Embracing the new normal is the internet’s latest obsession, as we explore what it means to work, live and play amidst the covid-19 pandemic.
It means leaving your comfort zone to learn something new. Businesses are finding solutions for staying afloat, consultations are being conducted online and live events are taking place on platforms like Zoom, Instagram and Facebook.
It means taking on a new role in your life — or the lives of others. Parents are stepping in as school teachers for their children, artists are using their skills to design face masks for the public and funds are being launched to support the community in a time of need.
It’s the reality of accepting change for the unforeseeable future and coping with the current unknown. However, if you’re anything like me, this was — and still is — a struggle.
I needed a moment. A moment to let go of the plans that I could no longer execute and time to grieve what I had lost. I flipped through articles detailing advice on how to stay motivated, but I couldn’t bring myself to do any of it. I didn’t want to garden, bake or pick up a new hobby.
Instead, I did nothing. For hours, I streamed countless television shows at record-speed in an attempt to get lost in the stories of others. I needed time to process and to be still.
After a couple of weeks, I was ready for a reminder. A reminder that, “this too shall pass” and my work is important — now more than ever. I spent time doing research on how to protect myself during this time, seeking resources and observing the needs expressed by people that I know.
Then, it was time for some baby steps. The steps below helped me find motivation when it was hard for me to get out of bed and I’m sharing in hopes that it can help others.
I gave myself a break and took time to grieve.
I cried and sat in my emotions. I didn’t shame myself for being still and I didn’t try to fix my feelings.
I took a close look at my environment and tested what can (and can not) be done in my space.
I was flexible and found simple solutions to getting things done. Thankfully, I am able to work, exercise and socialize at home. However, these activities don’t look the same as they used to. I’ve learned that I need a dedicated work space in order to be productive. When it comes to exercising, I improvise by using household items (jugs of water, bags of rice, pillow cushions, etc.) and follow fun at home workouts. And it turns out, virtual happy hours with friends aren’t so bad.
I made adjustments to my physical space to make the transition more comfortable.
I cleaned and optimized my space so that it accommodated my new lifestyle. For example, I transformed a storage room to serve as a mini office and closet.
I cleared my digital platforms of noise.
Now that we are spending more time online, it’s a personal responsibility to make sure that our digital spaces reflect the content that we want to see. I took a note from Mary Condo and unfollowed hashtags and accounts that no longer spark joy.
I talked to someone that would listen and check in on me.
It’s always best to talk to a professional and luckily, there are lots of therapists offering virtual therapy options. Check out this list of therapists/counselors that are people of color if you need someone to talk to.
I’d love this list of baby steps to grow. Like most things in life, it should be tweaked to consider your personal experience. Send us the actions that you are taking to find motivation during this time, to share with other members of this tribe!
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