COVID-19 Leadership from AEP

Good afternoon AEP members,

Our industry is adjusting to a new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic and while it can be overwhelming to consider the unknowns, there are many fruitful activities we can do as professionals to carry on, live in the present moment, and enjoy our work. I recommend taking it one day at a time and focus on building healthy habits. Here’s a list of some ideas or tips for doing everything from home:

  • Consider attending virtual AEP programs! Stay up-to-date on upcoming Chapter and State virtual events by checking your email and our website for updates!
  • If you’re responsible for planning programs for your company, some remote program ideas are:
    • Educational webinar on an environmental topic or skillset to build over time
    • Book Club like AEP San Diego Chapter – reach out to them for their book list!
    • “Ask an Expert” – a session where an environmental professional is available to answer questions about a technical topic or soft skills
    • Happy or “Yappy” Hour with quiz or trivia games
    • Storytelling Session – what’s a cool project you’re working on? Are you in an essential business? What are you up to?
  • When holding meetings remotely, consider committing to video conference so you can connect with happy faces! People forgive the unprofessional backgrounds and attire – look at how the news and media broadcast from home.
  • Consider a daily (20 min) and/or weekly (1 hour) check-in call with your team as part of a meeting rhythm. Here’s a potential agenda:
    • Victory – what was a win from the day or week prior? Time to brag and celebrate!
    • Metrics – what’s your progress toward key performance indicators or other business metrics? Have you connected with each colleague on your team? Each client or other key stakeholder?
    • Stucks – what are your main challenges or what is holding you back from accomplishing your priorities? Remember, the “Obstacle is the Way” and “Amor Fati”!
    • Priorities – what are the three things you intend to achieve in the next day or week?
    • Gratitude – what are you thankful for or what are you looking toward?
  • Get into a daily routine as if you were headed to the office – i.e., clean yourself up and put on an outfit including jewelry and shoes. You may find an extra pep in your step.
  • Establish stress-relieving healthy daily habits like:
    • Meditation -- recommend 20 min in the morning and evening to calm yourself and enhance creativity and productivity
    • Exercise -- move your body mindfully for at least 30 min
    • Eat healthy -- shop local and safely, many local farmers deliver. Now is the time to learn to cook!
    • Accomplish detailed tasks (i.e., decision-making) in the morning
    • During the evening the day before or the morning the day of, create a list of three priorities you want to accomplish for the day and organize them as follows:
      • Personal – what is one thing I can do for my wellness today? Listen to an audio book? Write in my journal? Take a picture of my house or pet? Cultivate my garden? Make art? Listen to a sound healing session? At home spa session?
      • Relationship – who can I connect with remotely about something unrelated to work? Can we do a video chat? Or would they enjoy a handwritten letter in the snail mail? Do a puzzle with a household member? Join a remote dance party? 
      • Career – what is one big thing I can check off my list today to be successful at work? If you have competing priorities at work, organize them into three top priorities and give yourself permission to accomplish the others another day.

Overall, give yourself permission to do what you can each day and do not hesitate to connect remotely with your AEP community for support and a laugh.

AEP Leadership

Special thanks to Laurel Glass Lees, AEP Director-at-Large, for creating this list of great ideas to support our members!