As workplaces open up in new and unusual ways, many people are experiencing a range of emotions. We are in uncharted territory, and no one quite knows what the new business landscape will look like. In these circumstances, how do you manage your emotions, stay resilient, and continue to be productive in your career?
On my recent vacation, I came across the meditation teacher Jeff Warren on the Calm meditation app. He shared a word that I think is relevant: equanimity. Merriam-Webster defines equanimity as ‘evenness of mind especially under stress’.
Equanimity is a practice for times like ours. It helps us work and live skillfully amidst chaos and uncertainty. Like the skills of concentration and compassion, equanimity can be learned and cultivated. We develop equanimity when we accept stress as part of life and learn to stay in the moment, no matter how painful or pleasant it is.
The following practices will give you a taste of equanimity:
· Let go of your stressors during the day by going for a walk and noticing the signs of nature.
· Release any unnecessary tension—in your eyes, your jaw, chest, belly, legs, and feet—by taking mini-breaks and doing some stretches throughout your day.
· Edit any narrative in your head that the new back-to-work will be awful. Do not get caught up in a cycle loop of overthinking and catastrophizing.
· Don’t try to fix it. Give the transition time. Notice when you are focusing on perfection and remind yourself it is good enough as is.
· Try a one-minute meditation or three deep breathes when you feel anxious or stress building up.
As I watched the crashing waves at the beach during my vacation, I was reminded of this concept of equanimity. The waves are like our stressors—they keep coming and they can be big or small. How we manage these waves is the key of equanimity.