“Trying to live well”

3 minute read…


Like many people I have reflected so much on 2020 not only from a perfective of how we have overcome the challenges presented to us but also from a personal perspective and how I have coped. When the reality of COVID-19 sunk in, finding the motivation at times to keep up with work or daily demands dropped to the bottom of a long list of concerns for a lot of individuals. Ten months since the first lockdown, daily responsibilities and the COVID-19 pandemic are still going strong, and for me as for so many means being at home and in front of a screen for hours at a time or doing things very differently than before.


With hope but no clear end in sight, adjusting to the new normal of working from home has understandably taken its toll; uncertainty about the future, challenges with mental and physical health, constantly being in the same environment, and having to stay distant from peers and colleagues are just some of the things affecting our ability to even focus on our daily responsibilities, let alone tackle them with any sort of enthusiasm. For me, this has been challenging to say the least and the personal responsibility I felt I needed to take for all our people at Changing Lives Together has at times been overwhelming. Staying motivated can seem an impossible task and tests all of our resilience and I am no different than anyone. At times it can feel lonely.


I for one, as a husband, father and indeed Chief Executive have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish in 2021 and indeed what life changes I can make to move forward with vigour. New Year's resolutions, what can I say… they come, they go, losing weight, exercising, getting organised. I could go on, all good intentions but in many instances have I achieved? I know the answer, but perhaps we should all reflect and see how we measure up.


For me, 2020 gave me valuable time to reflect and think about what I would like to change my lifestyle so that I give myself a chance. Covid has made me realise that there is no better time to make achievable positive life changes and strive for an overall healthier Mike. Life is so much bigger than career or job, but does take second place so often… The last year has made me realise this.


The last year has increased my awareness of personal mental health and why it is as if not more important to me as physical health. Trying to maintain the balance and a proactive approach to both, whilst difficult for me, will help me build a healthy lifestyle. Our team at Changing Lives Together has helped, those 30 mins of humour and interaction have been a welcome distraction from the daily tasks that can take over our diaries. The interaction on teams, the daft email or rant, it all helps.


So for me, its small steps, to “live well”. For those who know me, I love coffee, no I really love coffee, strong double expressos or a ristretto if I feel I need a real kick. They are my weakness and I surprised (scared) myself of how many I was getting though, in excess of 8. Cutting down and drinking more water has helped me sleep and being less “wired” and relax a little. Simple but achievable. I even enjoy the coffee more when I have one but more importantly, I feel I am in control.


I am trying to focus on improving the overall quality of my diet and not getting too hung up on calories. I am adding more fibre, protein and generally good stuff to my diet. My weakness is sugar, any form, don’t really mind. I am trying very hard to restrict how much I eat. The cake is so nice with coffee, but I am cutting that right back!


One thing that I am trying hard to do is making time for me. Maybe, contrary to popular belief I think about others, a lot. Perhaps I overthink things. However, by doing this I often neglect me and others important to me. By being a little selfish and doing things for me will surely put me in a better position to consider others. I am doing things that make me happy and more importantly, I try to prioritise them. So, if you call or teams me and I don’t answer I may be taking 20 mins to get some air and walk Oscar.


We will all get through the pandemic. It has been a rocky journey so far and I am sure there are a few obstacles along the way. At Changing Lives Together, we do amazing things but are so reliant of each and every one of us. Let’s listen, emphasise and show compassion, starting with ourselves.


Stay safe and keep well.