This country is mine! It’s yours! It’s ours! I chose to move here, and I chose to, and choose to stay here. There is no other place I choose to be right now, close to my family, nation & to be part of and to support Am Yisrael. Am Yisrael Chai!
Right now we are mourning those who were not as fortunate to survive, praying for the safety of our soldiers and nation, for a full refuah shlayma of those injured, and for the healthy and prompt return of our hostages.
Below are some thoughts on personal, family & business self-care during this time, as well as how we can use our strengths to help others. Thoughts and tips which I’ve found work for myself, and which I’d like to share with you:
| Work on what you can control. Whether it’s our emotions, actions or by giving to, and helping others. When we feel like we have some element of control, rather than being controlled, we’re in a better way. We feel less like victims and gain inner strength. Even though as citizens, we are not totally in control, by actively doing something in any area where we feel strong, helps not only others, but also ourselves, rather than feeling down and helpless.
| Set limited goals, one at a time. For many now, the goal is sadly simply survival… As fear, the unknown, and needing (or feeling the need) to stay close to home can paralyze us and lead us to a situation of total apathy, even a small goal like getting dressed instead of hanging around in pj’s can positively affect our mood. Cooking your favorite meal. Doing a Whatsapp video with the family. Listening to a podcast. Sending a message or email. Working on something which may not require too much energy. Catching up on a project you saved for after the Chagim. Yes, focus & concentration is difficult now. For us all. Try setting a small goal for something you can measure that you did & feel good about. We function at different levels, & many of my friends, family, colleagues & clients are go-getters, used to setting and achieving a lot in a day. Now’s the time to not be too hard on ourselves, on the one hand, yet on the other, to ensure we do “something”, with each of us deciding what that something is, to suit your present personal and family situation, & where you live. At the end of each day, reflect on & write down your achievements for the day, no matter how trivial they may seem.
| Do good for others. It’s a win-win for all & positively affects our mood. We’ve seen this in our amazing country. The amount of volunteers out there is so heart-warming. It’s well known that when we do for others, we, ourselves, gain immensely from the good deed. Whether it’s giving a donation, physically volunteering or buying food for the soldiers, everything counts.
| Family-care. This past week I arranged a family Zoom fun hour for my grandkids and kids. It uplifted me, just as much as them. Just preparing for it made me feel good. We played games, sang songs, watched positive clips like Am Yisrael Chai, read an online book, and simply connected. Having kids & grandkids all over the country, it was good for us all. The cherry on the top was when my two soldiers (son and son in law who’ve been drafted) joined at separate times for just a few minutes to pop in and say hello and show us that they were ok!
| Self-care. If we’re in a good way, we’ll be able to positively influence others. If it means spending a few hours watching Netflix or listening to something inspirational, it’s not only ok, but is a must. I forced myself not to feel guilty that I was “wasting time”. One of the time management questions I always mention in my time management seminars is “What’s the most important and best use of my time right now?” At that moment, it was to relax on the couch and watch Netflix, instead of working or being glued to the news. Even though I chose to add this point after doing for others and for our families, most of you will agree that this could & should have been written first (we can only be there for others and provide them with oxygen if we ourselves have oxygen, and take care of ourselves).
| Limit TV and Social media time. I’ve been guilty of this a lot since Saturday night. Who hasn’t? I’m trying to wean myself off it, and watch or read updates every now & then, instead of having it on all day long in the background.
| Know & use your strengths so you can help others. If you’re good at something, have access to particular resources or to a community – use it and reach out to help others as much as possible. If you’re a good organizer, initiate an offering or offer your services to an existing project. If you’re good in technology, likewise.
| What activities to do or not to do in your business during this time? If you’re not in the direct firing zone & running to a miklat (safe room) every few minutes, don’t have young kids in the home, or alternatively if you’re not in a line of business which is very much in demand right now, you’ll likely find you have more “down time” than what you are used to. You may also be very divided between what you feel you must do, should do, or don’t feel like doing. Things are slower, your clients may not be focused or able to work with you right now, or perhaps you’re not able to attend to the project you were working on before the Chag (Holiday). In addition to applying self-care & attending to your family and surroundings first (as mentioned above) below are some business steps and ideas you may want to consider doing, circumstances permitting:
- If you’re not in a position to even think about these elements right now, it’s totally OK. SAFETY, self-care, family and Am Yisrael first!
- Catch up on admin, filing, accounting
- Update your mailing list, your website, and your systems
- Pay outstanding bills (or request a credit extension if you’re not able to pay right now). Issue outstanding invoices (with sensitivity)
- Reach out to your clients & colleagues, letting them know you’re thinking of them, without trying to sell them anything. Let them know re your availability
- If you’re in the middle of a project or order, check in with your client (don’t assume they don’t want to hear from you), see how they are, update them on your situation and together ascertain when or how they’d like to proceed – patiently
- Save your online codes and logins in a safe place – offline
- Organize your important papers and keep them in the safe room
- Be cautious what you share online – put on hold current ad campaigns which are less relevant & which may lack sensitivity right now
- Use this time to write articles and record videos. Post what’s relevant. Where less relevant – save them for the future
- Plan a new strategy, idea, product or project (remember the COVID-19 days… although this is VERY different)
- Try to use this time as “constructively” as possible. Yes, we’re praying for this time to pass – and it will, where you’ll then get back into your daily routine, and may not have time for some of the above tasks
| Exercise and try to eat healthy foods. Yes, when we lack energy, we often look for that candy or chocolate. For me at least, it’s part of self-care and giving me a pick-me-up. However, I know that if I don’t do any exercise during this time or eat junk food non-stop, I’ll regret it. Allow yourself to have the self-care which works for you, but try to keep it under control
| Smile and try to be positive. Yes, force yourself to smile, even if you don’t really feel like it. It’s been proven to make a difference. Fake it until you make it, and until your mind and body feel the positive effect. The effect will rub off on others too. Where possible, try hanging out with positive people who won’t pull you down – this is in general, but is especially relevant now
Am Yisrael Chai! We are strong and will prevail. We will thrive once again!
Take care of yourself, your family and your surroundings. STAY SAFE!