You’ve heard it more than once this week I’m sure – These are unprecedented times. We are living in uncharted territory. COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc globally, disrupting the way we live, work, and interact with the people and world around us. I could share the latest stats on the virus’s impact, but as we’ve seen, those numbers will shift once you’re done reading this message. With that said, please continue to get your facts on the global pandemic straight from the front lines by visiting the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/.
Instead, I’d like to focus on YOU – how are you? How are you coping with the changes that have entered your life like a tornado? Are you now suddenly working from home…and learning to do so on the fly? Do you have little kids running around in the background because their school is closed? Are your college-aged children suddenly back home? Are you having to balance your role as leader, employee, parent, impromptu homeschool teacher (the list goes on)? Again, I ask…how are YOU?
The circumstances we are living in are different than anything we have seen in our lifetime. With so much uncertainty, it is hard to focus, to lead the way you want to, to do your best work, to be the best parent you can be. I am here to say – you are NOT alone. Each of us, in our own way, are navigating these tricky waters – with no playbook. So, there is no wonder why people are feeling anxiety, powerless, and self-doubt. However, we must try to remember all things are impermanent – this too shall pass.
Easier said than done when you’re in the thick of it, right? I get it. But one thing has been proven over the history of the human race – through all of the challenges and triumphs we have faced – humans are a resilient species. We find a way. Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover from difficulties, a certain toughness to weather the storm (or virus in this case); the ability to spring back into shape. Resilience is more important than ever to our physical and emotional survival during this global crisis.
On a recent online workshop, I reviewed my 9 strategies for resilience – a topic that I think everyone can benefit from. We discussed the power of embracing the journey – the good, the bad, and the ugly, showing gratitude, patience and forgiveness, prioritizing our own wellness, and surrounding ourselves with people who support and encourage us.
One of the central components to being resilient is taking care of ourselves. And during times like now, that can be hard – one more thing to do, right? Well, think of it like the oxygen mask on an airplane – you must put yours on first, before you can help someone else. You MUST take care of you in order to take care of the people and things in your life. And during a time of crisis, this is even more critical. So, today I challenge you to take time for you. Here are few ideas:
Look for the good
When we practice gratitude, it literally changes the chemistry in our brains – making us happier and optimistic, even in times of struggle. One of my favorite quotes by Alice Morse Earle says it best, “Not every day is a good day, but every day has goodness within it.”
Mindfulness is Power
Mindfulness has been a hot topic for the last few years. And the reason – because it works. You can practice mindfulness daily with breathing exercises and meditation. Mindfulness enables us to pay attention without criticizing, judging, or shaming ourselves or others. When we practice mindfulness on a regular basis, we reduce stress, enhance performance and gain awareness.
Take a Walk
Even if it is just a quick 10-minute walk about the block, movement is therapeutic. Moving our muscles activates our brains to help us be more focused with a renewed sense of energy.
Remember Who You Are
Take time to remember who you are – your core values. What is most important to you? What are your non-negotiables? It is easy to lose sight of this during times of panic, but our core values help guide us through challenge, make healthy decisions for ourselves, and keep us centered. Get back to the basics.
We often have little control of the world around us; however, we can control how we react to it. Our ability to respond with grace and patience both to ourselves and those around us, our ability to be resilient in times of struggle, and our focus on what is most important will get us through this. The road may be longer than any of us would like, but we will get there – together.
Looking for additional insights and strategies to help you and your organization navigate this challenging time? Head on over to our website at https://www.successfulculture.com/ where you will find our full catalog of blogs, newsletters, podcasts (great to listen to while on those walks mentioned above) and other valuable resources to help you manage through whatever challenges you are facing today.