My work has always been about creating a thriving and sustainable work-life balance, and that is just about to become more challenging and therefore even more important than ever.
This thing is unfolding quickly and without any warning, we are finding ourselves thrown out of our familiar routine and structure and having to quickly adjust to new ways of working, communicating and being.
Even for those of us that are used to working from home, we are rarely trying to do that alongside our partners and kids. Add to that the fact that grandparents, who for some of us are childcare and maybe the odd bit of respite, are being told to self-isolate. And just like that, we feel a whole lot less-resourced, supported and organised than we would like.
But it does not have to feel so overwhelming, and there is a lot that you can do to navigate family life and business during these times.
Communicate & Plan
This has profoundly affected the very fabric of our lives in so many unexpected ways, so rapidly, that we can be completely forgiven for just trying to get through one day at a time, but that is a recipe for disaster.
You have the opportunity now to take control of this to a degree and choose how this is going to go for you, your family, and the daily running of your business. Do not skip or avoid this.
Sit down with your partner, your kids, and your team (if you have them) and talk about what is coming. Clearly and honestly communicate your concerns and your needs, talk about the possible and probable difficulties, talk about the logistics, decide what is needed from who and when, and make a plan.
We human beings need structure and we do not do well without it for long periods of time, so when you are creating your plan be sure to create some consistent daily structures. These are daily touchstones that will help you feel some semblance of control while there are so many other moving parts.
Look at your home environment and see if you can get creative with some zoned areas for work, play and rest.
And If you have kids, you can even create a sense of adventure around this, they are super resilient and at this time, more than ever we need their lightness, natural optimism and joy (even though I also know that there will be MANY times that we will wish they would just be quiet)
Ask yourself the question, what do I need to support and resource myself right now?
You are going to need to sustain yourself because when this has passed, and it will pass, it is not necessary for you to be on your knees, frazzled, and burnout. You just have to identify what you need.
Here are some hugely powerful tools that will resource and support you right now:
Meditation is an extraordinary tool in managing your energy and your focus, and doing it first thing in the morning before you do ANYTHING else allows you to go into the day calm and stable before any of the incoming demands of family life, business life, and just life in general. NEVER has there been more of a need for this than right now. You need as many tools as you can to allow you to remain calm and be able to make decisions for yourself, your family, and your business that are not grounded in fear and panic.
Turning our attention each night to the things that we have a genuine sense of appreciation for is especially transformational in times like these. Everywhere we look we are witnessing sadness, loss, fear and pain and if we are to sustain ourselves, we must be willing to look for the evidence of something else. Writing an appreciation list each night will bring you back to a general state of wellbeing before you go to sleep and will connect you back to yourself. You need that.
Social Media & News Detox
You will absolutely not get through this in a balanced state of mind if you are just allowing constant incoming from social media and the news. You need to protect your mind and your energy RADICALLY right now, so be aware of what you are taking in, and for how long. If you really do have to be on social media, and if you really must check the news, please, please give yourself strong boundaries. We are all guilty of just jumping on social media for a ‘quick look’ and 2 hours later we are looking at things that we had no intention of looking at, and the chances are that what we are looking at, is not uplifting.
Boy, are we going to need the sights and sounds of mother nature during this time, so when you are making your plan make sure that you include regular nature breaks for your sanity and your nervous system!
Allow for Humour & Fun
It is going to be all too easy for us to be very serious ALL the time, but I urge you to actively seek humour and lightness each and every day. Laughter is a powerful medicine for overwhelm, worry, irritability, uncertainty and fear. So, even if you don’t feel like it, find the humour as often as you can
Make Time to Connect
We may not be able to physically see one another in some cases, but human connection and community are fundamental to us all. Make time in your plan to connect in with friends and family. Organise a weekly Skype or Facetime call with friends and loved ones. Knowing that you have that regular time and space to communicate will sustain you and bring a sense of normalcy at a very ‘not-normal’ time
Radical Compassion & Understanding
For yourself and others. There WILL be times when you lose your shit, when you scream at a partner or kids when it all feels WAY too much. So, one thing that we all must cultivate is another level of compassion and understanding for ourselves and each other, because these are unprecedented times. We have NEVER dealt with something quite like this and we are all just doing our best.
These are uncertain and challenging times for sure, and no-one knows how this is all going to work out BUT if you look below the fear and panic there is an opportunity to thrive nonetheless.
There is no need to merely survive day-to-day. If you plan and communicate, if you take responsibility to resource and support yourself in the ways that you need, who knows, you may even come out of this with a level of strength and resilience that you did not know where possible for you.
Wishing you so much love