Finding Our New Normal
My article in last week's blog looked at how we can safeguard our wellbeing whist we continue to work from home during and (likely) beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, as the lockdown in the UK continues, I wanted to delve into how we can develop and adopt a 'new normal' way of life and work which serves us well.
I doubt we will ever fully return to how things were before Covid-19 as too much has changed too dramatically. We have learnt a huge amount from this catastrophe so now is the time to enact lasting, positive change at all levels and especially in our day to day lives.
Firstly, we need to identify what works and what doesn't work for us, whether that be different or more flexible working patterns, new ways of communicating and of course higher levels of compromise across all areas of our lives.
We are then able to choose what to continue, increase or cease and I hope my following thoughts will help you.
I find some of the language surrounding coronavirus can be damaging to our mental and emotional wellbeing so I am actively choosing phrases and words that are more positive.
For example, I have replaced self isolation with self preservation to stop feelings of loneliness escalating.
Social distancing is now physical distancing in my vocabulary as I am far more social now than I was 2 months ago! I am socialising with friends and family but at a safe distance and virtually.
I haven't quite cracked lockdown yet so let me know of any replacement phrases or words which work for you.
For many of us we have been given the gift of time as we are no longer commuting, rushing around doing errands, the school run or 'having' to go somewhere.
We can now use this extra time to our advantage, whether, that be spending time with those in our household, or time just for our own self care such or personal development.
How have I been using this extra time? Well, by being lazy (in my eyes) and fully relaxing and resting (in everyone else's opinion)
I am used to rushing around, doing far too much and then just being wiped out for a day or more. Coronavirus has forced me to stop, pause and relax. And it feels fantastic. Yes I am sure I could be doing far more but I am beginning to learn how to rest without feeling quite so guilty and therefore, rest better.
How can you use this extra time to serve you better?
It's no coincidence that I have received 60% more coaching enquiries during the lockdown as more and more people look at how they can improve their lives, their careers and themselves.
Just as we can see this extra time to do more (whether that be learning new skills, socialising or resting), we can also find the opportunities in this situation.
As a rule, we spend more time focusing on the negatives in life rather than the positives (due to how we evolved as focusing on the negatives kept us safer but that is another blog for another day)
Instead, I am trying to find the positives by asking what has opened up to me in this crises?
Helping (forcing!) my parents to enter the 21st century by teaching them to Facetime
Adapting all of my talks and workshops so they can be run online for a much wider audience
Walking everyday (well nearly) in nature which has hugely benefited my mental health
Reaching out to more prospective clients to understand how I can help them through this time
Perfecting the homemade cookie - possibly the most important one!
What have you done or are doing differently that you really relish now?
How can we now keep this going especially into the unknown of 'what happens next?'
Giving ourselves permission to have off or down days is key as is removing the guilt from not doing all we 'should' be doing. After all, it's ok to not be ok.
I believe that we will need to continue to adapt by building our resilience and flexibility with how our lives will look. Small yet significant changes can make a huge difference and by looking for the opportunities each day we can create our new normal way of life that benefits us.