There is a lot of change in our life style and all in a short time. In the new normal, staying indoors, spending time with family members as well as balancing new responsibilities and managing it all in peace and harmony is at times challenging. These are times where we are in a Big Boss show like situation. There are restrictions in moving out. You have choices to make. You can let time just flow by aimlessly or whimper and continue to feel bad and low or be the captain of your ship and take charge of what you can do.
We have penned down our thoughts as to how these challenges can be met. We hope it is useful. We look forward to your response. Please share short stories of what has worked for you so that others can be inspired by you.
1. Self Reflection: Is there any point of feeling a victim of what is not in our control. The way we think and feel about ourselves is what shows up to others and they respond accordingly. If we keep a positive attitude, we feel positive and others around us feel positive too. This creates a positive environment. During these times, it is best to explore our values and strengths. We need to leverage our strengths, be aware of our weaknesses, and sharpen the purpose of our life. The purpose of our life is what gives us the greatest joy and peace in doing. It is not material achievements. For example; The purpose of life of a person can be to touch the lives of people positively through supporting them to learn. Mother Theresa’s purpose in life was to help and heal the community around her. We all have a value system and an inner voice that is guided by our values, experiences, and beliefs. What does our inner voice tell us when we ask ourselves what is our purpose of life and what are we doing about it?
Listening & patience: Have you found yourself in a situation where you made a remark or responded and then found that you had not understood what the other person had to say. Before making a repartee based on what you have presumed to have understood, try to respectfully ask a question to clarify. This is the time for self-reflection about ourselves and our relationships, appreciating the good side of the people who care for us and have loads of patience and capacity to listen.
Our emotional state triggers our behavior. We react differently in times of peace, tension, anxiety, and fear. Our emotional balance and ability to share and respect each other’s emotions contribute to smooth sailing. While our ego is part of what we are (identity) – If uncontrolled it leads to a lack of rational thinking, emotional instability, and affects our relationships. Self respect should be held high and dear. The ego should be controlled by us and not let it take over us. How often do you find your self in a situation where your ego got the better of you?
2. Routine: Creating a system of daily activities helps in focusing on taking advantage of the situation. Example: When you get up, whatever you do – entertainment or work – plan and follow it and let others know. If you decide to exercise at a certain time, please follow it. Following a routine will also help in respecting each other’s time and space. Are you doing so?
3. Sharpening the Saw: Having a self-renewal program empowers us to move on in terms of growth and improvement; explore the unexplored, walk the uncharted territory that you desired to cover but could not. If you want to learn more about working in a WFH environment or you have literary inclinations that you had pushed back – this is the time to do it. List the things that you want to get to know better or do. Use the time to complete this list and tick them off as you complete them. It is also the time you can help others to sharpen their saw by helping them gain knowledge or skills or resolve their problems. Offer to help. Givers always gain.
4. Sharing household chores helps us to get closer and reduces the burden on either one. Make a plan for how to handle the chores. This brings in not only teamwork but also mutual respect and love.
Involve the kids and treat them as adults in handling household chores. It makes them responsible as well as channelizes their energy in a productive way. It also helps in balancing work. Engaging with the kids in their homework and other projects make them feel attached and the day more fun-filled.
5. Connecting with people/networking: Keep the social circle lives through social media including video calls, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp. Connect with relatives and friends which we missed due to the hustle of everyday life. Both at work and in social life – there cannot be a better time to connect with the people whom you wanted to connect but could not. Open yourself to connecting with people whom you earlier did not respond to.
Research shows that the quality of interpersonal relationships has a positive correlation with the health and life span of people. If the above five steps are followed, you will find your physical and inner self as well as your relationships in a greater state of peace and harmony.
Stay healthy and safe – physically as well in mind and spirit.
“It is hard to know when work stops and relationships start.” Maguire.