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Staying Connected ...

I am writing this with the intention it may help others as the new normal of social distancing and isolation continues...  

Humanity faces one of its most testing times since the world war, the hidden enemy COVID-19 has impacted the global population in different ways, personally and professionally. The social fabric that holds society together will be tested and the response from Countries, Governments and us the people will determine our next chapter. The pace at which things are moving feels surreal and I have spent the last few weeks trying to make sense of it all, obsessing over the news and looking at what’s app groups and discussions of what is happening here and in other countries. The conclusion I got to is, this it will get worse before it gets better. Having said this it will get better and humanity will bounce forward with more resilience from this crisis. 

I am privileged to be able to work remotely and have spent the last 2 weeks working from home. Although I don’t miss the commute to work, I do miss my friends, work colleagues and generally the human race!

For those who know me, I say this a lot, “Be kind to yourself”. How you feel, what ever you are thinking is normal and its important for people to talk about it. My personal journey has been a rollercoaster of emotions from anxiety, fear, confusion, anger, compassion, hope and gratitude. What has helped me is thinking about cause and effect. As in what can i control (being in cause) and what I can’t control (being in effect). The concept is very powerful to make sure you focus your energy in the things you can control. You can use meta models to regain empowerment and feel in control whilst making a conscious effort to not focus on things you cant control.  

On day 2 of working from home, I knew I had to get into a routine to ensure my own well being.  So before I start work I go for my one time a day outdoor exercise walk. If you cant go for a walk find a quiet place in your home to workout. There is a beautiful lake behind my house and I have made friends with the swans Betty and Shirley! Joking aside being close to nature really helps you stay grounded. After the walk its yoga time, There is a great yoga session run by @ZoeAnstey. Zoe works for @11fs and kindly runs a live 30 minute session every weekday which now my kids are getting into. If you want to give yoga a try feel free to message Zoe. Yoga stretching and the breathing really gets you ready for the day especially when you are going to be working in-front of a computer.

Working from home and not having time to get a train home time it is hard to switch off. For the first week I found myself working late into the evening. So in week 2 I have put a hard stop from work to make sure I switch off, unwind at the end of the day and spend some quality time with family. Working from home with kids has been challenging I don’t know how these teachers do it. What has helped me is structure and schedules for the kids. I have created Trello boards for both my kids with fun activities and learning that they can do. Once they have done their task they can mark it off and upload pictures. It’s a Kanban board of sorts with single piece work flow. I plan the night before and update their boards so the kids can look at their schedules in the morning and know what they have to do. They are also doing a lot of the garden work and fence painting at this rate my house will be ready to be featured on Grand Designs! If you are stuck on keeping the kids learning and entertained please reach out I’m happy to share my templates and resources I have come across.

We are social creatures, well most of us are anyway! For our wellbeing we need to feel connected to other humans. With social distancing this is a challenge, so making sure we check in on family and friends is vitally important. We are in this together and there are plenty of ways to help. Singing up to GoodSam https://www.goodsamapp.org/nhs it is Uber for volunteers and the vulnerable that connects the vulnerable to volunteers. 

You can make sure people on you street are safe and feel supported especially the vulnerable. I know it can feel awkward to reach out to people and offer help or even ask for help. Last weekend I posted a letter to each house, stating my intent to make sure people on the street felt supported including my number just incase they need anything. We have 3 over 70s couples on our street and I was blown away by the what’s app and calls I got to say thank you. The result, we now have a street wellbeing what’s app group and everyone is connected virtually like never before. Its a great time to reconnect with those who you may not talked to in a while. I have a view virtual coffee catchups scheduled into the diary to talk have coffee and cake or tea and biscuits and connect via video with people. 

I am a trained NLP coach and mentor and have a number of regular people I coach. During these difficult times I am offering people who need help free virtual coaching and mentoring at lunch and in the evenings to help them bounce forward. I close by the quote I heard last week by Rishi Sunak, Now more than at any time in our history, we will be judged by our capacity for compassion. When this is over, and it will be over, we want to look back on this moment & remember the many small acts of kindness, done by us and to us.  

 

Stay at home, stay safe and stay connected and reach out if I can be of service

 

Thanks for reading 

Bhavesh Vaghela

Digital Craftsman

My views are my own, delightfully dyslexic so please forgive the typos!

 

 

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Bhavesh Vaghela

Bhavesh Vaghela

Senior Product Manager

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