Out of comfort zone
Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Before and after Corona – are you in or out of your comfort zone at home?
We are living in an extraordinary situation. For almost a year, we have been in lockdown. I am currently in Frankfurt, Germany and we are only allowed to go out for essential purchases. The vaccines are here and give us some hope, but we know that it will be a step-by-step approach. We still need more time and learn how to be patient and flexible. Since last year, I have been reflecting on staying at home as an out of comfort zone experience. Maybe it’s a privileged complaint, but each of us is fighting with boredom, missing something outside, and not being free as before.
My home is always my comfort zone. It’s a place where I can find time and space to rest, regenerate myself, and set boundaries for my work and social life. My home is the place where I regain my deepest energy to get myself ready again to go out, socialize, work, exercise, and have some out of comfort zone experiences for individual and professional growth.
Naturally, we are social animals. Across all cultures, races, ages, and genders, humans have basic needs for social and emotional connection. We also need balance. Currently, we are limiting ourselves from being near our loved ones or going outside. Some of you have kids at home and are still trying to work productively while taking care of your babies. Some of you have may some relationship issues…stuck at home, trying to figure it out and still trying to perform for the outside world. Some of you may be completely alone, and if you are a sport and nature addict like me, you can’t go out and train properly in nature or the pool. All those limitations challenge us, which fits my definition of an out of comfort zone experience. On top of all that, the expectations from the outside world are not diminishing. We put ourselves under pressure to perform, having multiple calls each day, sitting in front of our laptops, and trying to prove our resilience by continuing to perform and being optimistic.
When you reflect right now, are you in or outside of your comfort zone? Which areas in your life are important? What are your priorities?
When we look at the main areas of our lives we invest our energy and time in, what are they?
Physical and mental health
Hobbies and activities
Social network and friends
Do you truly invest your time and energy in your priorities?
Is there a clear match between your priorities and your invested energy and time or do you have the feeling that the overall balance is currently missing?
If you have the feeling that the overall balance is missing, don’t worry. First of all, you are not alone! Second, there is always a solution!
Here are some tips based on my personal experience to help you at this stage:
1. Accept things when you can’t control or change something. I love this video, which shows us a positive perspective by questioning the thought process of worrying.
2. Have a morning routine before work - meditation and workout. During lockdown, I am waking up early in the morning every day starting with meditation, then continuing with Wim Hof breathing exercises, home HIIT workouts and cold showers. The mediation helps to balance my mind and soul and the workout makes me feel more powerful with my body. The cold showers activate my brain and body and I feel so energized and motivated to start with my busy day.
3. Learn new things and take time to try new digital tools. Watch some TED Talks, read new books, download new apps or digital tools to inspire and give you different perspectives.
4. Boost your immune system and stay healthy. I strongly recommend the Wim Hof method - a guided breathing exercise with cold showers. Doing this exercise on an empty stomach every morning will boost your immune system and activate your concentration and energy level. Furthermore, every morning, drink ginger tea with cinnamon, lemon, pepper, turmeric and honey.
5. Be aware of your potential and passion. Don’t be afraid to follow your emotions and try new things. Learn about your thought process. What motivates you? Which activities energize you? What brings happiness in your life?
6. Regenerate and don’t feel guilty when you rest! Many of us are feeling guilty when we step back and rest. But regeneration is as important as performing. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and recharge.
7. Prioritize yourself! The better you feel yourself, the higher probability that you can make others feel better. The more you feel fulfilled with yourself and love yourself, the more you can motivate others with their work and love others. Therefore, don’t forget to start with yourself and follow your passion.
With hope, Deniz Kayadelen
Author of “Out of Comfort Zone”