Making the impossible possible this summer
By Carolyn Brown
So I am going to go out on a limb and guess that one of the goals you set at the beginning of the year wasn’t to survive a global pandemic.
I am also guessing you are really looking forward to the end of 2020 and starting a new list that hopefully doesn’t resemble a survivor’s guide to the apocalypse.
No doubt about it, it has been a tough year for most of us and well done you for getting this far without having a mega-tantrum and throwing all your toys out of the cot. You are doing better than one soon to be ex-president at least.
Traditionally, the downhill run to the end of the year is one of sustained madness followed by a couple of weeks of recharging, reflection and planning for the year ahead. Not this year though, as for the majority, sustained madness began on March 25th and shows no sign of abatement till sometime in 2021 (if we are lucky). As impossible as it might seem right now though, it is highly recommended that you continue with at least the tradition of taking some time to recharge, reflect on 2020 and set some (flexible) goals for 2021. To do this, may I present my guide to making the impossible possible this summer.
Keep it simple
Sometimes preparing for a break adds extra stress – deciding where to go, what to do, what to take, pet care, plant care etc. etc. Consider having a staycation instead and explore the area within a 30km radius of your home. You might be surprised at how many things there are to do in your little slice of Aotearoa. It might be as simple as spending an afternoon in your local park, reading a book or playing a game with others. The important thing is to spend time in a locale that is not your home or office.
Keep it local
Consider spending the money you save on petrol (or missed international flights) by staying local, in your locale. Keeping your community economy humming along contributes to the nationwide economy more than you think. Active communities also contribute to lower crime rates as burglars have fewer unattended homes to target.
Take a moment to acknowledge the stress
Yes, it has been a bloody challenging year, and at times I am sure it felt like there was no reason to get out of bed in the morning. But you did it, you survived the shock of normality going out the window and you adjusted. Well done, you can handle stress and if you thought you couldn’t and asked for help, double congrats. Thanks to our kiwi culture of ‘harden up’, asking for help isn’t always easy, even though it should be.
Indulge in a good way
If like me, you turned to comfort food a lot this year to get through the stressy bits, do your mind and body a favour and indulge in all the fresh fruit and vegetables that summer has to offer. When you eat better, you are more likely to want to go outside, exercise and enjoy nature, instead of falling asleep on the couch and letting those calories turn to fat.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but things are not going to go back to normal, climate change is only just beginning, and the opening of our borders to international tourists will be a wee way off yet.
Use your planning time to focus on how you can adapt rather than plan to wait it out or count on someone else to fix it. As Jane Goodall says, there are reasons for hope still. How will you contribute to continuing the wellbeing of all of NZ, and mitigating the effects of climate change in 2021?
Turn down the dial, but not off
This is a tricky piece of advice to give as it involves challenging a very entrenched norm of closing office-based businesses completely during January. But here goes. If your place of business is in the CBD or community hub, consider offering staff short weeks or staggering leave, so that your local cafes and stores continue to receive an income over summer. Their reserves will have been depleted during lockdowns and shutting down the office might be the final straw for some of them.
It would also help a lot of job seekers who may have been looking for work since the first lockdown if HR departments didn’t all shut down at once. If you know you will need new staff in 2021, at the very least, advertise your new role over the break so that candidates have time to create their best case for employing them instead of waiting until the end of January.
Rest is the break
You are not a machine, and at some point, you will need to take a break. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, but it should be different from your usual routine. It should also include turning on the out of office function on emails and forgetting about work, the news, social media and the global pandemic for at least a little while.
Your phone recharges quicker when all apps are turned off, and so do you! Taking a break, lets your brain wander. It is amazing how much clarity you receive when you don’t think about things.
Stay safe, have fun and see you on the other side.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Do Good Blogs this year, they are not just written to pay the bills. They are created to hopefully make life that little bit easier for anyone involved in the Do Good sector. I wish you all a safe and restive festive season and as Monty Python says – always look on the bright side of life.
Onwards to 2021.
About Carolyn Brown
Carolyn enjoys writing stuff that engages readers, makes them feel like they are in a conversation with the screen, and doesn’t require a dictionary on standby to make sense of what she has written.
When she is not creating content, she likes to keep busy volunteering for various not for profits; throwing sticks to her step-dog as they walk along North Beach in Christchurch, and enjoying the company of friends. If you would like to know more, head on over to her website www.writecopynz.co.nz or email her at [email protected]