We are in a moment of unknown. This applies to our immediate families, close communities, the wider community, our neighbors and world. It can be difficult to focus and stay steady at such times.
Our minds may be racing with scattered thoughts, concerns and fears, or we may feel frustration or annoyance at the unexpected disorder. We may experience heightened responses from those around us including our colleagues and family members who are dealing with extreme stress. Our bodies may feel edgy, cramped, uncomfortable or anxious. It is difficult to focus on work, productivity or attend to improving processes during these moments.
The first step to being and working in such an environment is to reconnect with ourselves and our purpose. The simple act of connecting with why we do what we do and who we are doing it for (self, family, wider community) can offer ease to the moment. In addition, connecting to little moments and gestures of comfort applied consistently can be very supportive.
With this in mind, below are a few helpful tools for Working from Home & Finding Stability:
Three (3) Tips to Work From Home & Support Stability
- Set a Rhythmic Schedule: The goal here is to allow some flexibility, but to have and maintain a schedule. Without the standard physical or time boundaries that are usually associated with work environments, constructing personal boundaries becomes important.
- Outline your day from beginning to end in hour-long increments
- If you have children, fit in playtime or activity/school time. Be sure it’s intermixed with lots of movement.
- Remember to use breaks every 2 hours for 15 minutes (fit in an Anchor Practice during this time – see below)
- Use a clock if needed or a timer
- Consider working only in one location if possible (i.e. sometimes having your work in multiple places within the house can give an underlying feeling of work “never-ending”). For more on this check out
- Commit to Consistency & Find some Anchors: Consistently applying “Anchor Practices” can be extremely beneficial during times of stress and uncertainty. Anchor Practices are those practices that make our bodies and minds feel good and give us an emotional uplift. Consider things you do that bring you joy and liberally incorporate these into the rhythm of your day. Here are some ideas:
- Coffee & Gratitude – A Morning Ritual: Find a comfortable spot to sit and sip your coffee (or tea!) and consider your top five gifts of the moment. A hot cup of coffee. A warm home. Family. Fur babies. Sunshine. A body that moves and is able. A smile. Connect to these and appreciate them.
- Get Some Fresh Air & Connect to Nature Daily: There are many ways to get fresh air, even if we are bound to our homes or apartments. If possible, go outside for a walk while applying social distancing. If you are apartment bound, go onto a deck, patio or simply open a window and let the breeze in.
- Connect to Others Daily: Call colleagues, friends, and families and check-in regularly. Many of us are at the beginning of a potentially prolonged confinement to our homes. Utilize technology to support connection – use video conferencing when possible to visually connect.
- Purposefully Limiting Exposure while Staying Informed: We live in a time we can connect to and read or watch news updates 24/7. Instead, you may wish to limit your exposure and review the news and commentaries only at certain times of the day. Turn your devices on Do Not Disturb while working. This may help reduce restless or anxious feelings while still being informed.
- Move & Support Your Body: Enjoy steady consistent movements for your body. Simple stretches. Yoga or exercise.
- Enjoy an online exercise class mid-day: There are multiple options for free online classes during this time. Utilize them and try something new.
- Setup your environment ergonomically: If you expect to work for a long duration from home, you can order ergonomic equipment on Amazon (examples: desk risers, portable desks, keyboard trays and an ergonomic mouse)
- Plan Mini-Movement Moments: It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Schedule a short 5 minute stretch between calls. Do 20 squats while your coffee brews. Breathe deeply for 2 minutes. All of these mini-moments count, and scattered throughout your day can offer great support for the body.
Difficult times call on businesses and the people who run them to think innovatively. That’s what we do. In our best moments, we offer valuable and needed ideas, products and tools to our world. What can you or your company offer our community in times like this? Can you offer support or reassurance to employees regarding their wages or sick time? Can you donate or offer your services somehow remotely? Do you have goods that are in desperate need right now? Do you have business partners that need support, reassurance, orders? Brainstorm. Connect. Do what you do best. Innovate. Support. Serve.
I encourage you to first connect deeply internally. Support yourself deeply using tools such as the ones above. And then step up – wherever you can – in whatever capacity you can.
The Integration Group