Chester, United Kingdom
Prior to finding ourselves on lockdown and in these unprecedented times, 40% of people were already feeling isolated at work (Harvard Business Review).
The pressure of work and fitting everything in has been increasing for some time.
In recent years the spotlight has been focusing on areas such as employee engagement, wellbeing and mental health.
Balance for you may already have shifted towards an imbalance.
Yes, these are testing times.
Yes, these are stressful times.
You may be sitting at home right now thinking that this is set to be amplified in the coming weeks and months, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
One area of our lives that we can positively influence and actively take control of in the coming weeks is our balance.
Put the old model of work–life balance to one side for now.
The one where you’ve been trying to balance up work with the other areas of your life.
This has been broken for some time. Things aren’t equal anymore and as you read this:
- You may be working from home, trying to social distance to keep you and your family safe
- You may be looking after your children as well, trying to homeschool and entertain them alongside work
- You may be managing other people at work (who also face the challenges above) and that brings the additional responsibility of leading and guiding others through these uncertain times
When uncertainty exists, it’s important to look towards those people and areas in our lives that give us certainty.
Right now, we all need to be able to find something that gives us balance in our lives.
A balance that prevents us from feeling isolated. A balance that can empower ourselves and those around us.
People assume we have to have balance all of the time. We don’t and it’s impossible.
Avoid at all costs: becoming a bad juggler!
Things get dropped and it saps your energy.
Balance is personal: what it looks like will vary from person to person.
The Scandinavian’s have a term called hygge which comes from a Norwegian word for well-being. It’s a concept used to describe a moment or feeling that is cosy, special or charming: a moment of balance.
The Swedish have a word called lagom which translates as ‘not too much, not too little – just right’: another moment of balance.
The Chinese have a word called chi which translates to aliveness, life force energy or life breath: a moment of balance.
Start by asking yourself; what do I need today or right now? It might be:
- Reading a book
- Being outside
- Watching a movie.
- Making a cup of tea or coffee
- Drawing / Painting
- Video calling friends and family
- Sitting and doing nothing
- Listening to a podcast or audiobook
- Having a bath
- Watching the sun rise or set
- Playing with your children
- Playing with your pets
- Sleeping (napping)
- Taking pictures
Be mindful of busyness – the need to be doing things all of the time without care or consideration for your balance.
“He who chases two rabbits catches neither.”– Confucius
Involve and include your family in conversations around balance and how each of us can build these into our day.
None of us should feel isolated during these uncertain times and knowing what gives us balance, gives us hope.
Set yourself the challenge of doing one activity each day.
For further information
Surviving the Coronavirus Lockdown and Social Isolation is a guide to creating a new normal in a changing world. Download a copy of the ebook for free now.
Get your free copy of the book here.