Recently, the term ‘new normal’ has been used a lot. Many things have been changed to adapt to the current state of our world. These are some of my thoughts on the ‘new normal’: what we should be aware of and how we can learn to adapt.
How the ‘new normal’ has affected businesses
In an episode of The Takeaway Table podcast hosted by brothers Ming Yue and Ming Han, they discussed on what the new normal could be and how this will change the way we live.
For freelancers, maybe not much has changed. For those who are used to a work routine, things may be a bit different. For the brothers, they have a video production company. Video production involves them going out to shoot videos – what happens now when they are unable to? They shared that they have since done more digital online work and digital campaigns.
The brothers have been vocal on social media about how the pandemic has affected small business owners and home-grown brands. Big franchises or brands may have a Plan B, but small businesses may not have a back-up option to reign in.
Though some businesses are considering or have branched out online, the brothers questioned if businesses are ready for the social media influx. Do they have sufficient resources for this change, are they able to follow through with incoming demands? The main question that arises for businesses now is: how well can they navigate the digital space? Just as how consumers have to be wise about their spending, businesses or entrepreneurs have to be wise about what they put up online.
Being cautious and keeping cleanliness in check
I think we need to understand that the ‘new normal’ does not apply to just the Movement Control Order (MCO) period – it applies even after this period is over. Even when the lockdown is lifted, we have to remember that the vaccine to treat it has not been developed yet. It is misleading to think that everything is back to normal once the MCO is lifted. The ‘new normal’ requires us to still be cautious – we should still be mindful of the time spent outside.
Though staying at home is important, that is not enough. Cleanliness is extra important as well. Please remember to wash your hands with soap, disinfect surfaces or things you touch, don’t touch your face, eat healthy!
Change of mindset: Self-Discipline, Gratitude, Self-Reflection
It’s never too early to prepare yourself: physically or mentally.
I’ve learned to spread a message of gratitude. Many of us are blessed that we mostly have to worry about a change of lifestyle and perspective, not about whether we will have food on the table. By being grateful, it creates a positive change and this will contribute to a better use of our time at home.
I also created a new home routine to maintain my stride. Incorporating time to cook, workout, my responsibilities, and making time for family has taught me to treasure each moment. There are YouTube videos providing tips on journaling, workout routines, and study techniques to keep you motivated!
Finding new ways to gain/maintain knowledge
Some companies/firms are conducting online training for their employees. Businesses can continue to keep in touch so that their employees are still kept in the loop and tasks are completed – though through different ways. There are also online classes available on platforms such as Masterclass and Skillshare.
Treasure time with loved ones, but also reset your boundaries
There are some people out there who may be having a harder time staying at home – especially those who are people-oriented or who stay alone. Our loved ones may not be feeling their best, so do check in on them through calls or texts! People have been connecting more than ever during this time, through WhatsApp, Zoom, or Skype.
As you check-in on others, it is also important to check-in on yourself! It may be a shift for some of us in terms of our living situations. Give yourself the space to breathe, and to take a break as well.
Re-evaluate your spending!
We also have to acknowledge that an economic crisis is already happening. Drawing back to the Ming brothers on The Takeaway Table, Ming Yue discussed on the different classes of people coping during this time.
Some of us are privileged, as we do not have to worry about not being able to get by if we don’t work during this time. Their main concern is more on lifestyle and change of perspective.
We also have restaurant or small business owners. They may be worried about needing to pay out their employees, or they are reliant on transactions that are unfortunately halted right now.
There are also some who would be worried about being unable to provide for themselves or their families. The work they are doing may be the type that requires attendance in person. The World Bank estimates that 11 million people in Asia could be pushed back into poverty by the pandemic.
Hence, we should be mindful of our spending and savings. We don’t know when things will fully ‘recover’. Until we can secure a cure, we have to learn to adapt.
Knowing when to rest
During this time, a ‘motivational’ message has been circulating social media:
“If you don’t come out of this quarantine with either:
1) A new skill
2) Starting what you’ve been putting off like a new business
3) More knowledge
You didn’t ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline”
Yes, this may encourage you to utilise your time wisely. However, it should not act as a guilt trip. Each person will be reacting to this pandemic differently. This is something none of us were prepared for. A trauma psychologist from Beirut weighed in on this ‘motivational’ message – that rather than being obsessed with productivity, we should be focused on being compassionate. Her full Facebook status can be read here.