As I was sitting down to write my third post on the ‘Silver Linings from COVID-19’, I decided to change from my planned topic because to be honest sometimes it’s just plain hard to run with the attitude of ‘let’s get the most out of everything’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always considered myself an eternal optimist and I do strongly believe that there is going to be a lot of good that will come out of this period. But on some days it’s difficult to look past the doom and gloom and it’s hard not to question yourself in that moment asking, is everything really going to work out?
Early on when I started Saviom from my own home, uncertainty and self-doubt would make frequent enough appearances- as it would for any struggling entrepreneur. During that time, my approach would be to push down such feelings and to keep pushing forward. While such mechanisms would work momentarily, such feelings would inevitably rise back up and very early on I realized that things couldn’t work this way.
It took a great deal of introspection but the first crucial step was to be okay with the fact that things are not always going to be okay AND THAT IS FINE- which was a hard pill for me to swallow.
I had to accept the fact that it’s the way humans are wired, it’s not possible (nor healthy) for us to constantly beam out rays of positivity and enthusiasm. And that it was important to play out my full range of emotions- which I now see has made me a better leader and entrepreneur and has helped drive the success of Saviom. Sometimes you need to sit in the darkness to gain a new perspective of where you need to be.
The same goes for our current pandemic. It’s not always easy to seek out the positives from every hurdle thrown at us. It’s ok to feel momentary defeat. It’s ok if you are feeling afraid of what’s going on because in the darkness we can gain perspective.
In saying that, I do recommend implementing certain habits to help navigate through these times a lot better. They are habits and principles I adhere to and have helped me lead Saviom through thick and thin.
To note, the points below aren’t quick-fix solutions but need to be done with consistency and regularity to keep you in check. Here we go-
Back when I was a project manager, my schedule hardly left me any time to myself, let alone meditate. This was no longer the case when I switched to working from home. It was my daughter, a regular meditation practitioner, who inspired me to take it up. I found that my stress levels went down considerably. I usually start my day with a 10-minute session in one corner of my bedroom, breathing in and out in total silence. Give it a try when you feel you’re way in over your head and you’ll see how much calmer and lighter you feel afterward.
Yoga is regarded as India’s gift to the world and rightly so! Old or young, it’s one exercise you can ease yourself into while working up a sweat. It helps relieve anxiety and is found to improve heart function. I personally turned to Yoga to help handle my levels of stress. Who knew that mastering a few simple postures and breathing techniques would improve my mood and the quality of sleep I got every night? The best part is that you don’t need a gym membership and equipment-just enough room, a towel and a mat would do.
3. Eating plenty of fruits and nuts
You are what you eat. And as a self-confessed foodie, it took immense willpower on my part to stick to healthy eating. I incorporated a lot of greens and fruits into my diet as I got older. It also helps that my wife has the final say on the grocery list. Now, I carry a handful of edible seeds and nuts around as a guilt-free trail mix. The key is consistency, and to remember that you’re doing your body a favor by eating right.
4. Setting and following a routine- this is key
We’re all creatures of habit. Thanks to the recent pandemic, whatever routine we previously followed has been thrown off-balance. That being said, creating and sticking to a new indoorsy routine can keep you functional and help you get the most out of your day. When I worked from home launching Saviom, I spent my breaks on post-lunch power walks. It got me out of the house and away from the fridge! My suggestion? Set aside time for work, breaks, and family. Wind down with a relaxing or useful hobby, power walks, and meditation, as mentioned earlier.
A healthy body houses a healthy mind. Now is the time to reform and remove any bad habits that tank your productivity. What has your experience been working from home and what have you done differently?