Amidst all this change and uncertainty, organizations are finding new and unique ways to stay connected and keep their sanity. Moving past surviving to thriving in uncertainty is a tall order. During one of our recent meetings, we ignored our agenda and spent the time checking in with each other. It was incredibly therapeutic and much needed. We ended the meeting early and encouraged everyone to use the remaining time in a way that was self-serving – going on a walk, taking a bath, reading a book, etc. The experience was amazingly helpful, especially picking up on the different ways our team members are actually thriving in uncertainty. It gave us all several great ideas for how we can cope, and we thought we would collect a few of their responses to share. One size does not fit all, but there may be some gems in here that apply to your situation.
Stephenie Rockwell – Operations + Relationship Lead – Driftwood, Texas
I am grateful to be sheltered-in-place with my husband, son, and my mom. I feel blessed that we can watch movies, play games, and cook together. To keep my sanity, I’ve been escaping to mini areas inside or outside my house – my backyard, my son’s pillow fort, the guest bedroom, my bathtub. This change in surroundings helps me feel less stressed and keeps my brain feeling refreshed. If the weather is preventing me from walking outside, I will ask my virtual assistant (Alexa) to play nature sounds. My current favorites are birds chirping (my cat likes it too!) or thunderstorm. I’ve been enjoying video chats with a group of friends, whether it is a virtual happy hour, a book club meeting, or watching my grandma crochet – I always leave feeling connected and loved. I’ve also been forgiving myself for not using this time the way I thought I would. So, I didn’t do that house project, the virtual homework with my son, or organize that bin. Instead I got dressed, ate three meals, and watched 10 episodes of ‘Community’. Oh well!
Anne McGhee Stinson – Director of Practice – Castle Rock, Colorado
Virtual work is nothing new for us. The only difference is the daily addition of my husband of 31 years – I’m not complaining because we’re safe and well and very compatible. Except….he’s taken up the Ukulele. Still, we’ve been married long enough to know when to give each other space. We’ll meet up later today for happy hour at “Los Backyardio” where he will perform The Sunny Side of Life and I will attempt to sing along. We also enjoy yelling to our neighbors from a safe distance, taking long hikes on the mountain trails near our home on the weekend, and throwing lavish Zoom parties for assorted friends and relatives. This recently included my 87-year-old mother-in-law’s Sunday School class. Daily highlights for me include taking out the garbage (what shall I wear?), changing from my work leggings to my exercise leggings, calling my mom(s) and hearing they are doing just fine, and having real conversations with people who care about what happens next. Whatever that might be, I hope it includes Ukuleles, sunny-sides, and moms who are ok.
Hiren Modi – Relationship Lead + Facilitator – Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
I have been under a lockdown since March 15th. I had dreaded it, thinking I will get bored to death. But soon, I started to envision this as an opportunity to create. I started developing a practice of regularly exercising twice a day. This encourages my wife to work out too! Have built a great diet control and am eating and living healthy. I am also in action to build my competencies and expand capacities. I trained myself to deliver online sessions. For the first time, I started building a comprehensive database of all the possible prospects from my sphere of connections. I started connecting with people and am talking to at least 2 people every day. In other words, I am also developing myself to be a great business development person – for the first time in my life. I have become very active in my spiritual practices, too. In short, it seems, I am much busier than I was without the lock down. And I AM ENJOYING IT! Talk about thriving in uncertainty!
Michelle Santaferraro – Facilitator – Hawaii (currently)
Okay, maybe my blog post is a little surprising, but you have to remember that ‘home’ is a very fluid term for me. My husband and I have not owned a home in 5 years. And, we have been moving on that trajectory of getting to Italy full time. That said, here is an update and a ‘hello’ from Hawaii. We don’t have a home so our ‘shelter in place’ can look quite different in this season of our life.
