Over the last months as a result of how the world has been reshaped by the pandemic, we’ve all learned to make adjustments and create new routines to adjust to this new "norm" and be able to take care of ourselves and stay productive while managing everything happening around us. But as we get into the winter months things are about to get a little harder, as many of the things we have turned to on recent months as an outlet for connection, joy and relief are going to be less accessible.
Getting outside to exercise, go for a walk, eating outside, get some fresh air and vitamin D will be more and more challenging as the days get shorter and the temperatures drop.
This winter is going to be important to get creative take care of ourselves and stay inspired, connected, and productive.
Here are a few things to consider this winter:
1. Stay Connected
While it might be a little more challenging it is now more than ever to make and effort to stay connected and nourish our relationships. As human beings we are social creatures and connection is one of our basic needs. Whether you are an extrovert or introvert, we are just not wired to thrive in loneliness and isolation.
A few things you can consider to help you stay connected:
Schedule a virtual coffee break with a friend
Host a virtual book club. I will be hosting one every month, you can sign up here.
Start a group text with friends
Schedule a holiday virtual team event at work
Add video to your calls
2. Set boundaries
While working from home has it's advantages it also comes with some challenges. I hear more people saying that while they have gained productivity they also are starting to experience a pandemic burnout. Days are filled with back to back calls and meeting with no or very little personal interaction, feels like all our connections and interactions now have to be planned ahead and scheduled, we are spending more hours working just because is convenient and easy to fall into that trap. Even though we’re doing more, it can feel like we’re getting less done.
As we get into the shorter and colder days without an excuse to stop working there is a risk of falling into even longer hours in front of a computer working. It important that we set boundaries for ourselves.
Here are some thought starters as you develop your own boundaries:
Block meeting free time blocks to work and get things done
Speak up when meeting times don’t work for you
When someone calls, start by sharing how much you have available to talk to them
Be clear about your preferred communication method(s)
Speak up when you don't need to attend a meeting and be ok with declining
Establish non-negotiable time blocks like family time, workout time, morning routine, etc. Build these into your calendar so others can see that you are not available on those time blocks.
“I’d estimate at least half of my frustrations with others are actually frustrations with myself for failing to set clear boundaries and stand by them - James Clear
3. Adjust your routines
Over the last months we've been force to change our routines to adapt to the changes around us. Working from home vs going to the office has impacted how we organize our days, to stay productive, grounded and centered.
Some routines that are helping me:
Write down the three top things I want to accomplish that day (my non-negotiables)
Incorporate exercise as part of my morning routine
Having family dinners every day at the same time and make these non-negotiable. This will forces me to turn work off for the day.
Incorporate journanrling into my evening routine
4. Make some time in your schedule to do somethings you love
A couple of weeks after being sent to work form home due to the pandemic I started to be more intentional about adding things in my schedule that bring me joy. It can be small things, like enjoying a cup a coffee, play with my kids, connecting with a friend, attend and event, etc. As day gets busy is easy to fall into the trap of the day to day, that is why I like to incorporate some of these things as part of my morning routine. How you begin your day can set the tone for the rest of it, so be intentional about adding things to your morning routine that you enjoy and that bring you balance and joy.
5. Practice Gratitude
If you have been following me, listening to my podcast or reading my blogs you know that I deeply believe in power of gratitude. Personally I have built gratitude into my morning routine. Every day I write down the five things that have happened in the last 24 hours for which I am grateful for. This gratitude practice has helped me to start my day on a positive state of mind. I believe that what you focus, expands. So starting my day with gratitude helps me focus on the good things that are happening to me and around me and stay on a positive mindset through the day. I am also more present through the day, constantly looking for things to write down the next day on my gratitude journal.