As I talk to family, friends, and colleagues, I sense that stress levels seem to be increasing. I thought as we "settled in" to our new work from home / remote work lifestyle that our stress might start decreasing as we learned to accept "what is." Maybe my thoughts were based on my hope that we would adapt and thrive in this environment. And, for the record, I still believe we can!
The reality is that stress is mounting due to the prolonged, uncertain, and changing future of our jobs and businesses. Understandably, many companies are initiating re-organizations to maximize their workforces. Everyone is scrambling to make the best of this unprecedented situation. As companies re-organize, many positions are being eliminated yet are not being back-filled. This places additional burdens on those remaining as they take on an increased workload and responsibilities. I've heard from executive administrative professionals who are feeling overwhelmed because they are now supporting what seems like an unrealistic number of executives and team members. Some are expected to manage office moves related to re-organizations / downsizing and other large projects. Virtually. The struggle is real.
In August 2020, I blogged about how we were experiencing COVID-19 pandemic quarantine fatigue and Zoom fatigue. Two months later, these new stressors have piled on to what we were feeling then. Our minds and bodies are working overtime to find the best way forward and cope with this ever-changing landscape along the way. This. Is. Exhausting.
Our best chance to get through this is to get through it together. Now, more than ever, we need to stay connected and continue to motivate and encourage each other to rise above the ever-present stressors around us that are threatening to take us down. I've talked about my fighter's mentality before and encouraged you to adapt it. My mantra to fight my cancer is "the best way out is always through." This applies to all of us now. Keep moving forward. Keep the faith and believe that we will get through this. There is no need to go it alone. We can reduce our feelings of stress, isolation, and fear by reaching out and leaning on others to help. I have observed a new and refreshing kindness in people and a genuine empathy and compassion for each other. Let's use these feelings to take action and find ways to help each other stress less.
One of the best ways out is to keep networking. Connect with as many people as you can via your social networks. Be positive, genuine, and transparent. Start and support conversations with others on LinkedIn and in your Facebook groups. Share your thoughts and challenges and your perspectives and solutions to the colleagues in your networks. Make / schedule time for 1:1 Zooms and phone calls to check in on each other and offer words of encouragement. Invite others to join you in group Zooms for a cup of coffee--and while you're there, have fun and laugh with each other! As a volunteer with the American Cancer Society / Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Tampa, I recently joined a group Zoom and music was playing as I entered the Zoom Room. Everyone was "dancing" in their chairs as attendees joined. It was SO uplifting to see joy and smiling faces (video posted on my Lisa's Links Page).
Another one of the best ways out is to seek webinars and training because continuous learning keeps us motivated. There are plenty of free webinars available and many are offered over the lunch hour or begin after work hours. There are opportunities to connect with the speakers and other attendees during trainings via the chat box or follow-up emails.
Most of all, make your self-care a priority and take mental breaks, meditate, exercise, and create a positive environment to work in.
When I started Office Assistance Plus, I pledged to be here for you and I meant it. I am not going anywhere! Please consider me a steady resource for you and a place to come for inspiration! Place your thoughts in a post or contact me to talk. Our goals: get through this, stay productive, and find peace.