I don’t know about you, but these past couple of months have been a struggle. I’ve always considered myself someone who can easily pivot and adjust, but for some reason, this pandemic has made it difficult. I chalk it up to information overload, separating fact from fiction, and getting sucked down various rabbit holes to verify information. I also think that lack of certainly trips many of us up. Truth is, certainty never existed, we just thought it did, and we assumed we knew what was next. Well, we didn’t then, and we don’t know now.
I’ve been through radical change before including, 9/11 and 2008 recession. My struggle to adjust has forced me to look back over the past couple of months and share what I’ve learned, and hopefully what I’ll continue to learn long after this passes. And like everything else, this too shall pass.
1. Things seem jumbled, at least for me. I find that I’m doing an unusual amount of multi-tasking and it’s creating a “thought clog”. I can’t seem to remember things or stay focused like before. So, I started creating a daily schedule the night before each “work” day. I also turn off ALL distractions for an hour so that I can focus on whatever I’m working on versus all the other distractions. We’ve got enough to pre-occupy our thoughts, so in this case, doing less is more.
2. Create expectations to align with this shift. Self-isolation is new to all of us, so give yourself time to adjust. We have to be patient with the process and adjust as needed. You can’t expect to work at home like you did at the office. There are different distractions, be it our kids, other family interruptions, or simply the lack of regular office routine. Things are different. Even those of you that were already working from home, the environment is not the same. Try not to put so much pressure on figuring this all out, rather do your best to your make sure your expectations meet with this new normal.
3. Take in the wonderful moments that are a result of this. It’s so easy to focus on all that is wrong right now, thanks to media. Why not use this time to savor the special experiences stemming from this pandemic. For those of you with kids, there are bonding opportunities that never would have happened otherwise. You get to play more games, learn more about your children and more time to listen, really listen. Reading more. What a great time to get back into a regular walking routine. More meals at home means more time together as a family. There are hundreds of other meaningful moments coming from this. Take time to recognize the small gifts that come from challenges.
4. Reflect on your talents. We can get so caught up in our day-to-day routine that we forget about the things that make us unique, special, valued. What are you learning about yourself during this time that surprises you? Maybe you have been forced in to being more innovative, and are discovering strengths you’ve been neglecting. Maybe you haven’t touched that guitar in years and it’s time to pick it up. Perhaps you’re a great seamstress and you want to make masks or blankets for shelters. We all have our talents and sadly over time, we put them on the back burner. Seems like a perfect time to reconnect with our talents and celebrate them!
5. Take care of you. I have found that my morning meditation is more important than ever. I have also kicked up my walking/running schedule. There are online yoga classes, so many opportunities to disconnect from the stress that the world is serving us right now. Now more than ever, exercise is about sanity, not vanity! We are all processing this time in different ways so, make sure that you continue to care for yourself. Doing so will set you up to weather this storm and maybe, just maybe, come out stronger than before.