Strategies for Staying At Home

Dear Springboard:

As I struggle through another week of staying at home with Covid-19, it’s getting hard to stay motivated, be productive and keep a positive attitude.

What do you suggest?

Sign me,

Muddling Through

Dear MT:

In these unprecedented times, I’m finding some structure and a gentle routine are beneficial to me and my family.

I’m wired to be helpful and want to honor my urge to be of service. I also need to take care of myself to make that possible – like putting on my airplane oxygen mask first.

Being goal oriented, setting targets for myself provides valuable structure.

In the spirit of the benefits of making our bed every day, daily showering and getting dressed have been table stakes.

For self-care, I aim to meditate, take a walk outside and contact a friend at least five days a week. Progress not perfection is the watchword.

As social beings, we all need to feel connected in varying degrees. It’s been a time for reaching out more to family and friends, some of whom are dear and haven’t been contacted for months or, sadly, even years. It especially makes a difference when any of us reaches out to those living alone.

This is not a good time to be emotionally isolated.

My regular routine includes a weekly one-hour phone call with three other leadership coaches. This bit of connection and community has never been more important to me.

To this long-standing habit, I have added a Zoom meeting with like-minded friends and we meet for an hour twice a week.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about lessons learned from working at home mentioned the power of selecting three things a day as tasks to focus on. That simplicity has been very effective.

My coaching clients are managing in a variety of different ways. All are looking for ways to lead and be effective in challenging circumstances. One is focusing on tactical day-to-day tasks for structure. Another is taking a deep dive into his leadership brand. And yet another is developing new skills to lead her team remotely.

I have noticed in the past that when someone is temporarily immobilized – due to a broken foot, for example – being forced to sit still has offered an opportunity to do something beneficial that they would not have otherwise done. They found a silver lining.

In that context, I think of things that are important but not urgent. Just last week, I completed a major update to the Springboard website. I had been circling that project for a long time, and these last few weeks gave me a window to get it done. We’re also updating our wills and my wife is organizing us within an inch of our lives.

It’s always important to have something to look forward and especially so now.

And, fun. We’re making room for fun – every day. That, and having shared experiences that are enjoyable.

I look for ways to be helpful. Older residents in our apartment building have appreciated our offers to buy groceries or other supplies.

While I stay current on the news, I avoid minute-by-minutes updates. It’s too easy to slip into obsessing and catastrophizing the future.

I can plan and also avoid projecting worst case scenarios. It’s a good time to stay in today.

Above all, I want to be grateful for what we have today and always be looking for ways to be useful.

Stay safe.

For a short video, a lighter bit, please click here for Covid-19’s 2020 version of All in The Family.

 From the Watercooler


Faith not fear.
Peace not panic.

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