Taking care of you… and your controllables

Posted by Ben Whittacker-Cook on 9/09/2021 10:00:00 AM

It’s a good time to ask yourself what are your controllables in the latest wellbeing blog and opinion piece from Icehouse Coach Kim Hill. This article first appeared on Kim’s LinkedIn page.


Let’s ensure that we take care of what we feed our minds and bodies.

Well whanau, it looks as though it’s worked. While we can’t exactly say we’ve been riding the crest of a wave as a nation, we can say that the quick response of lockdown – we could call it a pivot! – has done the trick.

It might be tempting to get a bit complacent and think what the heck, but we know from overseas that that’s where things can go downhill quickly. (As I’m typing this, I’m thinking how we can apply that to our work life too…). So let’s keep doing our bit and focus on the short-term plan for long-term outcomes.

I’m wondering how the levels for the next week are looking for you. We may be more resilient but it seems to me we’ve got a bit less of the “we’re all in this mission together” spirit going on this time round.

There’s a heavier vibe. I was reflecting on ways to shift that and what came to me was that instead of the stress being on relentlessly psyching ourselves up with the positive self-talk (though I’m not saying don’t do that, obviously) perhaps taking a more habit-based approach might help.

What I mean by that is things like:

  • Chunking up the day so it doesn’t just lie shapeless ahead of us
  • Taking micro-breaks
  • Adding in something positive like yoga or meditation

They can give us a bit more of a sense of control.

Speaking of which, it is always good to ask ourselves the question: what are my controllables? It helps ground us. Make a list. There might be more than you think.

As I’ve worked with people over the last week, tending to the mindset has been what I’ve found myself coming back to. Our frame of mind has such an impact on our businesses and on our lives.

Lockdown can bring all sorts of stuff to the surface that we may not have thought about for years, maybe even childhood stuff that pushes buttons. It makes sense that we might find ourselves back there in our minds – that’s after all when we were least in control of our lives.

For sure, I am first and foremost a business mentor but I see the transformative value of working with the whole person. We take ourselves with us wherever we go, to state the obvious, and that means whatever else we have going on comes along to a greater or lesser degree for the ride. When we can identify and address the things that bother or block us, our businesses will only benefit.

Another mantra that I find helpful is: be careful what you let in. Let’s ensure that we take care of what we feed our minds and bodies. 

And on a broader scale, as we move to and hopefully beyond levels 4 and 3, remember to support local businesses. We know the big multi chains will survive but our local places simply will not if we do not support them. 

Last but by no means least, I want to extend huge support to folk and whanau in Auckland at this challenging time. Our thoughts are very much with them all. 

“Take care” has become a bit of a cliché but it is such sound advice. Take care of you.

For information on Kim, head to Stratigi.

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Topics: Business Strategy & Planning, The Icehouse, Kim Hill, Resilience, Wellbeing, Coaching, Mental Health, Business Resilience