The exhaustion was deep and real the other day. Too many late nights and early mornings, and the well was dry. I told my teenagers to turn out the lights when they went to bed – I was done. After I climbed the stairs, I realized that my water bottle was still downstairs where I had left it on the counter. Too tired to get it, I figured it was a lost cause. But after I stepped out of the shower, I found a bottle with a note from one of the teenagers that said, “Did u want this water?” That water bottle felt like an oasis in the desert that night that delivered the best tasting water I’ve had in years. It’s the little things in life.

Supporting Others around You

It can be hard to spot things for other people and to find ways that support them without seeming annoying. But on the flip side, I’ve found that sometimes at work, we get so wrapped up with worrying about our brains being under-valued that we forget just how human it is to see others and help them out. While some may use it as a strategy to get ahead, insincerity will usually show its true colors. So, don’t let those fears of being perceived incorrectly hold you back from reaching out to someone.

So as we made it through the first round of COVID-19 and now have to figure out how to navigate the variant (any Loki fans here chuckling with me on this term?), it’s important to keep a few things in mind at work as tension mounts and plans change again.

1. People have a lot of problems that are not from COVID-19.

The only problem that everyone wants to talk about is COVID-19. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a terrible pandemic. But some of your coworkers are struggling with mental health issues, and others have a personal life that is in the midst of blowing up. It’s not your job to solve it for them unless they ask for help, but it is your job to be understanding. Being a good coworker or boss means realizing that there’s a lot that goes into communication at work. It’s not always about you. So, give people the pass they need at times when you get an email that trends towards the punchy side.

2. The little things in life make a big difference.

It took the eyes and actions of my teenager to make me realize just how far being seen in the moment felt. We get wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget to really look around and see how others are doing. All we see is the work on our own plate and our own personal struggles. Sometimes meeting the little needs in life for people go a long way in making them feel seen and heard. So, lift your head up and look around at your coworkers. Maybe it’s just getting something off the printer for them, or bringing them an extra coffee. But to them, your helpfulness can lift their day.

Listen to What’s Really Being Said

You don’t have to listen too long on social media and at the office to hear a lot of opinions and irritation. But if you take a closer look at the people, you will hear the hurts and the fears behind the strong words. We don’t see the full picture of their life. So, give people the benefit of the doubt, and if you have a way of helping others, you may just be an oasis in the desert for them.



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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.