If you had told me a year or more ago I would be sitting in front of my mac with a 2-hour old cold coffee, giving tips for navigating what can easily be described as the strangest global event we have ever lived through, since Brad left Jen for Angelina, I think I would have laughed. Hard.
Putting my family on house arrest was not anywhere in my 10-year plan. It’s easy to look at our situation in disbelief and like the layers of a well-grown shallot, there is a lot more to this whole thing than meets the immediate eye. If you are anything like me, you may have even sourced some comfort at the beginning of this pandemic in the way our governments shut us down.
Some of us have lost people, many in fact. Some, like myself, have been lucky enough to skim through this (so far) with only family of friends or one step removed losses. It’s an indirect sadness, you feel it, and you wish it didn’t happen, but you are also so grateful that it wasn’t your grandfather, brother, mother, sister or son.
There is a massive population of us that are hurting on the whole for others, and on a lesser level for ourselves and our old lives. Having pain or struggle in one area doesn’t cancel out pain and suffering in another. This is why it’s important to be tactful while working from home.
Here is a list of 8 strategies to help you through this pandemic while working from home:
1. Feel it
It is perfectly acceptable to be a mess right now no matter how close to the sharp end of this pandemic you currently are due to personal circumstances.
2. Be grateful
Now you have identified how you really feel, what is 100 on the suckometer and what isn’t? take some time to find the pockets of light in your day. I really would love for you to throw the “I should be doing” rule book out the window for this one.
3. Your oxygen mask first
In the event of an emergency on a plane, you are told that when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling you MUST put on your own mask first. There is a very simple reason for this. You cannot help anyone else until you have helped yourself. No air for you means that you are no good to anyone around you, including you.
No matter how full your plate is right now, please, please, please recognize this one thing. You first.
You have identified some grateful spots – which is great, what else do you need? Do you need a standing appointment with a book and a bubble bath every Thursday? Make a list.
Be realistic but also recognize that there are opportunities to take better care of yourself than you are consciously acknowledging whilst you feed yourself another portion of “I don’t have time” or “I just need to do.”
4. Make a plan and fill it with routines
Sit down and map out your week, what is non-negotiable and what can be more flexible. How much time do you need to focus on that? What can you cut out or move?
This part will be hard especially if you have children because the working school day runs as your workday expectations do too. Something’s got to give.
It is important to categorize areas that are within as well as out of your control again for this part.
“You can juggle – but don’t multitask.” – me
Routines and rituals will help you. This may look different for everyone, whether it is a set bath time routine, a set “Golden time” per day (golden time is what we call relax, unwind, screen time for our two), or a time you can check your own computer in peace. The important thing is that everyone knows the plan and what area is being covered right now.
5. Get outside
Get some air, use your legs. Some days you may only get from the doorway to your car – that’s okay too. Especially if whilst inside the car you play a song and rock out, just for you, for those few golden glorious moments.
Getting outside might be required inside too – On a normal week you may not have spent every waking moment with your partner and kids or pets even. Too much of anything will start to slowly erode the joy it once bestowed on you. Be clear on what you need.
Have strong boundaries over your working hours, sleep and breaks. Make them, stick to them even if they are not what your normal 9-5 timetable looks like. Be realistic with yourself to make them achievable only – don’t use this as another benchmark of failure.
Make plans for the future – pencil them, put the sharpie down for now – but still make them and remember that although some things will be forever changed many will snap back such as seeing other humans and getting on a plane for instance.
We all need something to look forward to – this shouldn’t be any different.
Be kind to the people you are communicating with – they may be the cause of additional stress because they are under additional stress and everyone has varying degrees of coping mechanisms and/or support systems.
You do not have to be superwoman – “You can do hard things” – Glennon Doyle – but you do not have to do ALL THE HARD THINGS AT ONCE. You’ve got this, I believe in you.
Short Article Review
- Allow yourself to feel it
- Practice grateful
- Take care of yourself first
- Lean on routine
- Make time for outdoors
The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, tax, investment, financial, medical or other advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed professional regarding any questions you may have.
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