Thought: It's Thanksgiving week in the U.S. and a time to reflect and embody gratitude.…
Let’s face it, our normal routines have been kicked in the head. I get it. It’s a challenging situation. This is the longest time I’ve spent at home in my twenty-year business career. Six weeks of no airplanes, live customer meetings, etc. It’s different. It feels weird. At times, I’m most certainly struggling. If this sounds familiar, I feel for you. Of course, staying safe and healthy is first and foremost.
Here are a couple things I’m thinking about and working on that I hope will add some value to you (these have certainly helped me stay positive):
- Staying connected – This is essential. My team is doing a blue jeans virtual call every other day. Many days we’re just catching up personally with a little business mixed in. I believe the informality of this has struck a chord with the team and has enabled us to stay connected. I’ve done a virtual call with my extended family as well and with a group of guys here recently. I can’t recommend this enough. Also, pick up the phone – Just checking in right now is important. Personally and professionally.
- Staying active – I’m not very good at cycling. In fact, I’m in a virtual Peloton race with a group of people and I’m in 14th out of 15th place. Although I’m not very good, I’ve used this as motivation to work on getting better. I’ve even PR’d (personal record) the last two races, even though I’m finishing near last. Having something to reach for (ie the competition) has been a Godsend. I encourage you to find a little competition with your friends to stay active. If you’re a peloton rider and want to connect, my handle is jon_giganti – please send me yours and we can connect!
- Breathing – I presented yesterday to a group at our company and this was one of the points I made. We have this parasympathetic nervous system that we rarely engage. It has to be intentional. Our default is our sympathetic nervous system. Our natural tendency is to be short of breath. This simply leads to more anxiety and less energy. Intentional breathing is a game changer. For a quick exercise, just try the 5-5-5 method. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Do this four times for a minute. You can certainly go longer but I find that one minute of this helps immensely.
- Reading – I’m reading Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday for the second time. I’m actually taking notes on note-cards for this second go around. It’s been powerful to internalize the lessons and something I’m going to try doing more of when I read. It feels more like studying than reading so keep that in mind. Not that studying is a bad thing it’s just different than reading passively. There’s time for that as well!
- Chair time – I start my day with a little prayer and have a couple plans I do in the You Version bible app. Regardless of what you believe, find time for your heart and soul. If I miss this time, even if it’s 10 minutes, I can feel it later in the day. I’ll ask you this – what’s your first at bat of the day? It should be something that fills you up and is a game-changer if you can make this a consistent habit.
- Five-minute Journal – This is an app I used a couple years ago and just reconnected with it. You can download it and it literally takes you through a process of identifying three things your grateful for, three things you want to accomplish for the day and a daily affirmation. Then at night you can you highlight three positives and one way to make the day better. There’s a great feature where you can add a photo as well for the day. It’s fun to look back at the last couple weeks and see the pictures and what I’ve been “journaling”. There’s a hard bound journal version as well but I like the app for the picture piece. Here’s a link to it – Five Minute Journal
- Stop judging – We’ve had some rough days. My kids are antsy. My son, Gabe, especially misses being around friends. This is coming out in anger at times. Grace is important right now (as I referenced last week). This isn’t easy but don’t judge yourself right now. Do the best you can and let’s keep moving forward.
- Embracing Imperfection – Similar to judgment, we all need to stop trying to be perfect. I, at times, let perfection stand in the way of production. It’s something I have to be super intentional about.
- Staying present – I can’t stress enough the power of putting your phone away at night. I’m not close to perfect at this but I’m working on it. I know the more I put my phone away the more present I am with my family at night.
- Finding a hobby – Rekindle an old hobby or try something new. For me, it’s been trying to figure out how to ride a bike better. I’m doing a little more cooking than usual which I find helps me disconnect. This is a great time to pick something up or try something new as well.
- Contribution Mindset – Any time I’m stuck in a rut, it comes down to serving others and how I can contribute. This is an amazing elixir when you’re feeling down. Figure out a way to serve somebody and it may just be a text saying “how are you doing?” Try it. I got asked to present to a group of thirty of so yesterday
How about you? What are you doing to navigate this? I’d love to hear from you.