It’s quite safe to say that life will never be the same again. 

India has been under lockdown for three weeks already and we are set for a little over two more weeks at home. During this period, many of our habits have changed forever as we innovatively navigated the unexpected coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing has become second nature to us. Many of us are adopting new ways of working from home. And we’ve learned how to deal with challenges creatively.

In other words, this period has forced us to reflect on and change our personal behaviors, social values, and professional skills. 

At Harappa, we believe good habits will see you through to the other side. Hence, we have put together a vital tool kit for both individuals and organizations, to survive and even thrive during and after this challenging period. 

Here are  21 behaviors and values that we have adopted in our personal and professional lives over the past three weeks and will continue even when this crisis is over.

1. Optimism: We have become more positive in our attitude as a way to enhance our wellbeing. Staying positive and being optimistic is also an effective coping mechanism, and it boosts our motivation and confidence to take on challenges.

2. Self-care: The past few weeks have taught us to be gentle on ourselves and make self-care a habit. Psychology researchers Pasquale Alvaro, Rachel Roberts, and Jodie Harris said that behaviors like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness, spending time with nature and relaxing can increase your wellbeing and bolster your immune system.

3. Patience and perseverance:  As we develop and practice behaviors amidst the uncertainty, we must be patient. These skills are not built overnight. They require perseverance and confidence to transcend challenges. So, don’t stop trying even if you fail once. Take smaller steps, monitor your changes, and evaluate your progress; you will eventually get there.

4. Self-reflection: Self-reflection and self-awareness aid in recovery during difficult times. Researchers Monica Ardelt and Sabine Grunwald say that thinking about the values and lessons we learned from a crisis influences our capabilities to cope with what lies ahead. 

5. Resilience and courage: Developing qualities like grit and resilience act like a shield, protecting those who have been knocked down by setbacks enabling them to quickly adjust, recover and bounce back stronger than before. 

6. Self-development: Whether it is taking up a new skill like cooking or even sharpening one’s skills by undertaking a course, we should continue our journey to be the best versions of ourselves.

7. Self-regulation: Don’t give in to the pressure of maximizing every moment of your day during this lockdown. Take one day at a time. Let your emotional intelligence guide you in choosing your own pace.

8. Empathy: As members of the human race, we are all in the same boat and experiencing the same things, whether it is concerns over our health, uncertainty about our careers and even the lack of social interaction. So listen to others, respect their challenges and support them while placing yourself in their shoes.

9. Altruism: In this chaotic and unpredictable situation, helping others can provide a sense of control and comfort. Finding ways to do good things, lend a hand and make things better for someone else can empower your efforts and keep you going.

10. Collaboration: This time calls for the spirit of collaboration. Both individuals and organizations are coming together to combine and pool in resources to mitigate the effects of this virus. Partner with whoever you can to support not only yourself but your community and the rest of the world.

11. Compassion: Our faith in humanity is restored when we see citizens practicing compassion, assisting the needy, the less privileged and the experts at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic in every way possible. Even without any physical or monetary means, one can simply do their part by saying a simple prayer, encouraging and supporting others.

12. Influence: As citizens of the world, we have the power to influence one another to stay safe and stay home. Keep your community connections strong, encourage and model the appropriate behavior that you want others to adopt.

13. Power in the collective: This crisis has brought communities together as they struggle to deal with the pandemic. The Italians sang on their balconies and Indians lit candles in solidarity with health workers as the world collectively mobilized in the fight to defeat the virus.

14. Inclusivity: Despite our differences and disagreements, as human beings, we’re able to rise to the occasion, by valuing, helping, comforting and taking care of each other during this time.

15. Adaptability: Our work environment is constantly changing and with it so are our habits and behaviors. The demands on leaders and employees are intensifying to embrace change, remain adaptable, agile, open and flexible in one’s approach. Adaptability is one of the most important skills to cultivate in this new decade.

16. Accountability: Take ownership of your behaviors; finish your tasks on time and do them well. Whether you are a leader or an employee, cultivate a culture that fosters accountability by connecting with, motivating, and inspiring your team to do so.

17. Self-responsibility: Responsible workers are more engaged and hold themselves accountable to deliver on their promises. They communicate values of integrity and trust, which goes a long way in achieving professional success.

18. Balance: At a time when we are all working from home, finding a balance between your professional and personal life is important. Managing your time efficiently is important. Maintain a sense of discipline and structure in your day, taking enough breaks and making time for fun after work.

19. Motivation: It’s important to keep yourself motivated during a crisis. You can use positive reinforcement such as small treats for meeting goals to keep you motivated.

20. Trust:  Trust is the foundation of any professional relationship. It’s even more important when you’re working remotely. So, keep the channels of communication going to prevent the erosion of trust within your team.

21. Optimization: In order to remain productive, you should identify and prioritize tasks by their urgency and importance. For every project, split the tasks into smaller and manageable ones.  

As we come to the end of #Habits21, we hope that this 21-day series has inspired and motivated you to take control of your life. We also hope these habits become a part of your life during the extended lockdown. And even after.

We encourage you to prioritize your health and safety as this journey progresses.

Explore topics such as Patience vs Self Control, Charisma, and Resilience Examples from our Harappa Diaries blog section and take charge of your growth.

Nainika Seth is an Associate with the Learning Impact Team at Harappa Education. She is a postgraduate in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University, United Kingdom. She enjoys baking and photography. 

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