We’ll Get Through This, One Cuppa at a Time

March 29th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Meanwhile, the switch to remote working, concern for the health of loved ones and the rapid shifting of our cultural and daily norms is a lot for all of us to contend with.

5th House Consulting has set out to create a space for you to talk about your experiences. What have you learned? What tips and tricks can you share with each other? What challenges are you facing in implementing your work and meeting your strategic initiatives? How are you taking care of each other and keeping morale up?

We want to talk with you about:
Vulnerability & Innovation,
during a meaningful discussion over a cuppa coffee.

We held our first Virtual Coffee break on March 26th. Here are some notes.

It’s helpful to know that we are not alone in our experiences and we found it valuable to hear how everyone’s work is being affected on so many levels.

Our cuppa friends feel it personally:

  • Experiencing isolation from teammates and comradery of the office.
  • Having to learn new technology skills that take up much worktime and mental space.
  • Adjusting to organizing a higher volume of information coming in through email
  • Finding new ways to feel accomplished – taking one task per day
  • Wondering how to be emotionally sensitive and supportive of constituents and teammates while feeling overwhelm
  • Video fatigue
  • Balancing how to take care of ourselves, destress, and still get our jobs done

And they have Community Concerns:

  • How will we run a farmers market that supports local farmers while getting people healthy local food?
  • How do we continue to get community input for important housing projects that have timelines for completion?
  • How do we implement transportation planning process without face to face meetings?
  • How do we remain sensitive to the job loss, illness and financial insecurities while moving forward with our mission to protect the environment, working lands, and migratory birds?
  • What is our message, how do we keep it relevant?

We shared resources
Here are all the ways we are adapting:

  • Blocking out calendar time for certain tasks, and honoring that time for ourselves (and our coworkers). Google calendars is a great way to share this information
  • Using Slack to keep up the “office” small talk (but keep it out of email) and to generally keep good communication with coworkers
  • Using Trello to keep on top of ongoing projects and share project timelines and work tasks with coworkers
  • Taking time to learn new ways of conducting business and connecting with folks all over the country and even the world
  • Taking the internal brainstorming sessions online and keeping them productive with tools like Mentimeter

Personal Resiliency Resources
Times of uncertainty and feeling a loss of control bring about a lot of stress.

Online there are many offerings for stress reduction:

  • Spirit Rock, Jack Cornfields meditation center is offering all of their retreats online now for donations only.  You can access them here: www.spiritrock.org
  • Learn to Garden – Oregon extension services is offering some of their master gardener classes for free: On-Demand Garden Classes 
  • Local gyms are offering free online yoga classes
  • The Learning Center at Red Willow is offering online classes such as Yoga and Tai Chi Cha.