How to take care of yourself in winter 2020

Are you getting weary?

It’s November. Usually, by this point in the year, fatigue has set in, but, there is a promise of some festive fun and a break from normality on the horizon.

November 2020 doesn’t look like that.

Instead, what looms is more uncertainty, more confusion, more conflicting emotions, more weariness, more tiredness.

It’s time to think about how we look after ourselves during this unique winter.

For that reason, I want to encourage you to consider your capacity vs your capability.

Let me explain.

Your Capacity

Your capacity is what you can do over the course of a day, a week, a month. It’s what you can physically and mentally fit into your life.

I want you to think about your capacity as a bucket.

For some people that bucket will be a huge vat, like a large oak barrel filled with slowly maturing whisky.

For others, that bucket will be the size of a small pail, like the one you would use to make sandcastles at the seaside.

We all have our own individual bucket that represents our capacity at this moment.

The size of your capacity bucket will be influenced by things like your physical and mental health, your past experiences, and your current circumstances. And the size of your capacity bucket will change over time.

I encourage all my clients to hone their superpower of self-awareness so that they can easily identify what is true for them. I encourage you to do the same.

What does your capacity bucket look like right now?

Be honest with yourself.

Are you feeling mentally and physically able to do all the things that you expect of yourself? If not, what changes do you need to make?

Accept and acknowledge the capacity that you have and work within it.

Many people find this difficult. They compare themselves to other people, “How come they manage to do so much more than me? What’s wrong with me?”

Or in the current context in 2020, “How come they are OK with the rules changing all the time? I want to know when I can go back to the office or whether I can spend Christmas with my family!”

But when you observe other people around you, you really know nothing about what is going on in that person’s world.

Outwardly they may look like they have life under control, juggling countless spinning plates, and still managing to keep a smile on their face.

And yet, inwardly it could be another story.

You need to focus on you and what you can manage within your capacity bucket.

Your Capability

Your capability is the sum of all your skills, knowledge, experience, and potential.

It is the representation of what you COULD do if you so choose.

Every single person reading this has their own unique set of capabilities

There are lots of things that you CAN do. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to. And it doesn’t mean that you have to do them all right now.

It can be tempting to cram our life full of ‘all the things’.

  • Excel in our career – tick.
  • Create memorable moments with our friends and family – tick.
  • Achieve a personal best in the next race – tick.

All things that we may be capable of doing. But we need to be mindful of whether we can fit all these things into our capacity bucket right now.

Again, considering the context of 2020. We’ve just entered lockdown again in England.

You may be tempted to think about how you can ‘make the most’ of the time.

  • Bake Banana Bread – tick.
  • Daily walk in nature – tick.
  • Organise Zoom quiz with extended family – tick.

All great things. So long as you have the mental and physical capacity to take them on.

And if you don’t, that’s OK. Just because you can do all these things doesn’t mean that you should.

The Capacity vs Capability Conundrum

Solving the Capacity vs Capability Conundrum involves a delicate balancing act.

The trick is to:

  • Recognise and understand your own capacity
  • Acknowledge and celebrate your unique capabilities.

Then, decide what are the things that are important to you RIGHT NOW.

What are the things that are SO important that you want them to take up space in your capacity bucket?

This is where you are going to direct your capability, your time, your energy, and your attention. And all the other things? The things that you could do but don’t currently have the capacity for?

They will still be there in a few months’ time. Or maybe they won’t, but if not, that’s OK.

They weren’t a high enough priority for you to put them in your capacity bucket right now. Acknowledge that and let them go.

The Power of Filling Your Capacity Bucket Effectively

When you use your capability in a way that allows you to work within the constraints of your capacity bucket, magic happens.

You are not trying to do all the things, all the time, and not being successful at any of them. Or being successful at them but running yourself ragged(!)

You start to see results and you move forward in the areas that truly matter to you.

Once you start to see results, your confidence, self-assurance, and sense of self-worth all start to grow.

The more confident and capable that you feel the more that you feel able to take on more.

Slowly but surely your capacity bucket starts to expand and you can carefully but gently add more into it.

To keep your capacity and capability equation balanced you need to keep checking in:

  • How am I feeling? Am I doing too much? Can I cope with taking on more?
  • What am I thinking? Am I happy with what I have taken on? Do I believe that it is manageable?
  • How am I behaving? Is my behaviour supporting me? Am I repeating unhealthy patterns of behaviour?

As you check-in, you have the opportunity to adjust, change, and constantly evolve. And if we one thing is for certain, it is that Winter 2020 is going to be the winter of adjustment, change and evolution!

I’m Nicola Semple, Certified Mindset Coach and Host of The Good Life Well Lived Podcast. I help people to fill their capacity bucket in exactly the way that is right for them. I can work with you 1:1 to help you clear the mental clutter, identify what is important to you, and then help you to remove the blocks that hold you back.

I work at a conscious and unconscious level to leave you feeling lighter, brighter, and with unshakable confidence that you can create a life that you love.

Interested? Send me an email  (nicola at and I can share more details.