If the pandemic proved stressful for many, the post-pandemic effects have been ever more overwhelming. There is unlikely to be a closure to the pandemic and this causes burnout. We are experiencing a new normal. How do we cope?
We may never celebrate as the title implies. What we can do is go on with our lives take care of ourselves and loved ones, and continue with the juggling of work and life, experiencing and managing some stress, without burnout. Here is a 4X4 matrix that may help in this wellness regimen. The process addresses what we believe are 5 key areas: self-care, Social interactions, Family relationships, and Work management.
- Physical Wellness: Exercise, Sleep, Diet
- Emotional Wellness: Acceptance, Gratitude, Relationship
- Spiritual Wellness: Mindbody breath awareness through meditation
- Behaviour: Serving others in compassion
Each of these elements can be expanded into chapters. I have found Yoga in its holistic 8-limbed avatar, not the pretzel-pose gymnastics, to be valuable in a total self care and wellness regimen. To move from the technique of Yoga to an attitude of acceptance with gratitude serving others takes a while, and is essential for holistic wellness.
- Social Interactions
- 5 Buddies you can call at midnight for help, ones you can share with in intimacy and trust
- 15 Good friends who add value as mentors, pointing out your blind spots
- 50 Network
- 150 Good to know, in case
Some may recognise this Dunbar number configuration. The purpose is to build and sustain social networks both for emotional wellness and as a pragmatic support system. Anything more than 50 go-to people may not be a real need, only a professional want.
- Family Relationships
- Boundaries to ensure partnership and responsibility sharing. Californian law and the Vedic saptapadi marriage vows enshrine equality in partnership.
- Communication, the most important factor. Quality is essential, quantity too is important. Every space, starting from the meal table should be a safe space to communicate.
- Ego Management: 99% of all issues, especially family issues, are ego driven. Who gives in to whom and why, should never be an issue. Give in if the other is important. Place yourself second.
- Happiness Projects: These are quality time moments. They need not be expensive. Many happy families work their stresses through evening walks and roadside dining.
- Work Management
- Collaborative Sharing in decision-making, solutioning, goal setting, and all such management functions brings in a multiplicity of views reducing risk and stress. This is also essential to leadership development
- Safe empathetic space is the creative source allowing free and authentic expressions, appreciative not designed to disrupt, that caters to engagement and performance.
- Meaningful work, however routine and seemingly unimportant in a hierarchical sense, leads to stress free satisfaction. The cleaner in a hospital who rose to angel status with patients is not a legend, quite real and replicable.
- Be an exemplary leader, supportive, empathetic, and authentic, not just a high-performing manager, efficient, productive, and rule-role driven. Leaders inspire. Managers can be disempowering.
These elements are not just post-pandemic solutions. These are time-space independent practices that create our better selves.