Building your resiliency to lead 


by Dawn Y. Graber

Family rehearsal pic


Resiliency Self-Care Practice #2 

with those you love,
those who need love, 
and those you can serve.  
The isolation we are experiencing during this time of self-distancing will take its
toll if not countered with intentional
caring for one another.   

My husband and I have noticed an uptick in how often we are calling, texting, or messaging family members and friends and even acquaintances seemingly out of the blue. It's not only that we're wanting to check in on them during this pandemic but because WE NEED their care and attention for our well-being.
It's not that anyone really has "news"
(since we're all walking through the same rooms each day)
but instead we just want to be remembered.
We need "out of sight NOT to mean out of mind" especially NOW.  
In what new or familiar ways are you building relationships during this time? 
  • Call or video family members, neighbors, and that kind elderly person who doesn’t have as wide of circle as you might. Learn what you need to about how to effectively use video shared screen time. Like many of you- we used it as a family of 12 adults last week logging in six different households in two nations. Friends, colleagues, neighborhood associations, and book club members are setting up video meetings to virtually continue conversation together. I received a photo of my 3-year-old grandson doing yoga with his preschool friends led by one mother through video conference. I am fortunate that my work colleagues stay in regular touch for simply the sake of building community and care. A local board I'm on is sharing a virtual happy hour via screen soon. We need each other.
  • Make it a goal and send a handwritten note a few times a week to someone. My five-year-old granddaughter typed out two simple love notes to her great grandparents in Ohio and her newly married uncle in British Columbia and felt a great sense of accomplishment putting on the stamp and walking them to the mailbox.
  • Thus far - if you live where you can simply open your home's door - we can enjoy a sparsely populated outdoors if practicing six feet distance between one another. We are enjoying frequent evening strolls in our neighborhood with our adult daughter and her small family fanning across the street but within earshot for conversation. We spread seated on picnic blankets across our two adjoining front yards and wave to neighbors we're beginning to recognize now. My niece in Philly is utilizing her front porch and gathering at certain times of the day for projected conversation with neighbors on bordering porches. Yesterday, my husband and I biked to another adult child's home remaining outside and joined his family for a bike ride once again keeping our distance. Not everyone or every locale has easy and safe ways to enjoy nature and people at the same time in this pandemic. Our local beaches and boat docks are closed because too many people congregated together ignoring the social distancing needed at this time. The counsel to stay local and close to home in your outdoor pursuits makes sense for safe distancing. For now, we are thankful for the ability to swim, walk, and bike with a small circle of loved ones from a safe distance while outside in Florida. Get outside if you are well and can do so safely. 
  • Facebook messenger group threads are an easy way for people to set up their special group to post and give updates to stay in touch. I frequently utilize a thread I entitled "Our Family" for our 18 immediate family members and my parents;  a different thread with my six sister-in-laws spread over five states; and one with two local best friends. 
  • Play games. We all have a little more time than usual. I caught a screen shot shared this morning of two neighbors playing Scrabble through video screen. My husband asked me to play Racko last night. Well, sure! Why not? We are used to playing games with our extended family members that quickly become rip-roaring, loud, competitive, raucous outings. But I am blessed to not be alone in my house. I have a partner I'm sheltering in place with so instead of imagining Racko with just the two of us as sorta lame and boring- I want to relearn those newlywed days of having FUN with just the two of us! I choose to re-learn how to laugh while playing quiet games of two. (Do we even remember how to play backgammon???)
How you are finding a way to serve others while being constrained to your residence? 
  • Before I heard of large groups doing so my sister-in-law began sewing face masks for her ICU nurse daughter and her unit.
  • One of my coaching clients is packing food bags once a week for Boys and Girls Club students who can no longer come to club during this time of closings.
  • I'm watching the same two neighboring grandchildren here and there so their parents can try and work more effectively from home.
  • Contact your circle of school teachers, hospital and emergency personnel, food and delivery service workers, and other essential businesses and ask what you can do to make their days lighter
  • Can you offer to get groceries for one of your neighbors that is either over 65 or with young children would find it harder to get out.
  • If you are a person of prayer, such is a great service to those who ask to be remembered in this way. If you say you're praying for someone, make sure you DO IT!
  • What can we each do for the more vulnerable in each of our communities to not only serve but provide relationship in this time?
Reaching out to others in building relationship through attentive presence and service will make the giver stronger.  
And you CAN build your resilience to lead in such a time as this by BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS as a vital action of your self-care.   

YOU are the person for such a time as this. The threat of decreased donor engagement for our organizations, interrupted supply chains for our businesses, layoffs, distractions from mission focus, the steep learning curve to work as a team virtually, and the stress of an unknown timeframe for this pandemic to end has knocked us for a loop. But RESILIENCE promises us “...the ability to bring energy- mental, spiritual, physical and emotional energy- to our lives, and particularly to situations that are difficult...” (Ferguson, Laurie J, PhD

If you missed my previous blogs in this BUILDING RESILIENCE series please visit Transforming Influence and sign up to receive future posts. 

Photo from personal collection.

Dawn Yoder Graber
Post by Dawn Yoder Graber
March 31, 2020
Coach to Rising Women Executives & Energizing Educator for your Team’s Targeted Learning Opportunities.