Learnings from Quarantine: What’s Your New Essential?

As I reflect on the past seven weeks in quarantine, I know that in my best moments I dealt well with all the uncertainty we are experiencing and that in my worst moments I was hijacked by fear. My brain extrapolated that this uncertainty was going to last forever and impact everything.

Over the past 44 days, I have learned that mastering my inner state is the key to feeling good, no matter what is happening externally. All of the well-being lessons I have studied for the past three years and that I have worked hard to master have been tested to the max! What I am 100% certain of now is that the key to my mental well-being is managing my mind to focus on all the good stuff that is always available and on the things that I do have control over.

We can’t be grateful and fearful at the same time.

What do we have control over? We can choose to believe that all challenges can be turned into gifts and opportunities to grow. Before all this started, I had never presented a training program over Zoom. My first program didn’t go so well – my hair and the dark curtain behind me blended into one and I looked bald through the presentation! Now I do these sessions twice a week for firms and have mastered on-line training.

Instead of getting frustrated when I am forced to do things I am uncomfortable with, I choose to say, “Great an opportunity to learn a new skill.” This is not just a “Pollyanna-ish” way of looking at difficult situations, it is training my brain to welcome rather than resist challenges and to believe that I will come out of this pandemic even better equipped to serve clients. What new skills did you acquire during the quarantine? Creating PDFs, cooking a new recipe and cutting your own hair all count!

As difficult as these past weeks have been, are there somethings you finally had time to do that were on your to-do list? My main goal for 2020 was to launch our Wisnik Well-Being Program. I created one workshop and was super excited to present it to the legal community. Over the past few weeks, because I’ve no longer had to commute or travel for work, I’ve had extra time and creative energy to develop two more modules for our Well-Being initiative. One, A Stress-Resilience Workshop for Thriving While Working From Home, provides time- and self-management tools for being productive when working from home. The second, Virtual Communication Skills, offers specific techniques for building rapport and trust remotely. What opportunities did you take advantage of with your extra time? It could be cleaning out that closet, writing an article or taking an on-line class!

Our growth comes from overcoming challenges because of who we become to master these obstacles.

I love the visual below because it maps out our path from fear to learning to growth. As our country prepares to reopen, I encourage you to focus on the growth part of this picture. I believe we have all been transformed by this experience. We might have a new concept of what essential means for us. For me, moving my body every day around 2:30 is now essential. When we go back to our offices, I plan on bringing a mat so I can continue the afternoon online exercise classes I’ve been taking. I also feel even more committed to offering our clients our Well-Being programs because I think returning to the office will be challenging for many. What’s your new essential?

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