Write it Down

Don’t let your bullying complaint evaporate. When you have been subjected to bulling or other inappropriate behavior, put down in writing what happened. That has two important effects. First, it makes your mind less likely to keep reminding you of the incident. Second, it allows you create a complaint that cannot evaporate.

When something important happens, good or bad, your mind recognizes it. Because it is important, your minds wants to hold on to it. That means it will regularly remind you in order to refresh the memory. For good memories, that is great. For bad experiences, you want to tell your mind that you got this on paper, so you don’t need any more reminders.

The people in your organization’s HR department or the school district have lots of things to worry about. If you report bullying, your important report might get lost in a pile of less important, but seemingly more urgent, tasks. But once a report is in writing, it cannot easily evaporate. It becomes a record in a system. There are people who will be evaluated on whether they address the complaints in that system. And if complaints about specific people pile up, they are more likely to be taken to task.

Improve Your Sleep

Sleeping too little is bad for your health in a thousand ways. Trying to catch up by spending the weekend in bed is not a long-term solution.

Notice what time you wake up on Saturday and Sunday without an alarm clock. If that is not about the same time you get up on work days, your sleep rhythm is disturbed and needs fixing.

To improve it, go to bed ridiculously early each day next week. Seriously early, like a 8 or 9 PM. Make a note of when you wake up fully rested. If that is not before your usual time, you have a sleep deficit you need to address. Keep going to bed very early until you wake up before you have to. Then you can start adjusting – if you want to get up at 7AM and you wake at 5AM, you can go to bed two hours later. A good sleep rhythm is necessary condition for health and success.

Sometimes You Need Help

Sometimes you do need help. I try to provide useful self-help advice for everybody who follow me on social media, but if you have a serious issue, you will need to work individually with someone.

One point where my American friends are ahead of us here in Europe is that there is little or no stigma attached to visiting a psychologist in the US. In Europe, it would be very surprising to hear someone in casual conversation say “as I told my therapist…”

I want to make it as easy as possible to work with me, so you can simply click a button on my website to set up a free 20-minute call. Or click this link: https://vester.li/i05. I’m here if you need me.

Reach into the Future

Our lockdown is gradually lifting here in Denmark, and my friends in Israel tell me they’re getting close to normal after a massive vaccination effort. In many places around the world, vaccinations are proceeding and lockdowns are having effect.

What will you do when restrictions are lifted? Think of something you want to do and can’t do now. Close your eyes and imaging yourself involved in that activity. Some people are able to visualize the activity, others can imagine hearing the sounds or feeling the physical sensations. You can use this method to harvest energy from the future to re-energize yourself while we all wait for the things we can’t do now.

Spring is Coming

Winter is drawing to a close, and spring is approaching. Here in Denmark, the days are getting longer and the first early spring flowers are breaking out of the ground. This is a time for preparing. What will you be doing this year? If you haven’t set a few goals for 2021, now is a good time to do it. And find some easy first steps you can do to start you journey towards your goal. It can be something really simple like looking up the information you need on the internet. Count that as progress towards your goal. Spring is coming.

Meetup: Overcoming the Effects of Bullying

I host an online meetup about overcoming the effects of bullying today at 7PM CET. Being bullied leaves scars that can take many years to heal, and the current situation can re-activate trauma from our past. Join me to hear about the three steps you can take today to overcome your bullying experience and move forward in your life. Sign up here: https://www.meetup.com/Life-After-Bullying-online-self-empowerment-group/events/276458577/

Look for the Good News

When we cooperate, we are capable of incredible things. At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, experts expected it would take 3 or 4 years before we had a vaccine, but several teams have managed to create vaccines in record time.

Yesterday saw a Nasa spacecraft land on Mars. If you haven’t seen the illustrations of how it was done, I can recommend looking it up. It was an amazing feat of engineering involving heat shields, parachutes, and a hovering “sky crane” that slowly lowered the huge one-ton robot onto the surface of Mars.

This weekend, make a decision to read only positive news and stories. Simply scroll past the bad news. You won’t miss anything. If it is really important, you will see it again on Monday. Your weekend should be a time for recovery and re-energizing. To achieve that, feed your mind with all the good stories out there.

Uses for Your Bed

You should only use your bed for two things, and working isn’t one of them. Even if you your partner has already occupied the kitchen table for their important zoom meeting, find someplace else. It might feel nice and cosy to cuddle under your blanket in bed with your laptop, but don’t do it.

Firstly, the ergonomics of sitting in bed are horrible. Everything is too soft and you are unable to sit with a straight spine. Secondly, you don’t want to associate your bed with working. If you do, you are setting yourself up for sleep problems. (And by the way, don’t watch TV in bed, either.)

Working with people in all kinds of situations, many of them trauma victims, I usually don’t give strict guidelines. But this is one of the few. Don’t ever work in bed.

You Have Options

In comparison with my American friends in Texas and elsewhere who are freezing without power, I have it easy. Even though our gas boiler just stopped, we have a fireplace to heat our home and we still have electrical power.

When you are faced with an unexpected problem, take a moment to think about your options. If your normal heating is out, do you have alternative heating sources? Do you have a cottage with a fire-burning stove? Do you have an RV heated with propane? Can you stay with someone who does have heating? Does your community provide emergency shelter for people without heating?

The most important thing you can do to improve your life is to break the chain between an event and an automatic response. You always have options.

Celebrate Pancake Day

Remember to celebrate. For example, today you can celebrate International Pancake Day. That’s not something just dreamt up by the marketing department in a company that sells pancake mix. It comes from the Christian liturgy, where this day is called Shrove Tuesday and is the last day before the fasting period of Lent. Because you were not allowed fat and sugar during Lent, you had a feast on the day before where you used up all the good stuff, for example by making pancakes. This day is also called Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) for the same reason.

In times like these, it is important to find reasons to celebrate. If you don’t actively act against it, lockdowns and other bad news will affect your mood. But it is completely within your power to lift your spirit by deciding to celebrate something. Like pancake day.