Goal Setting & Planning – Mental Health Skills
The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to happen overnight. The fast paced changes to our everyday lives sent most of us into an emotional spin. Suddenly, everyone was susceptible. For many of us, our emotional and physical wellbeing was rocked.
Despite all of the unforeseen and unprecedented events of this year, we are not helpless passengers. Today, we discuss the mental skills that can help you navigate your way through challenging times.
Lockdown is challenging our mental health. Start utilising goal setting as a mental health skill to see improvements in wellbeing.
Planning and setting goals may sound like a common sense approach. However, the value of planning and goal settings cannot be understated.
If you think about it, many important life decisions or events involve thorough planning and goal setting. A new career, learning new skills, traveling aboard, purchasing a home – the list goes on. Why is it, then, that we don’t also adopt a strategic approach to prepare for uncertainty or the stressful times that could derail us by impacting our emotional or physical health?
Health and wellbeing are paramount; they are the foundation of our capacity to function well in every area of our lives. Most of us have some processes in place already that help us maintain stability during everyday life.
Preparing for times of challenge can be challenging when in a negative mindset. Feeling anxious about the future can make it even more difficult. That’s not to say that it’s too late. These tips can help.
- Goal setting frames what is important and generates focus. Begin by thinking about your aims and consider what you may need to compromise or change to achieve them. Adherence to the new habits that align with your goals will move you away from the old habits.
- Think about short term goals for today or this week. These are the easy wins which will help motivate you. Then you can focus on the longer term goals and plan how to achieve them using the SMART goal method.
- Having a routine in place offers consistency and reassurance when everything else can feel uncertain. The longer it’s been in place the more likely it has become a pattern of behaviour (habit). Keep to regular start times, end times and break times.
- Communicate with your team, nurture empathy and connection. You are not alone in this. Support each other through transparency and authenticity. Try the OARS technique from motivational interviewing.
- Negotiate deadlines against what is realistic given the circumstances, ie,home working, childcare and changes to normal working ways. Avoid projecting fears into the future, instead keep discussion focussed on the present. Focus on what can be put in place now to steer towards better times.
- What are your wellbeing goals, are you prioritising your health or taking too much on? Think about what has helped before and from a holistic approach are you supporting yourself with good habits such as enough sleep, good nutrition, fresh air and sunlight exposure, plenty of movement throughout the day.
- Try anchoring techniques which will ground/centre you. These are great for times of heightened emotional response and are reliable, simple and quick. Try quick meditations such as Headspace app, Emotional Freedom Technique videos, breathing techniques such as the box technique. Even simple positive affirmations such as “I am enough” or “I believe in myself”.
Remember, everyone is feeling the strain of this situation and these techniques are used by athletes and people at the top of their field to boost performance and quality of life. Why not book a demo here to find out more about what hug can do to help you support and empower your employees. Our platform provides insights into employee wellbeing and offers them the access to the tools which can enrich their lives.