We are social creatures, and we crave connection-in our private lives and at work-something that has been limited in the last two years. Even those of us who embraced and enjoyed working from home need to be seen, to be heard, to be connected. It was fun having Zoom calls in pyjama bottoms and slippers, but the vital part of those virtual business meetings was the connection. It is a deep human need.
Two years of quarantine-related isolation, constantly changing guidelines and anxiety has been taking its toll. As many of us return to the workplace (either full-time or as part of a hybrid arrangement), some will find it less easy than others to reconnect with the working environment, relationships and dynamics we once took for granted.
I’m a great believer in little ‘micro-moments’ of learning or adaptation that allow us to actively take charge of our situation and emotions in the moment, reset and bring more of our best to help ourselves and others. Here are five great ways to re-connect and plug back into life – in just a moment.
Get connected to yourself
Take a few minutes to really tune into yourself and imagine your perfect life. Ask yourself, if money or location didn’t matter, what would a perfect day look like? We’re not talking about extreme experiences like being Elon Musk rich, but consider what your average day would be like in your perfect life. What’s so surprising about this exercise is that we are often much closer to it than we imagine. How many of those perfect life events or activities can you already do right now? So do more. Connect to yourself and what makes you happy, peaceful and contented.
Get connected to others
Take a minute to think about someone you’ve not seen because of Covid. A friend or family member or colleague or even a valued customer. Call them and arrange to meet up. Go for a walk outside in nature or go for a coffee or if they are too far away hop on FaceTime or Zoom. It might feel a bit odd to start with but it’s still possible to connect and laugh and enjoy each other’s company and companionship without being in the same room.
A random act of kindness everyday
Make a commitment right now that you will demonstrate a random act of kindness every day. Hold a door open for someone, smile at someone you don’t know and mean it. Help someone struggling with an armful of files or a few reams of photocopy paper up the stairs. We can all find ways to be kinder and more connected in everything we do. We may not always be thanked or even acknowledged but we will always feel better and that positive energy will spread.
Take a minute to think about the people in your life that you can’t live without or who make your working life better or easier: this could be your local postie or a courier you rely on. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them and what they do. Think about the other things in your life that you are grateful for: your health, the ability to walk in nature, your job or your home. Take a few minutes at the start of each day and/or before you drift off to sleep to count your blessings.
Send out positive vibes
Take a moment to think of your last interaction. Did the vibes that you were sending out impact your interaction? Too often we let the ups and downs of life seep into our connections with others. Instead of feeling irritated, bored, frustrated or judged by the person in front of you, decide to send out positive vibes of ‘unconditional positive regard’. Unconditional positive regard, an idea put forward by American psychologist Carl Rogers, is simply deliberate acceptance and positive support for another, as they are, without judgement. Just try it and see how the connection flourishes and the outcome always improves.