6 Insightful Ways To Reflect During Isolation
In the past couple of months, our world has turned on its head. You might have transitioned to remote work, or you might be an essential worker on the frontlines every day.
It would be easy to keep operating on auto-pilot, but we’d miss what’s before us—a rich opportunity for reflection and growth.
Read ahead and find 6 insightful ways to reflect during this time of isolation.
1. Examine your ways
Since we’ve all been asked to stay home in order to stay safe, we’ve created a new normal. But that new normal was born of necessity and urgency, and not necessarily out of personal best practices. It’s time to take a look at our practices and determine if they’re working in our favor.
Meditate on verses like Lamentations 3:40 and ask God to “probe” your ways, testing and examining your heart and mind, revealing areas where change would be wise and growth is needed. Is there a wiser way to work now that you’re in a remote situation? Have you found yourself living in fear and frustration?
Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD. — Lamentations 3:40 (CSB)
2. Remember the challenges your team has overcome
Whether you're a church or non-profit, you are definitely not conducting “business as usual.” You’ve likely seen your team go remote, and you’ve jumped online in ways you never have before.
You are resilient. Think back to earlier this spring or winter when you were dreading a specific project, or searching for a solution to a difficult situation.
- What kind of skills and gumption did you muster to jump that hurdle?
- Who were your helpers and heroes?
- What new resources did you discover to help resolve the challenge?
Your responses to these reflections are your best toolkit for future business (and personal) efficiency.
3. Take the funny very seriously
Make it a practice to capture the funny moments in life. Instead of having a laugh and moving on, stop and enjoy it, and then share it with a friend or co-worker. We know that a cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22), and those comedic moments bond a team, too, especially a team separated by physical distancing.
Thrive Global says:
Decades worth of studies demonstrate that humor can reduce anxiety, stress, depression and increase creativity, energy levels and productivity. Similarly, laughter boosts our immune system, decreases stress, and triggers a pleasing endorphin rush.
Do it for your health, both physical and mental: Can you recall at least one meme-worthy, hilarious moment during the pandemic?
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4. It’s OK—acknowledge the fails
Some #fails can be ignored due to the nature of our current situation. But as you’ve adapted, have you noticed some consistent missteps? Even though it’s more convenient to ignore them, those experiences will be wasted learning opportunities if you don’t lean into the discomfort and acknowledge them. As spoken and exemplified by Thomas A. Edison:
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Look back and examine a recent learning opportunity. If you’re feeling extra bold, ask a co-worker or friend to give you some feedback on the subject.
5. Give yourself permission to brag
You are not the same person you were yesterday, much less earlier this spring. Since this season of isolation has begun, what have been your biggest accomplishments?
- Have you embraced technology in a new way, learning unique platforms and acquiring tools and resources for remote work?
- Have you masterfully scheduled your family’s daily quiet screen time to coincide with your video conference appointments?
- Has your organization or church maintained quality communication with followers?
- Were you able to reach or exceed your sales or conversion goals for Q1 and early Q2 despite the worldwide changes?
- Did your organization experience online growth over the past month?
- Has your church seen involvement in targeted areas, like online small groups or Bible studies?
As leaders it’s easy to see all that still needs to be accomplished, but it’s important to remember and be encouraged by your achievements.
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6. Practice celebration
If there’s one thing we all could use right now, it’s a celebration. Even though it will likely be executed online, your team and followers will appreciate good news.
The concept of celebration is seen throughout the Scriptures. God’s people regularly planned and executed the spiritual discipline of celebration. Aside from the excitement, this practice ensured that stories of God’s goodness were shared from generation to generation.
Thinking back to your time during isolation, how can you celebrate? It can be as simple as shipping some treats and a thoughtful note to each of your staff members, or going live on Facebook with a tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony giving props to individuals in your team who have gone above and beyond. Whatever you choose, remember to communicate what and why you’re celebrating.
I will tell of the Lord's unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us.
He has richly blessed the people of Israel because of his mercy and constant love.
— Isaiah 63:7 (GNT)
Don’t miss out on the chance to reflect and grow, despite the unusual times of isolation in which we find ourselves.