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We’re in These Troubling Times Together

Here’s a mini survival guide for getting through COVID-19 and how to work from home.

We know we’re not the only ones feeling the weight of these troubling times. Both within the Imagine Spirit community and across the globe, we’re aware of the mental toll the next weeks and months may hold.

Staying at home is tough but it beats the grim alternative. I wanted to share some ideas and spiritual thoughts to help you get through this time; here’s a quick survival guide:

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TRY TO STAY SPIRITUALLY FIT

I know this is hard. It’s hard for me. Yet, I have an unwavering trust in Spirit and all that is. At this time, I’m self-isolating and only go out for essentials. Yes, it is difficult.

Perhaps you live somewhere that’s already living the stay-at-home dictate. So, where does the so-needed paycheck come from?  What will happen next? For me, I stay in faith all will eventually work out: That we’ll get through this. Most importantly, I keep envisioning the world getting back to some normalcy.

Finally, we are social animals after all, but just a few weeks of doing this could make the difference in saving your health, your families, and, eventually impact the rest of the WORLD!

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HOW TO WORK FROM HOME SURVIVAL GUIDE

Find your creative flow, and stay social online, adapt to working at home.

First and foremost: we’re all in this together. We know we’re not the only ones who feel worried during this uncertain time. Working from home while people are in isolation, quarantine, and social distancing can bring its own challenges.

Companies are responding to recent events by instituting a company-wide work from home policy. For most of us, it’ll be an adjustment but many already work-from-home.

My Planoly (Planoly is a visual planning tool that allows Instagram users to create calendars to plan their content) subscription sent an email that I’m borrowing from. They went to Slack to gather the advice of a remote team for a comprehensive survival guide to work while social distancing, create sustainable work and life boundaries, and take care of your mental health.

HOW TO WORK FROM HOME DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING

Keep your regular hours. Creating a schedule and imagining that you’re at the office is crucial. Schedule time for work versus home and stick to it! Every hour, get up and walk around for 10 minutes. This is a good time to check up on the kids or have a virtual watercooler chat with a coworker.

Create a dedicated workspace. Carve out space in your home for work that can’t be associated with home-life. Keep your workspace clean and approachable. If possible, avoid multi-purposing areas where you eat or sleep to keep physical boundaries between work.

Get everyone in your house aware of your new routine. If you have a partner, child, or roommate at home with you, let them know you’re “at work” and when you’re available. During your work from home hours, you won’t be able to check your child’s homework or take out the trash. Let them know that you’ll be more fully present to play or hang out after a certain time.

Stay social while social distancing. Even if you’re working from home, visibility is still important. Turn your calls into video chat! For most, video chat can feel dreadful until you’re actually on the call so just do it. You’ll thank yourself later when you feel more elated and connected afterward. Whether it’s through email or your company chat, be involved with the team and individuals in the same way that you would as if you were there in person. Send memes to keep the water cooler convos going.

Check-in with your team. Spending a few minutes to check-in, whether it’s through a call or chat, can provide everyone with the direction they need to stay focused. Here’s an example agenda:

  • How are you feeling, really?
  • What are you working on today?
  • What are some roadblocks or challenges you’re facing?
  • What’s something that went well yesterday?

Find your flow. In a normal workday, there are a few hours where you are in optimal focus called flow. If you’re having a hard time finding it at home, get into a flow with one of Spotify’s focus playlists. Sometimes, it helps to blast the same few songs on repeat to uncover your creativity. Oops! You’re distracted again.

If you still feel distracted or are aimlessly scrolling on the ‘gram for too long, lean into it. Take a dance break with some Britney Spears – or whatever throwback jams bring you joy. Turn up your speakers or headphones and wiggle around without restraint – no one’s watching anyway.

End your day with a to-do-later list. At the end of your day, take note of anything unfinished, your day’s thoughts, or what you plan on focusing on tomorrow. This list will provide closure to move away from work for the day and set you up for success the next day.

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HOW TO MAINTAIN BALANCE

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Do something simple to let your mind and body know the day is over. Perhaps it’s closing your laptop and putting it away somewhere. Maybe you enjoy an iced beverage of your choice. Say to yourself: I did my best during the workday and now it’s time for rest.

Don’t prioritize productivity. With social distancing shifting routines and a general background of anxiety, it’ll be harder to focus – and that’s okay. Instead of wondering, “Did I do enough today?,” ask yourself, “Am I learning and growing?” As we all know, people tend to share their highlight reels on social media.

We can’t all expect to be like Shakespeare, writing his best works while in quarantine. While it may feel like everyone else is zooming through their reading list or reorganizing their entire home, the reality is that we are collectively coping with social distancing in different ways.

Set realistic expectations. We tend to inflate how much time we have when working from home. You’re only human and can focus on so many things at a time. While it’s tempting to pile up the to-do list, keep your daily goals to your top three.

Do nothing for 30 seconds. Doing nothing is an important life skill. Getting away is essential to problem-solving and replenishing your creativity. Give your mind time to wander so your brain has a chance to reset. Take a break from the screens to read a book, stretch, or practice deep breathing.

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BE AWARE OF NEIGHBORS AND THOSE WHO MAY NEED HELP 

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If you’re in a position of having extra money, extend some resources to someone in need of groceries. Better yet, keep an eye on those unable to fend for themselves. This not only helps them, but will help you feel better about yourself. In fact, your example may inspire others to do the same.

Send this message out to everyone you know that are in the position to do this.

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