Facts over Fears.
There are times in life when the world moves at lightning speed, but not here and not now… or at least that’s what the media might have you believe. By now most of the world is homebound and/or working from home for the past week, many working from home while home-schooling their kids.
For many in professional occupations, such as software development, engineering, design, writers, strategy and consulting (just to list a few), they’re accustomed to working from home: “hey, I can code anywhere, anytime!” And many will intentionally work from home, when they need to focus on designing or developing something and avoiding interruptions from distractions at the office.
For many of those people, the last week was a myriad of things. It was a frenetic time of refocusing and reacting and responding to market conditions; course-correcting and starting the sprint on what feels like a marathon. Tough and stressful times. And made tougher by the lack of human contact and their everyday support network.
For those who cannot work from home but are homebound, they’re being told that they’ve trained for this challenge their whole lives: stay home, sit on the couch and valiantly endeavour to watch everything on Netflix; “you can do it!” Might seem like an easy occupation, but these are uncertain times and they want things to get back to normal before driven to madness and the temptation of listing their kids on eBay (for free, including delivery).
We hear ya!
For any and all who are home-bound and are worried (these are unprecedented times, who's not worried, everyone’s worried), please remember the following:
Emotional Strength: tough times are temporary. Focus on staying resilient during this time by doing your part to contain this situation: follow the directions of your local government. If and when you go outside, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, (avoid touching your face).
Nonstop News is No Bueno! Get the updates you need, but take it in small doses to stay informed while keeping your anxiety low.
There’s a variety of ways to stay connected with family and friends. You can Facetime, WhatsApp, Slack, FB Messenger, Zoom, etc. Virtual happy hours and virtual dinner parties have become quite popular. We’ve even seen block parties, where neighbours sit in their cul de sac, in their driveways, or backyards (while practicing safe social distancing). And, lemme tell ya, these people are onto something, they are having more fun than anyone else! (see below, social distancing applied)
Cul de Sac Dinner Party. Stacey, Walnut, California.
Backyard Happy Hour. Ashley, Portland, Oregon.
FaceTime Happy Hour. Ashley, Portland, Oregon.
If you have a yard, balcony, terrace, etc. go outside, get fresh air. Live near a big park? Take a moment to get outside and take-in your surroundings; the green of the grass, the top of the trees, the wind and sound of the birds. Practice moments of gratitude. Practice breathing exercises. Meditate. This too shall pass.
Nick, Singapore, Singapore.
Take extra-long walks with your dogs. Snuggle with them. The benefits of the emotional support from your pets is thoroughly documented and we don’t need to cover it here. Take this time to be with them; they miss you when you’re at work, so being home with them is their dream. As far as they're concerned, they’re living their best lives and they are gonna lap it up (pun intended).
Sven in a state of incandescent puppy happiness in the mountains of San Diego Country Estates.
Anthony with Akela and Sven, Ramona, California.
Embed's Marcey, working from home with her pooch. Dallas, Texas.
Yale University's most popular class (ever), The Science of Wellbeing, is free, online, now. And, here’s the best part, the topic is how to be happier in your daily life. 612,000 people have already signed up for it. 36% of people started a new career after completing the course. And, 34% got a tangible career benefit from completing the course. Takes 20-hours to complete; you got the time!
Positivity: help your family and friends stay positive, together you can get through anything.
Acts of Service:
Service and generosity are proven to uplift your spirits and those of the people you are helping, so don’t hesitate to act if you know someone who needs your help or you see a situation where you can be of service.
For example, Su Hock, from Singapore: he heard that Malaysians who commute everyday into Singapore to work, stayed in Singapore for fear of not being able to return to work the next day due to the border closure, and had no place to sleep but the outdoors. Su Hock joined a group of Singapore citizens and local churches to search and provide the displaced Malaysians a place to sleep. (picture below)
Need More Inspo?
- Everyone is Online: Oprah, Brene Brown, etc., all are hosting shows, summits, and podcasts online. Join the conversation.
- Plot your Future: there’s isn’t a single industry that isn’t impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus, there are teleconferences and online summits by industry leaders, discussing the impact, next steps, possibilities, etc. Join the conversation.
- What’s Next: ask yourself, what can you learn from this situation? Aside from the inspiration of the strength of the human spirit to support one-another (albeit virtually), what are you learning from this (about yourself) that you can apply to your future? Efficient ways of working remotely? Effective ways to collaborate with colleagues? The prospect of online learning tools and continued education?
Shawn Achor said "happiness is the joy you feel while striving for (or moving towards) your potential,” so resist slipping into the depths of despair, and take this time to do the things you’ve not had time to do.
Now’s your chance to read that book, take that virtual class, exercise, learn to meditate, learn new ways of working virtually and productively.
The conflation of the above are all good and noble occupations of your time. Difficult times have the power to bring out the best in people. Be inspired by it. Be part of it. While this is far from business-as-usual, we are working hard to get through this, together. And together, we will.