When did isolation become so…comfortable?

It’s time to get out. My family is fully vaccinated. Beautiful downtown Savannah beckons. Tybee Island is ready and waiting for a twilight walk with my beloved. Networking organizations are back in full swing to help me reconnect with the business community…

 

And all I want to do is stay at home.

 

I am an off-the-scale extravert. I can hardly have a thought without speaking it aloud. It is a good thing that my dog stays in my office all day. Otherwise, I’d be the crazy lady constantly talking to myself. Dobby the House Dog is an excellent listener.

 

I am a hugger, an energizer, a leader. About ten years ago, I gave myself permission to love, really love, my clients. My work became 1000 times more fulfilling after that.

 

And all I want to do is stay at home.

 

Last week, I got out of the house TWO times and found myself in a crowd of lovely people. I went to a restaurant with my husband and son. I walked the dog. I drove my son to and from swim practice.

 

And I was always so relieved to get back home.

 

So, if it is (apparently) not time for me to get out, what is it time for me to do?

 

 

It’s time to…reevaluate.

 

I have been successfully running my productivity consulting business in one form or another since 2007. I love coaching and speaking, but there have been fewer opportunities to do either in the past year and a half.

 

It would be silly of me not to reevaluate my business and career options. I will keep my mind and heart open to allow something…new…to speak to me.

 

 

It’s time to…breathe.

 

My meditation practice has been a key means of managing my anxiety in the past few years. I tend to get a mid-day flare up, and my Calm app has been a godsend.

 

Despite the call toward reevaluation, I also need to remain present. I am so lucky that there is no hurry for me to make any major life changes.

 

Today, all I have to do is breathe.

 

 

It’s time to…savor.

 

In Dr. Laurie Santos’ (wonderful and free) training course, The Science of Well-Being, I learned the skill of savoring.

 

Too often, when something good is happening, we are busy thinking about what’s next to truly appreciate the goodness of the present. Savoring is an intentional practice of focusing our attention on the good thing happening now.

 

The things we choose to savor don’t have to be huge: your first sip of coffee in the morning, a wonderful bite of food, the way the water looks as it runs from the shower head, or anything else that gives you pause or pleasure.

 

When we savor an experience, we intensify our positive feelings. We appreciate it longer. We feel better overall.

 

Similar to a gratitude practice, a practice of savoring involves specific behaviors. You can:

  • Share the savored experience with someone else
  • Think about how lucky you are to be having this amazing moment
  • Remember the activity by journaling, taking a photo, and/or marking it on your calendar

 

I feel better now. I have a perfect cup of coffee in front of me, a snoring dog behind me, and a glistening lake outside my office window.

 

I’m so happy to be at home.

 






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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at getproductive@melissagratias.com or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.

8 Comments

  1. Lucy Kelly

    Melissa, you perfectly captured the feelings I’ve been having at this strange time between covidtime and noncovid time. Reevaluating, breathing and savoring sound like the perfect ways to let today unfold.

    Reply
    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      Thank you, Lucy. It is so nice to remember that we are all in this together.

      Reply
  2. Seana Turner

    I’m so resonating with your comment about savoring. I know I rush through good and wonderful moments because I am so focused on the road ahead. I believe my “future focus” helps me avoid pitfalls and plan well, but it also sometimes has me missing the beautiful present. I am going to focus on eating slowly tonight and savoring each bite. Then I’m going to try and hold this thought as I go about the day.

    Reply
    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      I hope that dinner was wonderful!

      Reply
  3. Linda Samuels

    Oh, Melissa! Your words resonate with me in so many ways. Like you, I always considered myself to be an extrovert. But this past year with being home A LOT has made me rethink who I am. Or more, who I’ve become.

    A few months ago, I drove into NYC for an appointment. It was the first time I’d been there since March 2020, and I was anxious. I was there for hours and then drove home. I got stuck in traffic, and it took way longer to get home than it should have. It was so stressful and I wasn’t accustomed to that type of stress. When I pulled into our driveway and turned off the car, I burst out crying. I was so happy to be back home where it was green, quiet, and calm.

    It has taken me time to venture out further and be OK with it. There are so many firsts with re-entry. So I’m giving myself the grace and space to figure it out.

    Savoring is a wonderful way of being. I love the word, the meaning, and the doing.

    Reply
    • Melissa Gratias, Ph.D.

      You made a great point, Linda. We need to re-acquaint ourselves to the normal “travel stress” that accompanies leaving the house. It’s worth it, and we can do it!

      Reply
  4. Julie Bestry

    Oddly enough, I anticipated that we’d all be feeling this way when the crisis seemed to lift, and in so doing, I’ve felt slightly less of that, “OMG, I want to get back in my bunker” than I expected.

    I think it’s very much like when you have the flu. At first, you don’t want to pay attention to signs, you don’t want to admit you’re sick, you don’t want to cancel appointments, and then when you have to admit to yourself that you ARE ill, you’re willing to snuggle in, take it easy, give yourself time you’d otherwise feel guilty taking. And then, when all the meds have been taken and you feel almost normal for a Friday and a weekend, Sunday night fills you with dread and all day Monday you can’t wait to get back in your jammies.

    The pandemic gave us permission to slow down, and having to rev ourselves up again is not without its hinderances. Everything you advise is essential: breathing, re-evaluating, savoring. Without it, we’ll feel guilty for wishing the flu upon ourselves, feel ungrateful for all of our opportunities. Taking the path you describe is an essential kindness we must give ourselves every day as we find our footing on the path to the new version of our old lives.

    Reply
  5. Diane N Quintana

    Melissa, it’s so important for each of us to listen to ourselves and re-enter the way that works for us. You have presented wonderful thoughts here. Everything has changed. It’s smart to re-evaluate how you do business and how you interact with that which is outside your comfort zone. Like the others, I love the word savor. Learning to recognize and appreciate the small things which make us smile and bring us joy just makes each day that much sweeter.

    Reply

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