How are you all doing? I hope you and your loved ones are safe.
I don’t want to make light of what is happening or be insensitive to those personally affected in any way, but we all need a break from it all, even if it’s an hour a week.
Juggling remote working, kids, lockdown and everything that’s unfolding around the world right now can be overwhelming. One way to ease the worry is by connecting with friends, family or colleagues virtually though video apps such as Zoom. To do this takes a period of adaptation…
Like thousands of companies around the world, we recently moved to remote working and have a daily video meeting with the team first thing in the morning.
If you have a similar routine, you may have noticed that your weekday office attire has changed and those fancy business suits are gathering dust in the wardrobe. You’ve gently resigned to plodding around the house in your favourite baggy tracksuit and slippers.
To your surprise and occasional shock, the first time you look at yourself in the morning is the same time as the rest of your team – on that morning video call. No amount of hasty patting down the hair will style it like the old office days.
The end to the last sanctuary you had left
Yes, the veil has been lifted, and thanks to the power of virtual meetings, all your colleagues can now peer directly into your home, admiring the pile of dirty laundry draped over the banister, effectively putting an end to any sanctuary you have left.
They now know how it is to live with you. Crikes.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Through the magic of Zoom Meetings, you can keep the dream alive by changing your virtual background to whatever you want. Stuff the one-bed apartment in Slough, move into your billion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills:
Let off steam with a virtual happy hour in the office
Last week, we had our first virtual happy hour at The Book of Everyone to release some steam from the week. Everyone uploaded their own virtual background and wore a hat that was fitting. It was a welcome pressure release.
The trouble with meditation
I have a busy head and find meditation difficult – but I do feel the weight lift when I manage to stop thinking, even for a few minutes.
Worry requires this narrow, fixated view to remain overwhelming. To break that view, it helps to zoom out and create some air between you and your thoughts. Each time you zoom out further you ease that suffocating feeling and put the world into a more balanced perspective.
Zoom out to your Galaxy of Calm…
Start in your home, zoom out to the ceiling looking down upon yourself, then zoom upwards to the roof, into the sky, through the clouds, past the flock of pink flamingos migrating south, up into space remembering to wave with a new level of empathy at the astronauts confined to the International Space Station (we now know how you feel), until you find your very own Galaxy of Calm.
Then float back down slowly to earth, make yourself a cup of tea and grab a hobnob biscuit and wallow in a moment of peace.
This method of relaxation (not the hobnob bit) is derived from Marcus Aurelius’ The Meditations. There’s a guided version here on YouTube if you’re interested. It may help you stay centred and take things one step at a time.
Birthday ideas in lockdown
You could also make one to cheer up someone who’s alone in lockdown in your community, or to say a big hearty thank you to someone working in your local hospital. If anyone deserves celebrating it has to be these heroes on the front line.
Our printers are fully operational
At The Book of Everyone, we are open for business as usual and our print facilities in the UK, USA and Australia are fully operational with all the necessary hygiene procedures in place. Shipping times for all personalised gifts are being met, subject to any courier disruption – currently up to 48hrs on a few deliveries.
Please get in touch with our customer service if you are suffering additional financial pressures due to the lockdown but would like to buy one of our personalised gifts. We’ll do what we can to help.
Stay safe everyone.
Keep smiling (from behind that face mask).
It’s going to be alright.