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Applied Mindfulness Start your day in the Disorder (Anticipating) Chaotic Domain 

To Fastrack things, slow it down first

"Start your day by sitting down and doing absolutely nothing.

Just sit there, close your eyes and breathe.

If you are jumping out of bed racing to shower, racing to eat breakfast, racing down the highway it's going to be a rushed day filled with anxiety.

Start your day with calm..."

Warren Buffett

This philosophy can be very difficult if it feels like the world is coming to an end.  However, we need to give ourselves the best chance to get through the day with enough resources mentally, emotionally and practical speaking.  This is not about letting go or taking it slow and as it comes.  This is about giving yourself the best chance to be ready for the unthinkable challenges coming up in your day.  More happens in a day now than what happened in 2 weeks in January…


Create your own Coronavirus Ritual (this can be done for individuals, families, teams, organisations).  Rituals are ancient ways to deal with the everchanging environments around is.  It gives us a sense of predictability, connection and with routine we can control and therefore predict what happens next.  And over time it starts having its own meaning and purpose.  Most religions, tribes, and even companies have created rituals for their followers. Once the day gets going in complexity, distractions and demands make it much more difficult to adhere to rituals, therefore the start and end of the day is our best chance.


Suggested start of the day rituals.  Adjust this to what works for you.

(Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh teachings)


  • Guard the morning (and start it gently). Train yourself to begin the day with a few gentle breaths and a smile, *before* even getting out of bed (or checking the phone). 

    • Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and use the 10 minutes to slowly wake up.  “This is today”.  I am getting ready for another day.  I know this day might be tough, therefore I give myself these moments of bliss.

  • Savour your tea or coffee, slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves. Follow your breathing, relax the body, look out the window, listen to your heartbeat (this is nothing less than meditation).

  • Enjoy every step of breakfast-making or prep for the day. Life is made of small moments. Connect with the presence (even if they are not with you) of your loved ones, and the wonder of having something to eat.

    • This is it.  The only time today for myself where I can do ONE thing at a time


Ritualise these principles.  Copy paste, rinse and repeat this every morning, and create a ritual for the last 30 minutes before you go to bed.  Include other house members or coordinate with a buddy in other place to support the practice of this ritual. It should become your “go to routine”. 




  • When you're ready to work, work. Free yourself from distractions and cultivate one-pointed mind. But don't forget to take care of your body while at the computer! Set a bell to sound so you can stretch every 30 minutes or so.

    • Limit social media and do ONE thing at a time. 

    • I am writing THIS email…

    • I am having this tell call

    • I am making this cup of coffee

    • I drink this cup of coffee

  • Take time to walk in mindfulness. If you can go outside and get in touch with nature, wonderful. If you're indoors, no problem: you can practice slow walking meditation, a powerful way to release tension and anxiety.  

    • Unpack a cupboard, re-arrange clothing

    • Add a piece of puzzle to a puzzle you trying to build.  10 pieces per day

  • Nourish yourself. Nothing can survive without food. Fear, anxiety and despair may be "fed" by what we read, see and hear. Likewise, our compassion, trust and gratitude can be fed by choosing inspiring books, music, audio & conversations.

    • Rest if you can

    • Read a book or listen to music

    • Ritualise this too.  15h00 is my music break…

  • Sweat every day. In the monastery, monks and nuns have dynamic physical exercise every day. It's essential to circulate our energy, stay healthy, and release tension and feelings that are stored in every cell of our body.

  • Reach out to loved ones. Let them know you are there for them. Ask what their deepest hopes and fears are. Write them a letter. Forgive those who need forgiving. Do not miss this stark opportunity to heal wounded relationships.

    • One on One relationships are key

    • Chat with other people (not just tweets or whatsapps) 

    • Journal your thoughts about friends / animals you have


Understand that the central nervous system is under threat.  And it should be.  Our biggest Fear is to be “hunted” and now all human beings are in that place.  Hunted by “a virus” is part of genetic fear.  And now we understand why it is the case.  Many movies have been made about pandemics, for a reason.  It has become reality now.


We also have a choice in response.  Healthy panic is needed.  Unhealthy Paranoia is not needed.  A key stabiliser for us is how we start the day and what rituals do we have that can ground us.  Create yours for yourself, your team, and organisation.  This is a horrible but unique opportunity to change our culture forever and for the good. 


And, practice Compassion and Kindness to yourself and others. 




Mindful Leadership

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