By: Meredith Masse
How are you doing… really?
I mean, what a difference a couple of weeks can make. How’s it going as you deal with everything we’re working through as individuals, teams, companies and a nation? What are you doing to adjust to your new normal? Here are a few tips to get your thinker thinking. We’d love to hear what you’re finding helpful right now, too. Please add your tips to the comment section below and let’s support each other.
1. Put your oxygen mask on first. When our plates are full of responsibilities and obligations to others, self-care tends to take a back seat. This is no joke, friends. Flight attendants know what they’re talking about when they say put your mask on first. If you’re suffocating under the stress of trying to support others, in the end you’ll be no good to anyone. Take care of yourself, please. Breathe.
2. Feel all the feels. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve felt the entire range of emotions in just the first week of social distancing and self-quarantining. I believe we’re allowed! Just don’t let yourself stay in a low place too long. Reframe the negative thoughts by finding one thing to be grateful for. Your brain quite literally cannot have two thoughts at the same time, so let the good feels kick the bad to the curb as much as possible. If this becomes more and more difficult, please, talk to someone.
3. Distance yet keep your head out of the sand. Extroverts, especially, I am talking to you first, lest you fall into a deep depression without the human connection you need. That’s right: need. From one extrovert to another: turn the lights on, get your phone, laptop or other mobile device up and running and get that camera on. Tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime and others can help you stay connected to your besties. Set virtual coffees, lunches and happy hours. Yesterday evening, a few people on our street gathered in one neighbor’s driveway keeping about six feet apart. Filled my bucket!
Introverts, please, put your book down and know that we need to hear from you, too.
4. Spread more than peanut butter and jelly. As we make use of everything in our pantries, this is a time to also spread kindness. This article shares the results of a study that showed the benefits of when we can turn “attention toward helping others, we make everyone feel better—ourselves included.” Yesterday, some other neighbors just welcomed their 3.14-pound miracle baby at 31.5 weeks. The rest of us are pitching in to walk their dog, take them meals and send them love.
5. Move it! Sure, there’s no roller skating rink action in the near future. But you’ve seen the memes about the activities that aren’t canceled: Go outside. Ride a bike. Walk the dog (she/he needs it too!). Have a game of catch in the backyard. Heck, clean out that closet or the garage that you’ve been putting off. As the news of the virus started to spread, my husband bought dumbells (15, 30 and 40 pounders) from a used sporting goods store. We’ve been making up workouts and exercising as a family in our basement. We crank some tunes and even put Pumping Iron on in the background to keep us motivated (and laughing).
6. Laugh! The situation we’re in isn’t funny, admittedly. I’m working hard to find joy in the smallest things. I caught my teenager plugging in his various mobile devices for the evening the other day. We had music playing and as he stood by the counter matching phones and tablets to the right chargers, he was dancing like a goofball, shakin’ his groove thang like no one was watching. I caught him in the act and couldn’t help but smile and giggle a little to myself.
If your kids, dogs, cats, birds, Amazon delivery guy interrupt your Zoom call with that important client, remember that VIP is in this, too! Time to give each other an extra ounce of grace, including yourself.
For a totally off-the-wall perspective, get your guffaw on with these 7 Work from Home Tips You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else by my speaker friend Stacy Pederson.
7. Love. What an incredible time to reconnect with what’s truly important. Love a little more on those you hold dear. After all, we’re #inthistogether.
What else are you going to save your sanity during these crazy times? We’d love your comments below!