Hello Everyone! I am beyond excited to return to Dove Style Magazine (DSM) as its Editor-in-Chief. DSM’s goal is to bring you relevant, informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking articles online each month. My return comes at a time in our country that is being described as perilous and unprecedented; given the current state of affairs – from the more than 100,000 deaths as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic – to the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Aubery, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families impacted by these senseless killings, as well as those whose family members have succumbed to COVID-19. For the last three months, most of us have had to make major adjustments as a result of the stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and mask wearing requirements by the Centers for Disease Control. This has been a first for some and it has taken an emotional toll on many levels. Now that states are beginning to reopen and citizens are slowly returning to a sense of normalcy, it’s critical that we take the pulse of our emotional state to ensure that we are present in the moment, especially those who will have to return to their work locations in the near future.
What we knew as our “normal” day-to-day routine will be no longer. If we’re not mindful of where we are emotionally, we will find ourselves being repeatedly distracted. As a result, we run a great risk when we’re not focused and find ourselves not being fully present in the moment while completing routine work tasks. The same level of care applies as we start driving again. Recently, when I was taking my grandson home, I noticed drivers being distracted on the road, swerving lanes, and driving aggressively.
We must be mindful about where our focus and attention are at any given moment. We all have had moments where we are physically present, but our focus and attention are not. Several times, I’ve experienced spacing out while driving home, with no recollection of the drive as I’m pulling up in front of my home suddenly. This kind of disconnection from the present moment can be extremely dangerous.
Our lives are filled with many responsibilities at home and at work, causing us not to be present in the moment. The next time you find your mind wandering, consider the following tips:
- Evaluate how well you are focusing and where your mind is. Make the necessary adjustments to refocus. You may need to take a quick walk, perform deep breathing techniques, pray, or meditate to regain focus.
- If you are part of a discussion or receiving instructions, make sure that you are actively listening to the person speaking. One way to become a better listener is to treat the information as if you are going to have to explain it to a coworker. Receiving information with the expectation that you will have to share it with someone else can help ensure that you’re listening intently to the person speaking.
- Eliminate distractions from the physical work area and keep it organized. Some distractions include noise, clutter, chemicals, people, equipment, etc. They can have an impact on your ability to fully pay attention to what you are doing at any given moment while at work.
- Whenever possible, refrain from bringing personal issues to work that will cause your mind to wander. Try to calm your concerns or worries by making a phone call home if that will help solve the issue. If a discussion will not help the situation then maybe you need to take the rest of the day off.
It can be challenging to truly be present at work. Distractions, long hours, tough commutes, health issues, family problems, stress, etc. all plague us and our ability to be fully present and self-aware. It is only possible through recognizing where our focus and attention is and from there deciding to make whatever course corrections are necessary. The ultimate goal is to have a healthy self-awareness about where you are emotionally so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Self-care is not selfish! Like we’re reminded when given the safety instructions on an aircraft, if the cabin loses air pressure, place your mask on first before attempting to help someone else.
Until next time, stay positive…stay safe!