In our household, we have survived the first week of being home.  Being home entailed entertaining a child, homeschooling said child, two parents working from home on constant conference calls, and staying healthy and mentally strong. 

It was a tough week for us and so many others.  We figured out a few things that made the second half of the week much better, both at home and work.  It all boiled down to something we should be doing every day anyway.

Connect:  With people feeling isolated in their homes, leverage technology to stay connected.  FaceTime, WebEx, Zoom are all examples of services that can easily be used to see another friendly face. 

At the office, every meeting turned into ‘webcam on’ meeting.  We also setup virtual coffee sessions and happy hours where we could just talk without a plan.

At home, we FaceTimed with family and friends.  If you have kids at home missing their friends, this works well and was an instant mood booster for our daughter.

Communicate:  After trying, and failing to run the house, work, and play teacher, a friend saw my face (via FaceTime) and said, “This is no time to be Wonder Woman.”  Thankfully a quick conversation on the home front, and we were back on track.  

My point is, we talked about our fears and how we needed help.  It’s stressful enough outside our four walls, no need to make it stressful inside them too.

At work, in our coffee talk or happy hour, we asked specific questions about how people are doing, not about work.  People need to know they are not alone and be able to speak freely.

Compassion:  A former colleague reached out and asked if I needed her to drop anything off at my father’s house.  She is back in MA, and I’m in CA.  Thankfully, he’s good, but I was very moved by this display of compassion.  We grabbed some TP for our neighbors since they were running low, and we happened across some.  (Why is this even a thing???)

It’s ok to offer help safely.  I am constantly reminded that others are in situations far more dire than my own. 

As we head into yet another challenging week, keep these three words in mind; Connect, Communicate, Compassion.  When you find yourself wondering how someone is doing, take action, and reach out.  You just might find that you ease someone’s stress and anxiety.