Who would have thought that restrictions to our way of life will still remain a year from the announcement of the first national lockdown?
On 23 March 2020, the UK went into lockdown with significant restrictions to business activities and our way of life. Like the Tsunami, the Covid-19 virus was ravaging the world at great speed, so these measures were necessary.
Like most people I hoped that the lockdown would be for just a couple of months and life will be back to normal.
But a year on, we are all still in the same storm.
Development of vaccines to halt the spread of the virus was the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines would allow us to emerge from behind closed doors and embrace life and our loved ones once again.
The UK has made tremendous progress with vaccinating millions of people within a very short period of time, but there are reports of new strains of the virus which has led to questions about the efficacy of the vaccines against all strains of this dreaded virus.
What is clear is that life as we know it has irrevocably changed, and for the foreseeable future we are likely going to maintain some form of social distancing, and carry on with some of the measures that kept us safe during the lockdown.
As we emerge from the lockdown and life gradually returns to some form of normality – although what normal means is left to be seen, here are some ideas and strategies that can help you adapt and thrive in the new normal.
We are creatures of habit and we work better with set routines. I love change and get bored easily with doing the same thing over and over again, but with the lockdown, I have experienced first-hand the huge benefit of developing a solid routine of daily self-care.
These routines have helped me to remain sane during this period of upheaval. Morning routines such as exercising, meditation, setting a positive intention for the day and journaling can help to get the day off to a great start.
It is important to keep the habits that served you well and retire habits that haven’t worked so well.
We don’t know if we will experience another pandemic in our lifetime so this is the time to live with purpose, passion and impact. We are truly fortunate to be living in these very interesting times and I would encourage you to be brave, take a bit more risk, and step out of your comfort zone.
Go after the dreams and goals that you had placed on the back burner. It could be a personal goal like; leaning a new life skill, or hiking in the Himalayas, or a professional ambition such as applying for a bigger role and going after those opportunities that you thought were beyond your reach.
This is the time to step out, shine and fulfil your potential.
Most people that can work from home have been doing so for the past one year. Businesses that employ a large number of knowledge workers are seeing benefits of remote working with savings on cost of property and reduction in greenhouse emission.
On the other hand, there is a recognition that office buildings offer employees a space to collaborate, and do more creative type work. Therefore, office buildings won’t disappear as some may have thought.
Most organisations are grappling with the ideal working pattern, the blend of remote working versus office presence that will boost productivity, while offering the flexibility that employees have enjoyed during the lockdown.
Google is testing flexible working and reported that its employees will work 3 days a week in its office buildings, while Salesforce announced that most of its employees will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future.
So now is the time to plan with your boss and your team the ideal working pattern.
In addition to considering the team and business needs, ensure you to take into consideration your personal circumstances such as child care responsibilities to fit your anticipated future working pattern.
Anyone that has survived the worst of covid-19 has developed some skills to navigate this new phase. The pandemic has led to significant changes and things will not quite return to normal. There are new strains of the virus popping up and we simply don’t know what is round the corner.
Admittedly, this may create a sense of uncertainly and loss of control, but during the peak of the pandemic, we have developed the muscle to focus on what we can control, and it will be vital to keep exercising this muscle as we navigate the new normal.
The priority remains staying safe so as to slow down the spread of the virus, and as we continue to prioritise our physical health, it is equally important to prioritise our mental health. If you have to watch TV and be on social media, ensure you are consuming content that energises you, and where possible, spend time with positive minded people.
The old rule book is being replaced and we are having to re-write new rules as we go along. This means that we can’t rely on the skills and competencies that we had developed in the past. We have to develop new set of skills and competencies to adapt and thrive in this new world.
It can be tricky to know the skills to learn in a dynamic and volatile environment, but research has shown that cultivating, and developing a growth mindset is essential for dealing with uncertainty.
A growth mindset is about successfully adapting to changes and setbacks. Developing a growth mindset will enable you to develop resilience which is essential for bouncing back from setbacks.
While we all can’t wait for life to return to normal, we also know that the new normal isn’t quite what life was before the Pandemic, but by applying these strategies, you will be well on your way to navigate the new world that will emerge when restrictions are completely relaxed.
I would love to hear from you, so please drop a comment below or send me an email on the strategies that resonate most with you and those that you plan to take forward.