Resilience bites #1
I have been so heartened by the outreach of connection by friends, strangers, neighbours and associates just in this past week. Our street now has everyone covered in a whatsapp group, I belong to the Northern Beaches Coronavirus Support Group, a friends support group and a speaker’s support group.
As Australia does what it needs to do to contain this pandemic, we are being told to self-isolate. A friend posted yesterday that self-isolating does NOT mean self-isolation and she couldn’t have said a truer word.
Social connection has never been more important. We know from the work of Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology, that the number 1 key to resilience is building and maintaining a support network so, in addition to the groups I have mentioned which I would encourage you to create if not already, here are some simple steps to connect and stay connected:-
1. If working from home – create a 15 minute start and end of day wellbeing check-in. Ronnie Altit, CEO of Insentra has a simple 1 – 10 scale. On a scale of 1 – 10 how are you doing a) professionally and b) personally? If you are a 7 or less, what can we do to support you?
2. As a manager, check in with your people more frequently than usual but not from a ‘time and motion’ perspective! Offer your people trust and they will give it back to you in return. I have already heard stories of companies asking their people to leave Zoom on at home – there may be good reasons, smells like micromanagement to me!
3. If you have time on your hands, write an old-fashioned letter to people you know, friends, relatives. role models, bosses, colleagues and especially anyone who might be vulnerable.
4. One step further, buy some simple thank you cards and send them to your local health establishments – hospitals, pharmacies, GP practices – they are putting their lives on the line for us.
5. Reach out and ask for help if you need it. When things seem overwhelming it’s a natural reaction for some of us to want to curl up in ball and make it all go away – it’s our instinctive flee response, we just flee internally. This could lead to depression, so, if you live alone or feel lonely, please don’t stay alone – reach out.
Self-isolating doesn’t mean self-isolation.
Let’s help each other to stay connected wherever we are in the world.