Comfort and Stretch
This month in our Fresh Air Fridays community sessions we have been talking about comfort zones and, as I sit down to write this, I am reflecting on how timely it is that we are discussing this subject now. As humans we walk a path between the need for certainty and comfort and the need for variety and stretch. With everything that has happened in the last three months, this has really tested our comfort zones. We have had to adapt to new ways of living, working and connecting. Our comfort zone is very personal to each of us. With the huge uncertainty the pandemic brought and is still bringing, you may have found it hard to adjust and wanted to find things that were familiar and comfortable to you. How about now? How have things changed for you? Where is your comfort zone now?
Excited or anxious?
Across the country the guidelines around the lockdown are changing and we are able to do more. Do you welcome the chance to be with other people? Or are you feeling anxious and fearful about stepping back into a world surrounded by other people?
I was fortunate to be able to attend a webinar recently with Richard Layard, the founder of Action for Happiness and Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology and hear their thoughts about the situation we are all facing. They encouraged all of us to connect to what really matters to us in life, do what brings us joy and also to take steps to do things where we feel in control.
To feel in control we each need to find the right balance between comfort and stretch. We were forced into our stretch zones a few months back, but now we can take time to assess what’s happening and make our own decisions about what we want to do. Martin Seligman suggested that, as we come out of the pandemic, optimism and hope are important and the world needs people who can inspire hope. It may feel hard to be optimistic and hopeful when there is still so much uncertainty around us. However, we can take perspective about a situation by considering the worst thing that could happen, the best thing that could happen and then what is the most realistic. By being realistic we can take steps which feel like the right amount of stretch for each of us and respect what feels right for others.
As countries and people around the world take steps towards re-establishing economies, connecting with each other again and we each step out of our lockdown bubbles, take some time to consider what is right for you and be confident in setting your own boundaries around comfort and stretch.
If you’d like more ideas and a safe place to explore this for yourself, join our closed Facebook group.
If you’re looking for more time to reflect, come to a FREE online 30 minute Breathing Space session. You can find more details, days and times here.