The current lockdown has taught Sonica Aron, Managing Partner, Marching Sheep how to take care of herself – physically, mentally and emotionally.
She told ET Panache, “Being foodies, we used to eat out almost twice a week. That did not help at all with my perpetual issue with weight management. So, I used to be a regular at the gym. The lockdown obviously put a complete stop on both the activities, eating out and hitting the gym. But my children, 12-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter adapted to the situation quickly. Fully cognizant of the fact that their mother is not going to enter the kitchen, they looked up recipes on the internet, and started producing delicacies every other day, from savory to desserts. We did not miss eating out at all but did put our fitness at risk.”
Aron decided to follow her Apple watch. “I set up my daily target of workout at home. Looked up 45-minute videos of exercise without equipment. So, from Pilates, to yoga to HIIT. YouTube has a host of videos to choose from. On most days, I put a hard stop at 6 and workout. Not being a morning person, I do not force myself to work out in the mornings. When my watch tells me to stand, I stand and walk around. When it tells me to breathe, I take a minute to breathe deeply. Fitness my calorie counter. There are cheat days, but on the whole, it keeps me in check,” she said.
On an emotional level, Aron’s garden is her haven. Having a cup of coffee, may be two in the morning in the garden gets her all rejuvenated.
“There is a cat who has made our garden her home. Initially we resisted but have now adopted her. Seeing her lap up milk gives a great amount of happiness to the entire family. Dinner time with family is fun, full of banter and how every one’s day went. My children have online classes, and that comes with its own challenges. There is support needed when it comes to uploading homework and projects. It’s interesting to see how tech savvy they are even at such young ages,” Aron shared.
On the work front, the lockdown gave her an opportunity to look at the company’s portfolio, spend time brain storming and revising it to meet the evolving needs of clients in these turbulent times.
“For us, the team had always been on partial work from home, so to transit to complete work from home was not a challenge. We had processes in place to ensure that we stay connected and bonded as a team. During the lockdown, we had three summer trainees and two new team members join us. The robust processes helped them settle in well and fast.The summer trainees were strong contributors to our portfolio revamping processes. The new joiners don’t seem like new joiners anymore. The team collaborates well, and works well together, supports each other,” she said.
The company is also spending time attending sessions that exposed them to several online platforms that have enabled then to deliver their interventions, from consulting to facilitations in a seamless manner. Keeping on learning has helped them immensely.
“The lockdown also gave an opportunity to forge strong relationships and collaborations. It is during this lockdown that we started working closely on delivering relevant sessions, like inclusion while remote working, building psychological safety and emotional resilience, in partnership with them. Non work-related interaction with clients led to building strong trusted advisor bonds and friendships,” she said.
Aron’s learning from this period are many. She explained, “We as human beings can adapt to any situation. We need to keep our goals in mind and work towards them in a resilient manner. We don’t need too much to lead a happy life. Working from home requires us to be structured in our time management, so that we can give due time and importance to self and family as well. We need to evolve with the times. If we don’t, we will perish. Our people are our biggest strength. My team has stood by me, walked with me, step by step. And that keeps us all going.”
Taking care of oneself – physically, mentally and emotionally is paramount. “If you are feeling good and fit, you will take everything in your stride. This lockdown has been a reminder to us of how strong we really are. We just need to dig in and find that gold,” she ended.