What’s one thing that helps you, but you push aside?

It’s been a while since I’ve published here. These last two years I chose to pause writing on Upgrade Think Learn for a number of reasons. 

We had two really young kids to our family (who kept our sleep levels fairly low); had both just wrapped up our Masters’ degrees, changed jobs and moved out of Melbourne, and the 1-2 hours of evening downtime was prioritised with catching up sans kids.

Plus a pandemic.

Something had to give.

However, as we’ve emerged out of the fog of newborn-toddler years, and continued to adjust our expectations and routines during this pandemic, there’s now enough time and space to jump back in.

Much as it pained me to step back, sometimes knowing when to say no to something is more important than saying, ‘Yes’.

It’s bloody exciting to be back.

Now, we might be licking our wounds, restoring ourselves after 2021, and/or enjoying some downtime as 2022 kicks off (or navigating isolation with a house full of COVID like us Steeles currently).

As we do so, I want to ask you, what is a key thing that makes a positive impact on you, but you often don’t make time for it, or it’s pushed to the side?

This pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of wellbeing and mental health. Self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, physical health, sleep, self-compassion, connection, disconnection. All good and highly discussed things.

However, from watching and listening to my staff, family, friends (and potentially overly loud coffee drinkers in the local cafe), it seems we all know things that help boost us…but we keep pushing them to the side.

Again, what’s a thing you know helps you, but often gets sidelined?

Because, as 2022 kicks off, I’d say knowing and prioritising that thing could make a big difference this year.

I’ll put myself out there and say it’s making time to be silly.

Yep, I said it.

Acting like an idiot, making others laugh, getting into some banter with friends, watching or listening to comedians who make me genuinely laugh out loud. 

Yes Nodding GIF - Yes Nodding Will Ferrell - Discover & Share GIFs

Or, dressing up like Elsa from Frozen, putting underpants on my head and wrestling with my daughters (because we all know underpants on your head make you that much stronger and faster).Singing, rapping, and dancing to 90s and 00s hip hop and R’n’B is also a favourite pasttime.

Being aware of interests, times, people, and moments that can channel this need for a little bit of silliness helps me spot them when they arise, or make time for them.

Like a radar, by being aware of these I’m able to keep tabs on them; tapping into them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

Or, my wife will look up from one of the 100 books she is reading concurrently and ask me, in a very mature and knowing way, “Have you had some silly time recently?”.

(Yes, as I typed that I realised that sounds both ridiculous and like I am five year-old.)  And I bloody love it.

As a result, I’m constantly having opportunities to tap into things, people, and experiences that give me a boost. Chatting with certain mates, listening to funny podcasts, underpants-on-head wrestling, or terribly moonwalking through the kitchen.

All of these channel my love of humour, silliness, and connection – and help keep the wellbeing that little bit higher than it may have been.

Here are three questions I’d love to hear your answers on. Share them with me at dan@upgradethinklearn.com, or as a DM on instagram.

What are the things, people, or interests that should be on your radar?

When could you next tap into one of them?

What’s one action you’ll take to make that happen in the next 48 hours?

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