Interesting Times

wellbeing in the pandemic

A wellbeing guest post from Nick Elston

“We live in ‘interesting’ times.”

I love this line.

It comes from my favourite author Terry Pratchett, from his Discworld series of books.

Plus, right now – here in reality – it’s never been truer!

‘Interesting’ can cover a whole manner of experiences – where some may be struggling right now, some may be thriving.

Having delivered a Keynote Talk for the NHS Frontline Conference – they certainly have a unique set of challenges – they are working tirelessly to ensure our continued safety.

When I spoke at an event the following week, to people largely isolated for the majority of 2020 – they have a different set of challenges, but still feel pain and frustration.

But, after Speaking for a tech company shortly afterwards – they are seeing unparalleled growth – so are thriving through the pandemic.

So, as with everything Mental Health related – it shows that there is no one fix all, that everyone has different experiences, perspectives and challenges – therefore we need to take away the assumption of how everyone is doing – personally and professionally.

All in this together?

The saying that was liberally banded about, especially in the early period of lockdown was ‘we are all in this together!’

Absolutely not.

For me, it’s more like we are all in the same storm, just in different boats!

Whoever you meet right now – and you may even recognise this in yourself – will be in one of these three camps;

  • Acknowledgment
  • Survival
  • Evolution

Let me use my own experiences of lockdown as the example;


All of my business – as a Speaker or as a Coach – was all done ‘in-person’.

None of my business was online.

My business was wiped out, overnight!

So, I had to acknowledge very early on that this is BRUTAL!

There was no other word for it – professionally, personally, socially – in every sense, this was going to be a huge shift in reality.

It’s only when we acknowledge exactly where we are right now – even if it’s somewhere that we don’t want to be – can we then move on to the next ‘camp’…


“What we have, we hold” as my Pap used to say!

Siege mentality – how long could I last without any income, any heart medication (!), any toilet rolls!

This is where we get busy on our strategy to secure what we have right now.

The loan breaks, mortgage holidays, tax relief breaks – doing anything I could to ensure I could survive as long as possible – personally and professionally.

Once I established that – that’s where it got exciting…


This is where I got creative.

Designing new online resources, virtual talks, webinars, online coaching sessions etc.

But, the most important evolution process was in truly starting to shape a ‘life on my terms’.

Incorporating more self-care, meditation, exercise, ‘recovery’ time.

Also, redesigning my working week so that work was at a pace of my choosing, whilst ensuring that I covered everything I needed to do – what I labelled my ‘High Performing Week’.

There’s a quote that I use a lot when I Speak;

‘Every storm runs out of rain…’

Not only is it a cracking Country Music track (!) but also it’s a reminder to you that it’s ok to be feeling the fear right now, it’s ok for you to not know what the outcome of things will be and to understand that everyone else is also feeling that way too.

But, every ‘storm’ you have ever lived through has passed.

Most of the time, we come through our challenging times smarter, stronger and happier from the learnings, lessons and experiences of those times – if we only apply ourselves in the right way.

Maintaining positive Mental Health is all about incorporating and maintaining those ‘marginal gains’ – those daily, incremental changes that when applied consistently – produces BIG results!

Keeping our right to ‘choice’ – how we choose to proactively go into each and every day.

Sadly, when we are struggling, ‘choice’ is the first thing we sacrifice.

We cannot control the uncontrollable, the pursuit of doing so will only create extra anxiety.

Anxiety to me was regret from the past or the fear of the future.  Rarely was it today.

So, harness the power of the two things you can control – your thoughts and your actions – and set yourself up for success each and every day!

Nick Elston is a high-profile and leading inspirational speaker. on the Lived Experience of Mental Health.

Nick’s talks are where Mental Health meets Personal Development – focusing not just on what anxiety is – but what anxiety does – how it keeps us in a comfort zone, stops us living life on our terms & ultimately how it affects our success – by our own definition.

Click here for more information on Nick

Nick has also featured on The Financial Wellbeing Podcast, come and have a listen to the episodes by clicking on the links below –

Episode 55 – Overcoming Anxiety

Episode 61 – Coping with Anxiety During Lockdown

Blog: Interesting Times

We live in interesting times – a guest post from Nick Elston takes a look at the different stages of this ‘storm’ and how we can choose to move forward

Posted by:
September 29, 2020

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