It's June 2020 ya'll! No one imagined that their first quarter would end off with offices being moved to homes and schooling for children taking place from dining room tables; yet here we are today. The past few weeks and those ahead are challenging us to all look at different ways to become as efficient as we possibly can, all while practicing social distancing in a bid to stay healthy and safe.
It took but a few days for me to realise that juggling client work while teaching my children how to convert millimeters to centimeters and what cross pollination was, needed me to exercise grace with myself and my family, as we all #stayhome more than we’ve ever done in a long while. For some, this time has brought with it a shocking revelation that we simply were not prepared for all the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought with it.
Some have been asked to take unpaid leave or a salary cut, some have been laid off completely, others are trying to figure out what their next step is as a result and so on. Too many questions, so much we are all unsure of, yet what is clear is this; we have all been forced to press yet another reset button after perhaps having done so at the beginning of the year but a few weeks ago. The good news though is that there’s life after all this we are experiencing friends!. I'd much prefer to function the side of accepting the current reality than fighting it with all this chatter about schools and businesses opening back up stat.
Don't get me wrong, I miss writing from coffee shops and meeting my clients face to face. I miss weekends and hitting the parks or beach with the kids, dinner dates at some cool restaurants with hubs, mall hopping and all that other stuff we used to get up to uninhibited. Vacation planning? Yeah, that! There's much to consider even with the lure of staycations. But the way I see it, it may take a little longer before we are all comfortable doing things the way we've always done them, which is why now is as a good a time as any to share what we can all do to adjust our thinking during this season of not only resetting, but recovery from the impact of this pandemic.
1. Allow social distancing to bring in a new level of connection. Most of us are seeing our parents, spouses and children more than we did since our last vacation together. Yes, we may get on each other’s nerves here and there (ask the mom who used to look forward to her me-time whilst the kids were at school and the dad that loves golfing with his buddies on Saturdays) but this really is an opportunity take our conversations with our loved ones to greater depths of connection and intimacy. Enjoy moments on the couch together watching your favourite family movies, or switch it off and play a game of cards, all the while infusing conversation that’s more in-depth than simply “what did you do today?” You may very well learn about something that your loved one has always wanted to do but were too busy or too distracted to turn it into something.
2. Seek spiritual balance and moments of solitude. You will need this to keep from going crazy having been thrown off your routine suddenly. Stay prayed up, meditate, listen to relaxing music, run that hot bath and all that. Take the strain off of your thinking by simply going with the flow. You are not alone. We are in this together, and all have – to a degree - more time on our hands now that we aren’t stuck in traffic or driving all over the city getting things done.
3. Can savings be made? I’m pretty sure the club-hoppers and extensive travellers in our midst have made a few savings in the month that’s passed us alone. Trust me when I say this, there are more people living pay check to pay check out of sheer need to spend their money on fun and entertainment, when they should be making some savings and investments. Which group do you fall under – the spenders or the investor/savers? Now is good time to be looking at your finances and making savings were possible. Prices on some commodities are dropping. Supply may increase simply because fewer people are able to afford some things and so that there presents an opportunity for you too. Whatever savings you can make, begin today.
4. There’s always opportunity in the chaos. When the stock market crashes, that’s a good time to get in if you have money laying around somewhere. As more and more problems spring up for some, that’s an opportunity for the entrepreneurial minded folks to offer products and services to the rescue. What I’m saying is, instead of spending hours and hours scrolling through news feeds, use this time to also look for window of opportunities you can make your bid in on. Is there a product or service you can offer to alleviate the woes of many? Do you have some cash on hand to take advantage of drops in property prices or such? Have a think. If you are diligent about seeking you will find your game changer amidst the noise.
5. Tech is not going away any time soon so get to using it. There are many moms and dads that can agree to what adjustments have come with teaching their kids via e-learning tools. Video-calling has been around for a while but few of us have had to rely on the internet to get bread and water delivered to the house, assignments done and so on. I’m good with my little notepad and pencil and the drive to the grocery store twice a week but this outbreak has definitely shifted how we view shopping, connecting, working and learning and will likely remain the new modus operandi for more people and companies moving forward. Embrace the use of gadgets and online tools….more of them. They’ll be more of them where they came from.
We are all being forced to adjust to new sets of parameters each day regarding health, safety, productivity, efficiency in getting our jobs done, planning, sourcing supplies and so on. Most importantly, we have to see the fragility of life just by reading the statistics on COVID-19. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but whether or not we believe we will make it to the other side of this pandemic is entirely up to us and the behaviors we adopt during this difficult time. What’s critical during this season is to be vigilant in helping curb the spread of this disease, and doing our part to keep out mental and physical state in check. We will get through this friends. Together we can.