Clearly we are all trying to figure out what this new era means for us at professional and personal levels. As we navigate working from home and practicing distant socializing, here are some strategies that we have found helpful and hope is helpful for you and your community for the foreseeable future. Also check out our video series here: https://www.rajabhattar.com/media
Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the need for us to slow down. How often do we just eat to move on to work or other duties? Try taking time to just shut off your technology, books, conversations and find just 5 minutes to eat a snack in full awareness.
For a long time I’ve thought of Dark Chocolate as a luxury, a decadent. In the past few days enjoying a little piece of dark chocolate has brought me a sense of comfort and enjoyment.
Dress up for video friend dates/virtual happy hour
I’ve really enjoyed chatting with friends from around the country during this time. One app that I like is House Party. It allows for video chatting while also playing online games. The other day, I celebrated a friend’s birthday where we all got dressed up to have a toast and sing happy birthday. It totally made my day! Continuing to check in on others and building is even more important now as we are all physically isolated.
Start a Gratitude Tree
In what feels like the end of times, keeping a grateful heart, mind, and soul has been essential. These gratitudes don’t necessarily have to be big grandiose items or things or people, they can be, as that is all in perspective, little things like a hug from one of the few people quarantined with you in your home, listening to music, or brewing coffee.
Have regular technology breaks
Technology is now essential as many people are working remotely but having technology for work, family and friends can be exhausting, let alone all the news updates coming through notifications. Can you take 30 minutes to disconnect and unplug from technology? Allowing your brain and body a break can be helpful to keep you grounded.
Develop work boundaries in your physical space if possible
I’ve heard a lot of friends talk about how it’s become hard to stop checking email or configuring boundaries between work and home life. One friend had a great idea of setting her work laptop and materials on a writing desk that can be hidden so she’s able to actually maintain some separation even within her living space. How can you practice some boundaries? Maybe disconnecting your work email from your phone or setting aside space just for work (if you have the privilege of having extra space).
Read and Relax
I’m currently reading Counterfeit Gods, The Four Agreements, and Educating About Religious Diversity and Interfaith Engagement. Diving in a few pages daily has helped me reconsider a few things. Lets not make idols of money and tech, there are things I can control, and I can continue developing my craft and challenging my mind.
Do something silly every day/laugh
I’m naturally a funny person, who laughs often, but I had not considered being silly a part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, until my niece “got me” in an instagram game. The game required me to post something silly and tag others to do the same so I did, and it was fun.
Send positive energy/prayers into the world
I am praying for each of you. Specifically from my tradition I am praying the fruits of the Holy Spirit make their way into your heart. I pray, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control make their way into your home and spirit. These are unprecedented times that require us to dig deeper for some of these gifts than ever before, and I pray that you find and show them in every interaction and exchange.
Make space just for you, even if for just 5 minutes
Many of you have work, family, children, pets and so many external demands on your time. Either at the beginning or end of the day, are you able to carve out 5 minutes to sit and enjoy your own company? Maybe a walk, cup of tea or even just jamming out to your favorite song, just for you. It can really transform your energy and attitude.
What are some other strategies that work for you? Please add your ideas below and share this article!