What we’re doing now is sitting outside, eating outside, visiting the public beach rocks that are just outside our back door, and sitting in front of the house and barbeque. I can exercise outside by going up and down the steps or just running around the yard here. The laps I take are pretty short! I’m also doing a lot of professional development and foreign language acquisition. It’s been fun to keep changing my location in the house for each different activity. It centers me even before I begin the learning. There are upstairs lounge chairs for language and the kitchen table for computer work, etc.
This feels good to have some real ‘choice’ right now in these uncertain times. But it has been a choice about respecting our fellow man without losing our own personal sanity.
Kelty Vaquerano – Relationship Lead – Austin, Texas
I found a small silver heart, less than the size of a dime, that my mom gave my daughter, Gladys, a while back but that got lost amidst her many tchotchkes. I keep the heart in my pocket on a near-daily basis to remember to stay in a place of love and not give in to fear. Having something physical to touch snaps me back into the present moment and into gratitude. Other therapeutic remedies include pulling weeds, jogging with our hyper puppy, and getting really inventive with meals so as not to waste food. I’ve also found that making art with my four year old gives us both joy. We’ve been painting rocks and adding glitter as a final touch. We keep some and plant others around the neighborhood. My husband spent the first 17 years of his life in El Salvador and lived there during the Civil War. Hearing his stories helps us keep things in perspective and realize how much worse the current situation could be.
Katie Sanderson – Finance + Legal Lead – Denver, Colorado
A few weeks into this ‘shelter-in-place’, I’ve now accepted that we’re here for a while. I feel like I’m finally finding a rhythm that is working for me and allows me to breathe, even while I accept it can change from day to day. Waking up at least an hour before the family is critical to my sanity. I ease into my morning without other people’s needs getting in front of mine – sometimes it’s my most productive hour of the day. Other days, I find myself simply sitting still in silence with my coffee. I appreciate that my sidewalk chalk and card house building skills are returning, and nightly family bike rides which we ‘never had time for’ are the new norm after dinner. I really like the new norm and appreciate the opportunities they present. Don’t get me wrong, aimlessly wandering the Target aisles and seeing some live music will be enthusiastically welcomed back when it’s again ‘normal’.
Sarah Furrier – Relationship Lead + Facilitator – Phoenix, Arizona
I am immensely fortunate to have had consistently clear blue skies and sunny weather on my side throughout this season of shelter-in-place. I am sorry if this is “rubbing it in” for some of you who have not been as lucky in that department (feel free to remember this when it is 115 degrees in Phoenix). Regardless, I generally work for a couple hours each day from my back patio. It’s relaxing, the animal sounds serve as good distractions when needed, and I appreciate knowing that I’m getting my Vitamin D.
In addition, given we’ve had more time on the weekends to work in our backyard, it’s felt like a treat to relish in the satisfaction of all the yard work we’ve done. It’s also served as a great workout—I learned I have many, many muscles that were not getting used as often as they should be! Lastly, my husband and I are thrilled to be adding a shepherd puppy to our family!
Thomas Ramsey – Relationship Lead + Facilitator – Pompano Beach, Florida
First, my heart is hurting for everyone around the world who has lost loved ones due to this COVID-19 pandemic. I keep my joy focusing on how precious life is for me to really focus on what matters most.
I have been enjoying the time here at home as a parent of three home school children, assisting my wife and reinforcing our Family ways of love and serving others. I especially have gained a renewed perspective of how important my role as a father is for my family to unite. We had to forgo our daily trips to the beach and Pompano Airpark. However, we replaced it with simple things like our daily family reading time and basketball tournaments via hot shot setup in the garage.
I’ve established a better and consistent exercise routine and have been cooking a lot more. We are finding joy in the little things. Despite all that is happening we are blessed to be alive during this time in history.
Our wish for you
We hope you were able to find some inspiration or support from our team on thriving in uncertainty yourself. As always, our InteraWorks family is here to support you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, they offer top-rated learning programs including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Their integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, they’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most. interaworks.com