Telework may be new to you, and if so, you may have noticed differences in the way you stay connected to your routines, the mission, coworkers and customers, family, and find a strength outside of yourself.Change came quickly on routines, schedules, planning, project steps and communication — connection to that world we had come to enjoy every day.Great ideas like stability, providing answers, planning, organization, minimizing distractions, accomplishing goals, patience, attentiveness and responsiveness, support, empathy and accountability can all play a part in how we stay connected. They also say a lot about our inner strength and purpose.Staying connected can help you be grounded with purpose. One of the ways we can stay grounded with purpose is to visit the five dimensions of strength: physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual.If you attended a personal readiness class recently, these five dimensions were emphasized, and a challenge was presented to identify where you were strong and where you needed to grow in each area. Staying well in all of these dimensions will keep you grounded with purpose — healthy and strong.1. Physical strength: sleeping, eating and exercise.Take time to rest, get your normal sleep, and increase it to eight hours. Eat like you normally do; don’t binge just because the fridge and snack drawers are closer. Take frequent walks, get your steps in and stretch. Follow all the guidelines provided for this pandemic like distancing and washing your hands, not touching your face.2. Emotional strength: psychological, mental wellbeing.Manage stress. Stay with your normal routines. Get up at the same time you would if you were driving into work. Eat breakfast, enjoy the gift of being home. Reach out to heath care providers and counselors as needed. They are still available; it’s just a little different.3. Social strength: connection with coworkers and friends.Practice social distancing, stay home, and keep distance between you and your friends. Take the initiative to check on your coworkers before they check on you. Proactively use your phone and social media to make sure they are okay. Have a list of places they can call if they need assistance.Staying connected is using technology provided by your organization. You are, at this stage, very engaged in using VPN capabilities, calling in to check your voicemails throughout the day, and using your personal phone to receive information. All of these methods work well when they work like they are supposed to, but they are challenging when they do not. Here are a few guidelines we use when asking for help through challenges: 1) be clear and concise with the issue; 2) drop everything else and make their time the priority; and 3) actively thank them for their assistance using spoken words, emails and ICE comments. Showing appreciation promotes a good connection.Another way to stay connected is working on specific tasks and projects. Teleworking can be challenging when you are waiting on a piece of information to move to the next step in your task. You may be asking, “Why are they not responding to my call?” “Why can’t I reach them?” or “I sure wish they would email me; I really need that info.” Tips that work for us: 1) be patient; 2) schedule time with your co-worker and set that time aside for that task or step; and, 3) do not draw someone else into that project just because you are impatient.4. Family strength: those wonderful people you live with, who choose to live with you.Find time to enjoy time together, but also find time to be by yourself. You may find the need to have a space in the house that is just for you. Find it, and use it.5. Spiritual strength: connection to something outside of yourself that gives peace and strength.Personal prayer time including Pray60, daily devotion, music, worship, asking for help and guidance, and giving support are all part of your spiritual being and journey. The Golden Rule applies here: “Do to other as you would have them do to you.” In other words, treat others as you would want them to treat you.Rest assured, you will get through this, COVID-19 will go away, and life will come back to some state of normal. Stay connected the best you can during this crisis with those you care for, provide services to, and who care for you. Someday soon, we will reconnect as we did before.If we stay connected through these times, we will be more grounded with purpose.________________________________________________________________________Editor's Note: Your Employee Assistance Program is always available to you. Confidential assistance can occur, even through emails and phone calls. If you need assistance, call 502-624-8361 and leave a message. The voicemail is monitored many times throughout a day.