Brain Waves with Debra Rose

September 2020

Law of the Instrument

If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail – Abraham Maslow

The fall season inspires renewal.  Back-to-school energy, changing colors and weather, better surf, and recognition that summer is over can be invigorating.  We start to make our winter travel and holiday plans, maybe tackle all of those indoor chores we neglected while it was warmer.  This fall the anticipation is more cautious and unsettling.

How do you actually thrive in this current reality?

Since we are forging into new territory, we have to create new strategies.  It is an easy default to do what we know by employing an over-reliance on familiar tools we have to relieve stress.  Now is the time to get creative and move away from stubbornly sticking to outdated ways of managing our daily lives.

Stuck inside?  Maybe the attempts to manage a lockdown can look a little healthier this time around.  Reframing the situation to sound more like you are taking advantage of this unique situation rather than falling victim to it is more useful.  Using this time to slow down during a usually hectic time of the year allows you to complete things on your list and focus on being mindful about it.

Out of your routine?  We all had our pre-pandemic lives and now we have to embrace new ones.  Balance consistency in your daily life while adding beneficial activities like morning walks, new ways of working out, or cooking dishes once thought of as too time-consuming.  Add novelty to your days and you will possibly solidify new skills that will remain in your life long after this is over.

Living in a chaotic work and home space?  Create awareness around keeping your environment organized and livable for balancing all of your activities.  Unlike having a separate office, commute, gym, restaurant, even café to escape to, now is the time to craft boundaries around your space and keep it clean.  A messy space is a reflection of your mindset so be intentional.

In need of a pandemic ritual? Reflect on the fun little routines you may develop on vacations, during the holidays, or in times and places in which you are out of your daily life.  It is amazing how adaptable we are when we are forced to be.  Are there times you have called your hotel room ‘home’ or incorporated a new daily habit when you are somewhere else? Rather than think about what you can NOT do, share ideas about what you CAN do during this time.

There are so many things within our reach; we must exercise our flexibility, mental agility and willingness to be out of our comfort zone. Take the time to try tools that are unfamiliar, and the challenges will become more manageable.  There is utility in relying on the hammer we know, and there is the realistic opportunity to see what else is in the toolbox.