That sense that we’re in this together that can be uniting, even when we are all social distancing. We still have the power of technology as a foundation to form and maintain those powerful connections. We are all facing the same challenge as a community in the form of Covid-19. The way we treat this new threat will challenge us a leader, as individuals, and as a family so it is really important to maintain our social connections not just from a business perspective but also from a mental wellbeing perspective.
In today’s blog Nicola and Haydn share their ideas and thoughts on how they are coping in the current climate.
As an introvert you would automatically think It would not be much of a change for me, however the truth is we all need a varying amount of social contact to maintain our mental wellbeing. Whether that is a little chat (long chats are my cup of tea 😉 or just a check in, virtual meetings etc. It is apparent now more than ever we need use our creative juices to meet our need for social connections and not lose sight of that
I too am an introvert and my own personal situation is that I am fairly used to isolation as I live on my own, so the new world is not so new for me. However, I am missing the variety I so love in what I do – going out to see different clients and helping them to get under the skin of their business challenges. So, for me, it is mental stimulation that is perhaps most missing which is why I am trying to keep myself mentally occupied with reading and looking at new ways to continue to support people.
It is only too obvious that we don’t all share the same coping mechanisms – we are all different.. You don’t need look further than yourself and your circle of friends, colleagues, business partners to spot the differences.
Some individuals like to get as much data as possible and spend hours researching. Others may limit the amount they read and completely switch off to anything negative. Sometimes I wish this was me but unfortunately I am a researcher and I am guilty of flooding my brain too much. These are all valid responses; we were all born to be different and we all have our own behaviour traits and different ways of coping and now more than ever we need to recognise this is OK.
We indeed all have our own approaches. I am a facts person, yet I am also an optimist so whilst I might look at data and information I am looking for the opportunities – the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In my book I write about the habit Live in the Gap – and this for me is one of my own key strengths. I love seeing things in a different way and trying to see if there is something new that I can do that might help overcome challenges.
Here are some of our top strategies for maintaining our positive connections that have helped us:
Understanding that everyone’s circumstance is different, from working at home with small children and home schooling, looking after parents, being home alone etc. It is important to take this into consideration when planning virtual meetings and being transparent and collaborating with each other to find the right balance.
Allow yourself some tolerance and give yourself a break. This is potentially one of the most challenging times we will all face in our lifetimes and it is OK to not be OK. It is also Ok to be less than 100% full on – and if you lead others now is the time to dial up the empathy and give people some space to respond to the changes – they need more support than challenge at this time.
I love journal writing anyway but this is a perfect opportunity to journal about our experiences, this will be talked about in decades to come, not only will this help you mentally to sort out your own thinking space but you can also share stories when this is all over and have a connection with the past, especially with the future generations. If you know me you will know I love a bit of stationary and crafts so the scrapbook is out every evening, and I am getting creative with the kids outlining all our memories and feelings during this unprecedented time.
Gratitude is the fuel that keeps me going. I am a runner and I go out on a run every morning and during that run I look around, no matter the weather and I am grateful for the fact I am healthy, for the fact that I have beautiful countryside to run in. I always have my most creative ideas when I run, and this is because I am in this mindset of gratitude – my mind is then open to receive the gifts of intuition that are given to me.
Technology is our little gold dust at the minute, facetime, what’s app and zoom virtual meetings are all accessible. Keeping in touch and checking in is really vital especially now we have so many ways to keep in contact virtually that can bring not just our businesses together but us all together.
Whilst I agree with Nic about the benefits of tech I also know the value of digital detox and allowing yourself regular breaks from the social connection online to the actual connection of our families and, I guess in my case, with myself. Time for self-reflection is critical. If you have never tried meditation maybe now is the time to give it a go and form the habit – the headspace app is great and just 5 mins a day will change your brain’s structure.
Hosting a virtual happy hour for our teams which could be a wine hour, coffee hour, virtual lunch etc just something really informal and fun, catching up on one another’s worlds one day a week away from all work tasks, just like having a drink after work or coffee but adapting it to our new virtual world. Take a look at Wine Wednesday Moksha coaching is hosting tonight at 7pm we will be there come and say hello over a glass of wine
Within our team we thrive from a morning update. Working remotely has always been the norm for us at Mindset Leadership however if your team is not used to working virtually, it might be helpful to introduce daily or even weekly updates over Zoom or any other video conferencing platform to help with the communication flow and connection. It is really important to communicate your daily wins but also what is not working too this will all help to keep us on track and not let any important info slip through the net.
My final point is don’t let social distancing be a negative experience and don’t let it make you feel that you are disconnected from your colleagues. Above all now more than ever regardless of business we are all in this together and it is our duty as human beings to protect each other, if we can do this now we can protect our businesses too enabling us to be better individuals and better leaders for our organisation.
100% – this crisis like everything else is what happens. What matters more is how we respond to what happens. We all have a choice and we can see the worst or the best in the situation. The virus is here – how we choose to live in the world with it is what really matters for us all now. We will come through this and the choices you make now will affect the way we come through it.
Nic & Haydn