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Reframing for a New Perspective

Shifting perspective to get over the back to work blues

One aspect of coaching is reframing, or helping clients see something from a different perspective. My column this week focuses on how to get past the post holiday slump by reframing the things that can get you down. 

Coaching involves reframing and helping shift the client’s perspective to look at a situation from a different angle that he or she may not have previously considered.  As we settle back into life post-Golden Week, here are a few thoughts to shift you out of your back-to-reality-I-had-to-work-Saturday-blues.

Beauty In the Chaos

Honking horns, music blaring, an onslaught of smells. This is part of the everyday reality of life in Shanghai. Rather than succumbing to the sensory overload, allow yourself to look at each of these pieces individually. Consider how incredible it is that you are able to witness snippets of daily life that are quickly disappearing. What might happen if you thought of your morning commute as the opening credits to a movie? Who would you notice that you pass by blindly everyday? What would stand out to you?  


Rising prices in Shanghai are not only confined to alcohol, but drink prices are certainly something that comes to mind when cost of living is discussed. Rather than complain about the cost of meeting up after work, what might happen if you consider that you’re fortunate to have a community of friends that will gladly meet you when you need some support after a rough day at the office? Chances are you’ll never have to wallow in self-pity alone here.


There is the sardine-in-a-can feeling of the metro in the morning and sitting in a taxi on the elevated road, but then, there’s Kuaidi. Rather than thinking of the stress of waiting in lines and getting from place to place, think of the cumulative hours you’ve saved by paying RMB15 to have something delivered across town. What have you been able to do because you didn’t have to make a return trip to pick up your new glasses at the railway station hypermarket?

There's A Never A Dull Moment

“Daily Routine” is a phrase that is used loosely in Shanghai.  Ask anyone that has been here more than a week and they’ll tell you that the best-laid plans have a way of getting scrambled. This can be beyond frustrating when trying to create a schedule, but consider the adventures you’ve taken as a result. What have you encountered, that you had no plans of doing, that has changed you for the better? What have you learned about yourself as a result of these experiences?

As you come up against those things that cause you to shake your head in disbelief, ask yourself what the flip side is and what you can take away from the situation.