It's Sunita here.
I’m a big believer of making our work spaces our sanctuaries. It’s a supreme act of self love self care first. But I never realized how much this is truly not a luxury in our lives, but a necessity, until recently.
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our life. But in particular, it has wreaked havoc with our work lives. My own professional life has been turned upside down since I was mandated by our State Governor to close my dental practice and sleep center in mid March. Practicing dentistry will never be the same again, and getting ready to reopen in a few weeks has taken every ounce of my energy and thinking power. Contemplating the complex and ever evolving protocols that need to be put into place to make my office COVID 19 safe for my team, patients and myself took a toll on me that I had never felt before.
I would be tackling tasks with enthusiasm and energy for a couple of hours, making headway, and feeling very optimistic when suddenly I would hit a wall. Not just any wall, but a brick wall of great density. There would be no going around, or through this wall. I would feel unusually exhausted and depleted and become unable to put two simple, coherent sentences together. Nothing but stopping and taking a long break would help me. It would be hours before I would feel capable of mentally and physically regrouping. It seemed like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, or as if I was treading water.
Of course, in hindsight, I see I was dealing with, and adjusting to the unknowns and uncertainty of COVID19 early on in my experience of the pandemic. My fatigue after short periods of work was disproportionate to the amount of efforts I was putting in. I quickly realized that I was going to need to find a way out of the sticky molasses that I would descend into with regularity.
I focused on the usual suspects. Doubling down on good nutrition, getting adequate sleep and aerobic exercise, minimizing time spent watching the news or scrolling on social media, and making sure I stayed connected with my loved ones was a big help. But as I started to spend more time at work, I found a new ally.
My work space!
Sometimes we can't see what is right in front of us. We focus on everything but the obvious. I realized that even though I had no control over the virus, or what was required to be done at work, I had absolute control over the space I was working in. So I made some strategic additions and subtractions to it based on how I wanted to feel, and it became a totally different experience.
These changes were not expensive and did not require much effort. But they were strategic and targeted with the goal of getting more done in my day with less mental, emotional and physical wear. I went even further and determined that I wanted to enjoy my day and feel confident, excited and powerful about reopening my office, and life in general. I share with you what I did to accomplish my goals.
The 3 things you can amplify in your space to heal, boost productivity, inspire creativity and bring you hope.
Beauty has a healing role in our lives. It softens the harshness of our existence and reminds us of what is possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what works for me may not excite you. But the important thing is to bring into your personal space what ignites your aesthetic senses. It will tend to you in your weary moments and be a balm to salve your worried mind. Don't just stop at your visual sense. Play the music that soothes your soul. Bring in scents that calm and relax you. They all work in unison to uplift you and bring you joy. That results in higher engagement and productivity in your work.
Schedule non negotiable Beauty Breaks every few hours of your day.
2) Efficiency and Ergonomics
Revamping a work space in order to maximize it's efficiency to effortlessly guide you in moments of fatigue and mental blurriness is the key to getting things done without "losing it." Your space's personality may have to stop veering on the "shabby chic" side but assume more of a military precision to serve you during the pandemic. So investing a few hours, a day or few days to rearrange your folders, writing materials, research sources and anything else that you now need to communicate,, into a system that would work for you is worth it.
Make your systems in your space work for you seamlessly, and at all times.
Place reminders around you of life, in it's highest form. Invite these messages to inspire you when you get dejected, tired and discouraged. Quotes, sayings, photographs, books, mementos and treasured things can all do the same thing to our psyche. They make us believe in our strength and resilience. Display tokens of past successes so you can remember how you have persevered and fought adversity before to emerge triumphant. Pictures of your family will motivate you to find ways to overcome obstacles and create new paths to a happy and productive future life. Allow yourself to see things that are yet to come.
Dream. Imagine. Believe.
It will not be what we cross off from our check lists at work that will bring us success in overcoming the adversity and challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic.We must fundamentally change the way we are used to thinking in order to come out on the top. Change is never easy and it poses even more stress on our bodies and minds in times of uncertainty and loss.
So how can we move forward to not only survive, but thrive?
By taking one step at a time.
By taking it one day at a time.
By seeking beauty, demanding efficiency and finding inspiration every day.
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."
-Henry David Thoreau
As I now work towards reopening my practice, and emerging from the darkness of COVID19, I am not looking for a "New Normal".
Only a Transformation will do!
I hope you feel the same way.
Wishing you a week of beauty, inspiration and hope,
With my love,
#selfloveselfcarefirst #selfcare #selflove #workspace #office #space #COVID19 #beauty #efficiency #ergonomics #inspiration #hope #henrydavidthoreau #resilience #overcome #mindfulness #transformation #peonies #flowers #joy #rewinedcandles #fragrance #senses