Learning from nature: setting a new cadence
The last 6-months have been busy for people. Extraordinarily busy keeping our spirits high. So much change. Work shifts, homeschooling children and so much worrying of what’s to come. Just as nature was bustling with growth, we too were in a season of extraordinary busy. And now, if we surrender and listen to nature, take on its patterns, we can recognize that we are entering into a much-needed opportunity of rejuvenation and reset. The season of slowing down, acceptance and being strategic.
There is much beauty in the shifts of seasons. Fall is by far my favourite. The crisp air. The glorious fall colours. Fall is beautiful as things start slowing down, naturally die and go dormant. Nature explodes in activity in the spring and summer, so much hard work to grow, thrive and nourish. The fall and then subsequent winter season, bring hibernation, the natural state of minimal activity and much-needed rest for the next season of rebirth that’s to come.
So, what can we learn from nature, as we move into the next season of working from home and children returning back to school?
This is how acceptance and strategy are showing up. Initially, for those who pivoted to working from home, it was shocking to work from home, especially if you have kids that required extra attention and homeschooling. Yet now, as we continue to get into the rhythm of this new way of working, the shock of the sudden change is beginning to wear off. Many folks have moved from the kitchen table to a designated desk, even if it means setting up a work station in their bedroom or their child’s bedroom, as they are in school or daycare. By recognizing this opportunity and taking such action, people have consciously started to move through the stages of change to acceptance, accepting that this is normal for now and they are making the best of what they have. People have realized it’s ‘time to face the strange’ as best as we can and they are choosing to continue to move forward in life, no longer in lockdown.
As we continue to move forward and journey through life during a global pandemic, it is also helpful to set boundaries around work and life. Keeping rest and rejuvenation at the core of this upcoming season. Returning back to trusted routines can help us on this journey by easing anxieties and provide folks with the resilience to navigate continued changes. These routines do not have to be extravagant, they can be as simple as having a set morning routine giving yourself some personal time before the kids get up. The simple action of setting a boundary around how your morning starts, can help you ease into the day with feeling a sense of accomplishment that you’ve filled your bucket first. When it comes to work and productivity, it is good practice to block off quiet time at the end the day to reflect on what was completed and what needs to be placed on the next-day to-do list. You may also want to include a transition walk, into your afternoon, as you move through work day into family day. This would mimic your afternoon commute home, a time to recharge, reset and get into the evening.
As we enter into the next phase of the pandemic, return to work and return to school, it is time to practice kindness and self-compassion by slowing down, resetting and focusing on what’s to come. Setting up these boundaries and routines that work for you and your needs, and most importantly sticking with them will help you stay focused, planned and able to transition to whatever comes your way.
Written by: Magdalena Blasiak, BA ‘99