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Wash Away the Old and Welcome in the New

By Jennifer Barnes, Optima Office CEO and Founder

This is an age like no other we have experienced in our lifetime. Mandatory masks, hygiene and sanitation measures taken to the utmost degree, a shortage of supplies, quiet urban districts, and empty workplaces. And as the months continue to pass, the more this new “normal” becomes our new future. But no need to panic! In light of the last 200,000 years our species have thrived on this planet, let’s take this opportunity to wash away the old customs that no longer serve us as a society, and welcome in the new. We can let quarantine bring out our worst or we can let it make us our best.

Health and wellness are something our community has placed more value on over the last decade, which has opened our minds to organic foods, less sugar, gluten, and carbohydrates, humanely raised animals for protein, and more adjustable exercise routines to suit our body types. These have all been great modifications, expanding our knowledge, awareness, and longevity, consequently making us a more exceptional species. And this new public health situation we all find ourselves currently in, believe it or not, is helping us tailor our lives to an even higher grade of living – both physically and mentally – we just have to be open to them.

I’m sure most of you have noticed how peaceful and quiet our neighborhoods are right now? How clean the air is from the lack of pollution? The wildlife sounds that had once become dull are now filling our ears with the audible and constant chirping of the neighborhood birds. The increased scent of the sweet locally blooming jasmine as it thrives. These are circumstances we have only had the opportunity to truly enjoy because of this forced reprieve. Giving us the much needed time and reflection we are owed. Let’s learn how to use these moments and all the data we’ve collected over the past century, to help calm the clamor of our overly labored minds and take a step back to enjoy and embrace this new future.

Let’s start with meditation. We’ve all heard about it. We all know people who boast they practice it. But have we all tried it? Meditation is a wonderful way to create and sustain the tranquil shift that is upon us. It has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self-awareness, lengthen attention span, reduce age-related memory issues, generate more love and kindness, fight addiction, improve sleep, help control pain, and decrease blood pressure. Are there any downsides to this? With a 10-15 minute day habit, these improvements will transform your personal and work environments. And it’s super easy to get started! Schedule in a time that is convenient for you every day (first thing in the morning and right before bed are recommended), find a comfortable place in your home or backyard you can go undisturbed, start with a guided meditation and from there you can learn how to take this on independently. And after just a few days, notice how quickly your sleep, awareness, and mental stress have improved.

Next, hygiene and health. We’ve learned over the past 20 years how eating the right foods and adding supplements and freshly squeezed juices to our diets can make a difference in our overall health. We know that washing our hands in hot water kills bacteria and viruses that can accumulate on the body. And we know that lowering stress and 30 minutes of cardio a day can boost the immune system. But most of us just listen and don’t actually act on this scientifically proven data. 1) Because we are too busy and can’t be bothered to add another routine into our lives or 2) we just don’t care enough about the result to make the shift. I guess getting a cold or the flu every 4-6 months isn’t a big deal? And now coronavirus! So, we go on day after day, touching everything in sight, both in public and at home, and then continue to touch our eyes, nose, and mouths which then result in us getting sick or getting other people sick.

But in this current age of COVID-19 almost everyone is making these changes to be healthier. Taking those vitamins they hear so much about, eating more fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish, washing their hands regularly, and avoiding hand contact with their face in public. And with our increased health plans and required paid employee leave there is no excuse for going out in public sick anymore. Zoom conferencing is a staple in the business world and so easy to navigate, that even if we have a deadline, we can stay home and work from there. We will be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing when forced to be in public. All of this compelling us to take responsibility for our health and all of those around us.

Last but not least, finances. This is the perfect opportunity to build another healthy habit in our daily lives. Set aside an hour or two per week and catch up on those QuickBooks we usually wait until the end of the year to do. This will build a sound routine leaving us less stressed when tax season is upon us. Or if you normally have one person at the office take on all of your financial needs, consider outsourcing a specialist to do it. This dedicated expertise will ultimately save you time and lots of money. By outsourcing your bookkeeping or accounting requirements, this leaves more resources for activities that add direct value for your customers and more profits in your pocket.

But wait, isn’t this pandemic a bad thing? It doesn’t have to be. These are all wonderful shifts in our society! They are pushing us to work better. To run more efficiently. To care more wholeheartedly. Change can be a great thing; we just have to be openminded enough to let the positive aspects pour in. Let’s embrace this new tradition of public health and safety and wash away those older antiquated habits that are no longer serving us. Right now, every person and business is being held to a higher standard. And we are becoming stronger as a community because of it. If you haven’t already, try some of these suggestions and wash away those old customs, it’s time to welcome in the new healthier more productive ones!



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