HOW SELF-AWARENESS CAN HELP YOU COPE BETTER IN TIMES OF COVID-19

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One Size Does Not Fit All author, Lisa Jansen, explains how developing self-awareness can improve your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 has been a challenging year for many – and we still have a few months to go. Prolonged lockdowns, high levels of uncertainty, financial worries and of course, constant health concerns for ourselves and our loved ones will eventually get to even the most optimistic and resilient.

Research suggests that COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns and restrictions are having a significant impact not just on the economy but also on our mental health. After just one month of lockdown, the number of people with significant levels of mental distress in the UK had risen from 18.9% in 2018–19 to 27.3% in April 2020.

As we all come to terms with the fact that COVID-19 and the uncertainty and restrictions that come with it are not going away anytime soon, the question becomes: What can we do, as individuals, that will help us cope better in times like these?

Author Lisa Jansen argues that developing self-awareness is a crucial part of the answer. As someone who invested a lot of time and energy into learning about herself and understanding her strengths and weaknesses, she knows how much of a difference it can make.

“Developing a high level of self-awareness is probably the best thing I’ve ever done for myself”, says Lisa. “It’s been a crucial step on my journey of turning my life around and finding lasting happiness. And in challenging times like the current, it’s the number one thing that helps me cope and even thrive.”

Lisa is not the only one who believes in the power of self-awareness in overcoming obstacles and thriving in challenging times. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, “He who has a why can endure any how”, and this theory has since been backed-up by researchers and psychologists.

Self-awareness is about knowing who we are and what matters to us and being able to name and understand our feelings. It’s about understanding our strengths and weaknesses, being able to identify warning signs when our mental well-being is at risk and knowing what steps will help us to turn things around.

“The fact is, we’re all different. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and we all cope differently in challenging times. Self-awareness is what enables us to take actions that are right for us, instead of following generic one-size-fits-all advice,” explains Lisa Jansen.

For example, there has been a lot of discussion in recent months about whether we should use lockdown to be productive, learn new skills and tick things off our list or whether we should just allow ourselves to take it easy, have a couple of Netflix binges and lower expectations in ourselves and others. The truth is, both are right for different people at different times. High levels of self-awareness enable us to know which one is right for us in any given moment.

Lisa Jansen knows this well from her own experience.

“I used to be unmotivated, uninspired, overweight and probably depressed at times. Learning about my personality, my values and my strengths and weaknesses has helped me turn my life around. It has enabled me to follow my own path in life and be a lot more resilient. Today, I am able to recognise the warning signs that my mental-health might be deteriorating and I know what I need to do about it. The recent COVID related challenges have been a great reminder of how valuable that is.”

Her own experience with the importance of self-awareness for finding lasting happiness and coping well in difficult times inspired Lisa to write her book, One Size Does Not Fit All: Discover Your Personal Path to a Happier Life.

“I have been on this incredible journey of turning my life around and finding lasting happiness. I learnt so much along the way, and I wanted to share that with others to hopefully help them do the same.”

One Size Does Not Fit All guides the reader through a series of exercises designed to learn about their personality, values and strengths and weaknesses. The book then encourages the reader to use that knowledge to figure out what will bring them lasting happiness before outlining a process for developing a highly actionable, personal plan to a happier life.

Order your copy of One Size Does Not Fit All today for just £9.99 at www.mortonsbooks.co.uk

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