Winter Survival Guide 2020/21 - Mid-month Nudge - DECEMBER

Previous posts can all be found here. Follow along on Instagram @fjcoaching for regular nudges.

The half way point! And you thought winter was going to be difficult ;) Nailing it so far, with a growing sack of toys and tools to keep the busiest mind occupied. Maybe the theme of ‘indulge’ was too easy, but I’m of the view that one very easy thing would be great right now so I’m all for pushing on that particular open door.

Some new observations:

-         Start to combine activities. For instance, take ‘gratitude’ from October and combine with ‘indulge’ from December: write and send a card, a letter, a little note. Hand deliver, if it’s a neighbour. Queue in the rain for 45 minutes at the post office if not (I’m joking, although I did in fact do this yesterday!). I read a little post from the writer Elizabeth Day about the joy of receiving a hand-written letter, and the “great, silent, sincere majority of people mostly doing their best”. Say thank you. Say well done. Say - I saw this, and thought of you. There is (so much) pleasure in the giving.

-         At the beginning of the month I wrote about making lists. Later today I’m scheduled to talk to someone who is interested in where I go to “grow, learn or make progress”. I prepared a list for him in advance – and found it very easy to come up with 16 sources I have used this year that fall into this category (there are probably more). The list is hugely diverse, because I’m learning to tap in to what I need for what purpose. Also I’ve managed to overlap ‘learn’ and ‘be entertained’ in the great Venn diagram of ‘how I spend my time’. Sometimes lists are about making it easy on your brain by minimising decision-making, which reminds me of this TED talk from Dr Darria Long about how to stop feeling ‘crazy-busy’.

-         My most indulgent moments are often about creating something. Yes making another batch of gingerbread, or just a coffee, but also hand-stamping brown paper for wrapping gifts, making scented candles in jam jars, upgrading a doodle into a greetings card. This is squarely a ‘quality over cost’ thing. You may have more choice than you think about how you spend your time and how you top up your energy.

How is it going for you? Have you committed to the INDULGE theme? If not, what is getting in your way? Today is a good day to start. (Spoiler alert: today is always a great day to start.)

One new action:

Think about fragrance - this is a really lovely way to indulge and shift your mood, if that is what’s needed. It doesn’t have to be full-on aromatherapy: simply a candle, a freshly peeled orange, a glass of red wine, a Christmas tree if you have one in the house. Again, notice what are the things that inject a moment of joy in your day – and do more of that.

Tools and tips:

-         If you’re up for a bit of festive background music but you’re busy and/or your brain is a bit tired, try a playlist on Spotify called Gentle Christmas. It’s like being in a lovely piano bar, but allows me to focus on work at the same time.

-         I’ve been following Positive News for a while, and now realise they have not only a mailing list, a lovely website and regular Insta posts, but also a physical quarterly magazine (hurrah for old school!). I’ve subscribed as a gift for someone who I thought would value a bit of counterbalance to the avalanche of negative news – isn’t that ALL of us?! A great product/service to follow, and support if you can.