“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
The coronavirus has forced many of us to work from home for an extended period — or permanently. Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) employees are no exception. We are all navigating unchartered waters, making it important to find new ways to work and interact while also taking care of our mental health and well-being.
While there is no “one size fits all” to the perfect work from home routine, over the past few weeks a movement has started with many F&CS employees who are realizing, and without fail, the little things that bring joy to our day. One staff member said, “Everyone has heard of therapy dogs. I believe in therapy cats. My new co-worker has provided a good deal of therapy for me, especially in the early days of making that adjustment to working at home.”
Another person wrote, “Today, I went on a nature walk with my 8-year-old daughter. She brings me happiness and joy without any effort. But this walk was exceptionally fun today! I took 10 minutes at lunch, set the phone aside, and gave myself permission to just hold space with and for her. By being totally present with her, it gave us both time to be creative together and have a moment for laughter and fun. As we walked home, she said, ‘This was the best day ever!’ and I agreed.”
In his book “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” Nir Eyal describes how we need to try to find fun even in the monotonous tasks. By looking at work with an eye of curiosity and finding novel ways to complete to-do’s, we can bring fun to the work. This has allowed more room for joy and an even deeper investment in the work itself.
We know that this is temporary, and our number one priority is to protect ourselves and others as we remain healthy in our homes. While we are missing out on so much due to the coronavirus, we have a lot to be grateful for.
Reflecting on what we have accomplished individually and as a staff feels good and helps us to stay present. From spending quiet time before tackling emails, to watching favorite movies with family members to spending time outside in the garden, we are mindful that social distancing does not mean social isolation. Other Family & Children’s staff share hidden blessings they have discovered during this transitional time and some pleasant surprises as a result of being in quarantine.