We often hear that we need to change as time changes. Probably until now we never experienced such drastic changes within a blink of an eye. COVID-19 has brought along with it not only physical complications but also gave us a platter of complications in all spheres of our lives is it economic, social, or health.
Work from home, social distancing, increased personal hygiene measures, etc. are considered the “new normal”. Albeit they are essential in the current situation, they also bring along with them a few crises.
Many of us have started experiencing a myriad of emotions such as confusion, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, to name a few. Some of us may even resort to self-criticism and/or blaming others as an expression of the emotions we undergo. Even though such feelings have been a part of the day to day life, people used to be able to overcome them through social support and leisure activities. Due to COVID19, people are now confined to their homes, and the strain on themselves and the people around them have raised further.
It now becomes imperative to take care of our emotional health and our loved ones by being more compassionate.
Mindfulness is a mind-body medicine practice, based on ancient Zen Buddhist meditation techniques. Mindfulness as a practice is described as:
- ” It is a way of paying attention that originated in Eastern meditation practices
- “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
- “Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.”
Research has shown that practicing Mindfulness has brought about positive changes in many psychiatric diagnoses such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorder, somatization disorder, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Meditation helps deactivate the emotional center of the brain, which is responsible for emotional reactivity that keeps us hooked to news cycles and fuels chronic stress. When we help our minds stay grounded, we are better able to engage the rational part of our brains. This practice can help us understand information and make decisions from a place of fact versus panic.
Ways to practice Compassionate Leadership:
Look: Take time to check-in with your team. Look for the unsaid. How are people’s energy levels?
Listen: Practice mindful listening by giving your team space to be open and honest about how they feel, both mentally and physically.
Feel: Everyone is going to be feeling a range of different emotions. Taking the time to acknowledge how someone else is truly feeling empowers us to respond with kindness.
Respond: In times of high stress, it’s easy to let frustrations get in the way of skillful communication so pause and give yourself space to respond in a skilled and kind way.
Offering your employees a digital program for wellbeing could help support their mental health during this period of uncertainty and worry.
Take care of yourself
Employees often take their cues from human resource teams, but HR and people operations professionals must take care of themselves, too.
Pearson has conducted multiple webinars on for helping HR personnel and other employees during this crisis period for various corporate houses:
- Episode #1 – Identifying and Managing Depression in Teenagers
- Episode #2 – Coping with Uncertainty and Loneliness during a crisis
Such content helps employees to validate their emotions and learn how to cope with their feelings from various mental health professionals directly.
In the end, all of us are looking for positivity and hope in our lives during this crisis.
Ms. Nithi Sharma
Clinical Psychologist, Training and Assessment Specialist,
Pearson Clinical and Talent Assessment