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Introducing a new series of resources to help you navigate the new normal around COVID-19.
In This Episode
00:23 – Navigating Experiences Around COVID-19
01:55 – Our New Roles as “Universal Caregivers”
02:47 – Three Practices for Universal Caregiving
04:27 – Finding Balance to Move Forward
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Hey everyone, and thanks for taking the time to tune in to WorkMinded for this special edition series in response to COVID-19.
We’re living through an unprecedented human experience. Some of what we’re facing isn’t new. Uncertainty of the future and anxiety about life events have always been shared features of our human condition – and they’ve even been the source of some key ideas in mindfulness. But adding in the speed of change, the sheer volume of information to process, and the mental pace we need to sustain in order to keep up, gives us an experience that is completely new to our comprehension. We’re also organizationally interconnected in ways never seen before. Whether we’ve chosen it or not, we’re all part of a global association of interrelated resources and technologies. And we’ve now seen how these complex systems can take on a life of their own.
Given this forced evolution of how we interact with the world, we want to do something to help where we believe we can help the most. Our unique perspective combining mindfulness and organizational science provides powerful resources for adapting your existing abilities to new and changing situations.
This series is designed to try to help you navigate this transition into our new normal. It’s inspired by those who are out working directly with the people who need it most during this time. We’d like to say not just thank you, but how deeply grateful we are for everything you’ve committed to help keep our communities as safe and healthy as possible. And we want to address what many are experiencing firsthand.
It seems like suddenly, we’ve all adopted roles as caregivers, and we’re being required to provide a whole new kind of care to our patients and customers, to work teams, to our families and communities, to our fellow humans globally – and to ourselves. Even for the professions and personalities that naturally trend toward this caregiver mentality, it’s now being applied on a whole new scale. And with this mindset of becoming what we’re calling “universal caregivers,” comes an evolving set of priorities, responsibilities, emotional adjustments, and physical adaptations. We are each responsible for everyone else in a way like never before, and suddenly the cares of the world really are on each of our shoulders. It can feel overwhelming.
We hope this series will provide useful resources as we each feel out our new roles as universal caregivers. There are all kinds of options available for getting involved in a way that is meaningful to you. Here at WorkMinded, we are encouraging three practices.
- First, be respectful to the experiences of others. This situation might affect us all differently, but there is no doubt that it affects us all, and it will continue to affect us in ways we haven’t foreseen yet. We’re each responding to different types and combinations of pressures – they might be financial, political, emotional, physical – and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever fully understand anyone’s story given the complexity of the situation. Try suspending judgment and being as gracious as you can in challenging moments.
- Second, be a true listener. Sometimes we get so caught up in our human need to solve things, that we forget the fundamental importance of being there just to be there. By choosing to be fully present for someone else, we can actively show our support as they do their best to comprehend and navigate the complexity around us. Try learning to get more comfortable with the stillness of just listening.
- Finally, be a positive influence. We often have a choice about how to respond in a situation. And now the people we are taking care of are actively absorbing what we put out there. Now, as universal caretakers, we have the responsibility to send out as much good as we can in the moment, so that others can receive and benefit from it.
In such an unprecedented time, where most of our resources are already over-committed just from adapting and responding, it is incredibly challenging to think forward. Opportunities for innovation, learning, and setting an example for future generations are overshadowed right now by some harsh realities.
In the moment, it is all about balance – finding the edge between scarcity and abundance, anxiety and hope, unknown and known, present and future. More than ever, we need to harness the power of community, and to recognize that our individual behaviors add up to a collective whole. Let’s tip the scales toward a supportive, understanding, and positive approach that we can build on moving ahead.
In the meantime, continue to listen, share, and connect – with each other, and with us. You can find us on Twitter and LinkedIn, or at www.workminded.net. We hope the tools in this series are helpful to you as we all continue to navigate the transition into our new normal. May you each feel some measure of contentment and calm during these extraordinary times.