Pumpkin spice latte is back and you may be finding yourself breaking out the cozy sweater even though the sun is still shining. It’s as if summer might make its reappearance; something you’re actually hoping for, unlike the looming 2nd wave of covid-19 that keeps filling our news streams. This year, more than ever, summer broke the “Groundhog” day feeling of working from home through the lockdown. Because let’s be honest, there is only so much tie dye, banana bread baking and puzzles a person can take. In July, we were able to reclaim the social interaction that was missed on FaceTime and Zoom and savour the time away from our makeshift home offices. A new love of the outdoors was found by many as countless posts of #lakeloving, #cottagelife and #beachdays graced our social media feeds.
But as the cold weather creeps upon us, the idea of being chained to our computers all day is as cringeworthy as those TikTok dances you created in the Spring. So what can we do to build our coping toolkit through these colder months?
Healthy Mind + Body
Being healthy is about managing our physical state and our mental wellbeing. While binging shows is great to relax on the weekend, keep to a regular sleep schedule (7-8 hours) during the week, so you can effectively participate in your meetings during the day. Eat those apple baked goods but keep active. Starting your day off with a workout can energize your entire day and you don’t even have to make it into a gym! If you want that class experience virtually, download the Peleton app for a series of different classes (yoga, cardio and outdoor running) and no, you don’t need to buy the bike. For a free, no nonsense, get the work done option, check out Mr. and Mrs. Muscle on YouTube. Still longing to get outside? Many hiking trails stay open during the winter months, and even if you can’t make it to a trail, just bundle up and take a walk around the block, taking the break from your screen and being active in any way is the most important.
The Banana Bread Strategy
During those initial months we grasped for the feeling of stability through the unknowns that the pandemic brought. We baked because the precision of putting together ingredients and knowing the outcome was comforting. Acknowledging what you can’t control, allows you to focus on what is in your control and building towards that outcome. See the below diagram for examples of what you can and can’t control.
One thing that you can control is your career development. You can take a course, reaching out to networks online, or taking the time to refresh your LinkedIn profile. Get those critical ‘ingredients’ to building your professional profile in order, so that you can make a change when you’re ready.
If our summer outside taught us anything it is that social connection is imperative, and now is the time to refresh those ties of support to ride through the ‘covid solstice’.
Friends – Holidays are not cancelled, get creative with your ‘Friendsgiving’ this year and take it outdoors. Arrange a thanksgiving picnic and use the colourful Fall leaves to save money on décor.
Family – If you have little ones, Halloween is actually the perfect occasion with masks and gloves already incorporated as part of your costume, you can get creative with trick or treating by trying out a scavenger hunt in the house or your backyard.
Work – We get it, you may be Zoomed out by team meeting calls but try to focus on keeping that one buddy that you can rely on to chat through stressful changes or bounce ideas off. Take a look at your goals and start mapping towards 2021.
Get outside of work – Sign up for virtual webinars or volunteer groups. If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken that first step, so keep your eye out for future events that we’ll be offering.
2020 has been a year of unexpected events and despite the challenges, from little to big, we have all learned to be a bit more resilient.
Continue to be kind each to other and share your ideas below on how we can all get through this year together.