially during this time, yes, we can give ourselves some slack, but we can also set small goals for ourselves and accomplish something.
  • Another thing is exercise, and remind ourselves that we can do this. Allow yourself the self-acceptance to know

Here were some ideas and questions shared by the group:

  • I think I think of myself as under-functioning right now because I’m not doing so much of what I normally do, but I’ve found setting goals for myself every day to be very useful and make me feel better.
  • I think having that one goal is a great idea. I think when we think about under-functioning vs. over-functioning it’s probably about how many goals you have. If you’re under-functioning, you probably don’t have enough goals. If you are over-functioning, you probably have too many goals, or not the right goals for yourself (sometimes you’ve taken on someone else’s goals for yourself).
  • I totally get the over-functioning vs. under-functioning. And I think I’ve realized I’m going back and forth between the two. I feel like I under-function on the weekends, and then over-function on Mondays. And then by Monday night I’m a totally worn out. Brene Brown said “we collectively all get weary” and “we’re coming to the end of our adrenaline state, and this is a marathon not a sprint.” So, we need to pace ourselves a bit more and find a bit more balance.
  • We have to keep ourselves responsible for ourselves. If I don’t have a great structure and routine put upon me, I’m going to have to find that for myself.
  • Exercise is key. Giving your body what it needs in order to function properly is a key part of finding balance.
    • Waking your mind up with exercise and movement in the morning before sitting down to work
    • Taking a walk (almost) every day, and I think the fact that we can't go anywhere else is the motivation we needed to actually do it
  • Nature has no idea what we are all going through. It’s carrying on just as normal
    • There is so much of our world that is unpredictable, but almost all of nature is predictable and it is carrying on. So, we can try to look to it for balance.
  • The beauty of having language for over-functioning and under-functioning is that when we spot it in others, we can have a conversation about it. We can help others acknowledge it and then give them a safe space to talk about it.
  • Another term for this that I’ve been trying is Rhythm. A schedule doesn’t really feel right, right now. Routine is getting closer. But Rhythm feels like a good way to explain it. I’m going to have a rhythm of getting up before 9:00am. I’m going to have a rhythm of healthy eating. I’m going to have a rhythm of drinking water. Rhythm gives us a repeatable thing to rely on without getting burned out.
  • When we are really focused and really motivated, we love structure. When we aren’t as motivated, that structure will repel us. So, we need to find something that we can do every day, and rhythm can help with that.

Topics: COVID-19

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com


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