CONNECTION is more important than ever, in times like these. Every business has been challenged to rethink how their people work - moving from office based to home based. We are working more remotely than ever before. We are connecting digitally with our colleagues and family where possible. We are being creative to make this digital connection lively and interesting and for some it is a challenge to adjust, especially if they have children at home as well.
Whilst we focus on how we can stay connected with each other, take a moment to consider how you can stay mentally and emotionally connected with yourself.
A rise in fear and anxiety within, quickly has an affect on our inner balance. We become distracted, our focus is limited and we are less effective.
At the same time, when we become distracted and consumed by our own fear, we are less able to connect and show compassion for others. It is so important to find ways to master personal leadership, to stay connected to oneself in order to connect with an open heart and clear head to support each other right now.
Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others. - Harriet Goldhor Lerner
For example, whilst your direct colleague may not have to worry about their own salary, what about that of their partner or another family member? Are they secure? Are they self-employed? What impact does that financial situation have on the well-being of the family as a whole?
Or consider an international colleague, who perhaps has elderly parents in a city abroad which is in lock down and where cases of infection are still on the rise.
Now is the time to seek a deeper level of connection to foster more care and compassion for each other and to truly understand and anticipate the mental, emotional, physical and financial impact which the current situation can cause. Seek to understand what is really going on and ask how you may be able to support.
Whether you are a colleague, business owner or HR/People professional, now is the time to keep in contact, take regular pulse checks and understand how needs of your people are changing on a regular basis. I'll come back to these pulse checks in a later article. For now, I would like to provide a really practical method for staying connected to oneself during this time.
The check-in is a quick and easy way to reflect on your own wellbeing - be it emotional, mental, or physical. The purpose is to pause, go within and consider what might be affecting you in that moment. From there, you are more able to accept, release or take an action which can improve your situation in that moment. It can provide instant relief and free up head space for renewed focus and energy and can be done at anytime, from anywhere within a few minutes.
Want to try it? Here we go!
Find a space to sit or stand, comfortably and safely, with your eyes closed and take yourself through the following methods.
Start by taking a few deep slow breaths. To guide you, feel free to use the 4-7-8 method. Inhale deeply for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale slowly for 8 seconds.
After doing this a few times or until you feel ready, your body and mind will be in a calmer state and more open to observe sensations in your body and simple insights.
2) Body Scan
The body scan is another method that helps you be fully present in the now.
With eyes still closed, put your attention to the top of your head and just notice any sensations which you feel. Observe them. Try not to judge them. Just notice what is, and when you are ready move your attention to the next part of your body e.g neck, shoulders etc. Continue briefly putting focus on each part of your body, from top to toe, observing and letting go, stretching or rotating a ligament if loosening is what feels good.
With eyes still closed, ask yourself simple reflective 'what' and 'how' questions. (Avoid 'why' questions. The monkey mind will always be able to create some explanation which may not be fully helpful). For example, what can I acknowledge about the situation or sensation? What can I allow? What can I let go of? What can I decide or What action can I take?
Similar to self-inquiry, tune in and acknowledge what is on your mind. Then connect that thought to how it makes you feel. By labelling the emotion, you give space to the unsettling thoughts and from there you can decide to park or let that thought go in that moment. For example: "I have been sitting behind my computer for 4 hours without a proper break. It makes me feel sluggish. It makes me feel frustrated" Decide what action you can take as a result.
Try using these methods for yourself and with your teams
Some of these techniques are also useful when getting present to start off a meeting. They can help everyone get out of their thoughts and become fully present to focus on the content of the meeting itself.
Use any, or all, of the above techniques whenever you feel restless or distracted or need to get present and connected. Mix it up for variety and make different combinations.
Schedule regular check-in moments during the day to foster that personal connection and self-care practice. Your care for others, starts with ensuring your own well-being first.
At The Company Coaching Cafe, we use a range of methods like these during our 'shots' of coaching sessions, to help get the coachee become fully present and focussed in the moment.
Feel free to contact us to explore how we can help you stay connected and balanced right now. We are ready to serve with our online 30 minute shots of coaching to support wellbeing.
You can be set up within a day.