Aim for sane (not super!)

Third week of lockdown in SA and it’s the week of hitting the wall. Now everyone’s a bit grumpy with the “go-for-it” attitude of the emergent online motivators! So, here’s what I’ve been saying to my clients from the start: aim for sane (not super!)

Why settle for sane, you say? Do I believe good things can come from this time? Absolutely! Is my hope for a new “normal” after lockdown? For sure! But it’s ok to aim for SANE now and maybe hit SUPER along the way.

So, how do we aim for sane?  We cultivate resilience.


Resilience is our “bounce-back”. It’s our capacity to stay flexible and adaptable under pressure. More than that, it’s about even advancing during adversity.  

Keep that bounce!

Here’s my 5 R’s of resilience that help us to aim for sane:


Harvard’s research on resilience, found that having at least one supportive relationship is a major contributor to our resilience. Now, more than ever, is the time to stay connected to your support system. And today’s technology makes that very possible. Regularly check-in with family and friends.


Roles are the specific parts we play in this network of relationships. One of your main roles (worker/employee/employer) has probably been severely disrupted in this time. But you have other roles to play: parent, child, friend, neighbour… even SA citizen!

This may be a good time to re-evaluate how much of your identity and self-worth was tied into just one or two roles. You can continue to contribute value to relationships through other roles, even if that looks a bit different right now.

Is “time-out” part of your routine?


Routines give us a sense of predictability and stability when life around us seems very unpredictable and uncertain! Routines can anchor us.

It’s easy to get out of routine and end up waking later, exercising less and blurring the line between work and leisure. Return to a similar routine as before, especially for your wake/sleep cycle. Try to maintain balance between self-care, work, leisure and socializing.

If you’re not in the position to work remotely, maybe rethink work. In essence, work is about productivity. We produce something by our efforts. Is there still something you can produce by:

  • Learning – producing knowledge or skill
  • Changing – producing order or art
  • Growing – producing food
  • Giving – producing comfort and inspiration
Special teatime ritual


Rituals bring richness to routines! Humans have always used rituals to mark time, make meaning and create memories. Rituals may be religious or cultural ( we just celebrated Easter/Passover). And they can also be familial – the things you do as a family. In my family, tea-time is a daily ritual that connects us. On Friday afternoons we treat ourselves to special choccies to mark the end of the week!

Keep your family rituals going… and maybe make some new ones too. What memories of this time would you like to look back on in future? What do you want your kids to best remember?

Naps ARE allowed!


Finally, rest. Contrary to what you think, “toughing it out” and “soldiering on” are the exact opposite of what grows resilience!  Resilience = rest!

I mean rest as a mindset and as a practice. Maintain a restful mindset with mindfulness, meditation and gratitude. But also focus on good sleep and some napping (yes, you can!) to stay rested.

So, with weeks of lockdown ahead, use these 5 R’s to aim for sane (not super!)

Need help to put this into practice? Get in touch for an online session.

1 reply on “Aim for sane (not super!)”

Love this Helen! This helps to put things in perspective and to lose the guilt..!!! I especially like the bit about working and producing.

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