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Back to Basics

Oof. Ta.

This year has been a doozy.

Like you, we’ve had to evaluate, adjust, re-evaluate, and re-adjust over and over. We’re here to share how we’ve been keeping our heads above water these days, and spoiler alert: it’s a lot about getting back to basics! We rallied our Uncommon core team members, who are all at different points in their lives, and we hope that you can gather some helpful information from each of their unique perspectives about how to navigate stress, how to find some semblance of balance, and how to recharge.

Psst … if you want to learn more about our team members, check us out here!

Aaaaaaand here :)

Question: First, be honest. What causes you the most stress?

- It probably comes as no surprise that Jordan and Sarah both agree that work is their biggest source of stress. Janie has actually started a new job this fall, which is bringing some newfound fulfillment … and a uniquely fresh batch of stress. Plus, Janie also shared that she gets stressed by unfinished projects, an unkempt household, and an overloaded email inbox. We hear you, Jane!

- Katie’s biggest stressors revolve around time, like being late or not having enough time to install a project properly.

- Jasmine had some wonderful insights for us to help put things into perspective: “One of the questions I ask myself is if this will matter in five hours, five days/weeks/months, etc. If the answer is no I usually am pretty good about not stressing about it. Or, I take a deep breath and begin tackling one thing at a time.”

Question: What are the big and small things you do to take care of yourself?

Movement, nature, and reflection/prayer were at the top of the list!

- Jordan loves to go for a run, and Jasmine loves walking, yoga, and being out in nature. Similarly, Sarah loves going for walks in nature or drives where she can jam to a great playlist.

- Janie and Katie both love getting fresh manis and spending some time with God. Janie also loves reading soul-giving books, enjoying a good cup of coffee with my sister or friend, and going on stroller walks. Katie knows how important it is to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, get naps in on the weekend, and stay away from her food sensitivities!

Question: What does a typical morning look like for you?

In our group, we had some who like to get right down to business and some who take time to ease into the day.

- Janie is up at 5 AM and usually spends about 1/2 hour of God time (reading the bible, journaling, praying) before going to get baby Riley from her crib for her bottle and some play time. Janie has a great rule of thumb - no coffee in the AM until she’s had a tumbler full of water :)

- Jordan is up - before it’s even bright and early! - at 2:30, when he’ll make coffee, eat breakfast, and begin work at 4 AM. Jasmine also jumps right in on most work days, getting ready, making breakfast, and going for a walk with her dog, Bella. Katie’s day starts out by getting ready, getting some coffee, and getting in some God time with reading scripture, watching a study on RightNow media, and praying.

- Sarah’s routine usually involves some combination of meditating, yoga, reading, gratitude, and/or checking personal emails before getting ready for the work day. While she’s getting dressed and ready, she’s usually listening to podcasts, interviews, or music that set the tone for the day.

Question: How has your "typical" routine changed during COVID, if at all?

Logistically, not too much has changed for most of this group, but we are taking on a few important shifts!

- Katie shared that, “I am much more intentional with my time and willing to set work down to go enjoy life. I tend to be a workaholic so COVID has really shown me the value of quality time... especially in the little moments, simple things, ordinary times throughout the day!”

- Sarah is now working from home most days and working from the office when needed. She still wakes up at 5AM during the week, so when she doesn't have to commute, she has some extra time in the morning. “There are many things I like to do to get the day started, but when I list them all out, it feels like a daunting task list I have to complete. A couple of months ago, I reframed it all by putting together a “menu” of things I can choose to do with my extra time in the mornings.”

“I realize some of these reference projects that may not make sense to other people, but hopefully the idea is helpful! I move these post-its around based on what I’m in the mood for that day. With a food menu, I’m never going to be able to eat all of the things I might enjoy in one sitting, just like I’m never going to be able to do all of the things I enjoy in one morning. It helps to take the pressure off and just do what feels good each day!”

All of us can agree that COVID hasn’t changed our day-to-day lives drastically, other than missing some social events and adventures. We’re making the most of it by doing what we can safely and spending time outdoors whenever possible.

Question: What other things do you like to do, alone or with others, that bring you joy?

- We love what Janie does to take time for herself and to spend time with others. Her baby Riley’s nap times are when she gets work done or gets some “me” time. She also co-lead a small group with Katie that meets every other Monday, has church on Sunday mornings, and her college girlfriends are beginning a book club that will meet once a month.

- Jordan shared that he loves hunting, fishing, golfing, snowmobiling, spending time with Riley, and hiking with Janie.

- Katie will go on a walk every so often with friends or family, cook and have people over to gather around the table, or serve a couple weekends out of the month at church to put others before herself and help out!

- Sarah: “I do love a good meditation by myself, whether it’s just breathing for a few moments or listening to a guided meditation like this one. My husband and I love to travel and explore to gain new perspectives, and although that has been limited lately, even just a scenic drive or a walk goes a long way. Plus, I’d happily break out into a dance party with just about anyone - great stress reliever :)”

. . .

That’s what we’ve got! Simple, small things seem to be making the biggest impact on us lately. What do YOU think are the most fulfilling ways to stay energized or to de-stress these days? Email us at - we’d love to hear it!

Stay strong,

The Uncommon Team


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