A World in Transition: Insights from Transition Hub - Living Your Best Life
As we begin to navigate our way out of lockdown, with new perspective, we can reflect on the impact Covid-19 has had on our lives, with changes to the way we work, the way we connect and how we live our daily lives.
So, how do we live our best life in times of change?
Navigating the highs and lows that are essential elements of a meaningful life, and of course unforeseen circumstances like the one we are experiencing now, takes perseverance and a drive to carry on in the face of adversity. Not giving up requires personal motivation, grit, optimism, hope, and a growth mindset. Thankfully, mental strength can be developed - a bit like a muscle – the more you work it, the stronger it becomes.
Whilst not every situation has a silver-lining, ‘cognitive flexibility' allows us to mentally re-frame adversity, essentially seeing it through an alternative lens. A flexible outlook in life facilitates acceptance of ‘what is’ as opposed to what we believe ‘should be’. This adaptive capacity enables us to find creative solutions to problems that often arise in times of uncertainty, or rapid change.
Cognitive flexibility also enables us to see life’s transitions as opportunities for personal and professional growth. Appraising events in a calm and constructive way helps us to distinguish what aspects of the situation are within our control and which are not. This reflection presents us with a learning opportunity that often inspires us to re-invent the way we live and work to meet new demands and circumstances.
This notion is one we work on a great deal at Transition Hub, as we help people recalibrate, reinvent and reimagine their future. Sometimes, the transitions people are experiencing are chosen and sometimes not.
Our role is to help facilitate awareness of where people are in their journey, what really matters to them and how they might move forward in a constructive way.
One of the frameworks we highlight is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was part of the humanistic psychology movement and argued that humans have an innate drive towards personal growth in search of self-actualisation. We see his model as a great blueprint for living a full and happy life.
According to Maslow, we move from the basic needs of food, shelter and safety to higher-order needs for belonging, achievement, optimal functioning, and self-transcendence.
As many people navigate the challenges presented by Covid-19, baseline needs have become a primary focus. Loss of health, safety or financial security are front and centre, as people focus on putting food on the table, paying mortgages and taking care of loved ones.
It makes sense, that in times of major transition and uncertainty, we are naturally propelled to regress to our most basic human needs. We are motivated to find resources and things that energise and support our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Food and nutrition, rest and sleep, managing stress, exercise, and staying safe take paramount importance. It is human nature to act in the service of our survival and to preserve our energy, wellbeing and safety when life gets disrupted.
One thing is certain ... this planetary pause has given us all time to reflect.
We have been given an unusual opportunity to stop and consider what is important to us and to those we support.
My invitation to you is to consider what you need as a baseline - what personal strategies energise and support your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing?
Only then, can you focus on living your best life.
Coach & author bio: Anna Reznik is a psychologist and a Transition Hub Wellbeing Coach with a background in mental health. She focuses on building resilience skills in clients and helping to transition through change.