In the last week, working from home has shifted overnight from being a ‘sometimes food’ to an ‘everyday food,’ many industries have been changed unrecognisably and indefinitely and the rest of us have developed an obsession with grocery shopping and budgeting.
While we are moving through the 7 Stages of Grieving our ‘Old Normal’ life (or at least experiencing some kind of ‘change whiplash’) we need to try to stay on an even keel for our families, our colleagues and the teams we lead. Especially if we are a leader, but even if we are not, what we say and do creates ripples and we can influence the tone of every conversation and every room we are in. (I know, we aren’t in that many rooms these days. Dining room, living room, bedroom…I can see this WFH thrill is going to wear off real quick…)
Here are a few things I keep reminding myself:
1. The calmest person in the (zoom) room always wins.
Calm is the secret weapon for getting through this. If I’m not feeling calm that’s the first thing I need to sort out, because the executive function of my brain won’t be working well if I’m stressed. Take deep breaths, speak more slowly, go for a walk, write in a journal – whatever works.
2. Self-care just shot to the top of the priority list.
Sleep, nutrition, exercise, relaxation have never been more essential. But make sure it’s active recovery. More reading or walking and less late-night Netflix. Added bonus: these will help my immune system to be in top shape if and when Covid calls. We know, for example, people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick when infected with a virus.
3. I have so much to be grateful for.
If I up my daily dose of gratitude for what I do have, I can better handle the very real challenges and losses. I’m lucky I have a family, a home, my health…you get the idea. It’s been found to help deal with both stress and trauma. Perspective is hard to come by when the world is upside down and gratitude helps to me zoom out and remember what’s most important.