It’s safe to say that things have gone haywire, what with COVID-19 and its related curve balls steering our lives… Stuff happens, right. So how do we do “normal” when life is definitely not business as usual? What even IS normal anymore?!
It’s easy to say “chin up, just keep swimming”, but if you’re anything like us you’ve probably exhausted the swimming potential of your living room floor and you’re fed up with all the “heeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy macorona!” news out there.
Living room hikes: complex.
So, we figure it’s time to create a new, better “normal”. One where we keep our heads and wits about us, and make lemonade of lemons, and forge new paths, and change the status quo… Eh. You get the picture. Here are the six tips we’re keeping in mind to help us figure out what to do with our lives going forward.
(Got any good advice for people struggling with uncertainty right now? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your tips and tricks with us.)
1. With great chaos comes great opportunity
“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.” – Jeanette Winterson
Consider Thanos – he saw a universe in chaos and decided to push the big red “reset” button. Now, we’re not suggesting you nix your entire world and hasta la vista
on out of here – think slightly less dramatic than that. One thing is certain, though: change, chaos and uncertainty can lead to growth and new beginnings. Think big: how can you use your skills in the world we need to build now? Do you have the entrepreneurial mindset to forge a new way of working? How can you put pressure on the powers that be to change the system and adapt better ways of working and living? Can you reach out and focus on making a positive difference to society? Now is the time to start creating your future.
- Who am I?
- What makes me tick?
- What skills and knowledge do I have to offer the world? (Or your family, school, friends, neighbourhood, country…)
- How can I use my skills and knowledge to make a difference? (Big or small, in your own life or the lives of others.)
- What kind of difference do I want to make? What do I feel strongly should change, going forward?
- Now that I know my skills and how they can make a difference – where do I start?
Need some help to figure out your natural skills? Check out our free Career Quiz by clicking below - it gives you a breakdown of your strongest natural skill sets and even makes some suggestions about likely careers you could follow. If you don’t know where to start, this will help!
2. If you can’t figure out the future just yet – that’s totally okay
None of us know for certain what might happen next. And that’s okay. Life is full of adventures, some good, some bad, but it’s up to us to make the journey more rewarding. How, you may ask?
- Take joy in the little things – you can find magic all around you, if you just look. And now that we’re in the mindset or actually noticing things and thinking about how our world works, it’s the best opportunity to really LOOK. Part of this is learning how to take the small wins - every little bit counts...
- Love your family and friends – they’re all you’ve got, and they’re not forever.
- Be kind. Yes, this is not always easy. And it doesn’t mean liking every single human being out there. (It’s impossible.) It just means being gentler with other humans and realising that every single one of us is going through stuff. You could make being kind more practical: find places or projects who need your skills, and volunteer to help them. First challenge: be kind to all health and emergency workers, police, chemists and retail workers right now: smile at them and say thank you for their hard work. They’re getting to deal with a lot of scared, panicky and grumpy people right now, so they need some acknowledgement and support! You might even consider their industry as a potential career one day... The true heroes of this pandemic are the people who care.
- Take every opportunity to learn something new and grow as a human being – you never know when you might need to fall back on weird skills or hobbies that you used to love doing.
- Keep on thinking how what you know and what you do can make a difference – we are what we do, and building a legacy of making a difference is a worthy challenge.
The future is going to happen to us, one way or another. You only have control over your own actions, right now, in this moment – so make decisions that will make “Me Five Minutes From Now” proud – and “Me Five Years From Now” iconic.
Ain't it terrifying?
3. Learn how to deal with discomfort.
“So bored. No Wi-Fi. Favourite frozen pizza sold out. Nothing on Netflix. Can’t go to the beach. Tired of wearing a face mask. We’re all gonna die. Woe is me!”
Toughen up, cupcakes. Sometimes, life is uncomfortable. And most of us are very lucky: if we have family who love us, friends who support us, running water, electricity, a bit of savings put by and a side hustle we can keep on doing, we are privileged enough to more than weather some rough storms. There are many people out there who are doing it tough right now. Count your blessings and get clever about solving any problems you might experience. Share your wins, and keep an eye out to help others that might not have your resources. Chances are we’ll have to continue to deal with some form of discomfort going forward, so start thinking creatively about how you can be part of the solution.
Here are some tips to make the most of your self-isolation.
4. Stop procrastinating!
What’s happened to us (and is happening right now) might have knocked us down, but we’re not out just yet... Choose to take control of your future by recharging your energy in positive ways, and getting stuff done. (Yes, you can totally still marshmallow on the couch now and then.) If worst comes to worst and you find yourself totally floored by challenges, take a day to just complain and mooch around and get it out of your system. And then start planning what kind of person you want to be going forward. Do you want to be better at playing the guitar? Launch your own Podcast? Upskill via some online courses? Create jewellery? Throw epic online parties? Would you like to be a better human? Kinder to strangers? Set some goals – and then develop a plan to reach them. The time to pursue your dreams is NOW – the world as we know it might be on hold, but our actual lives are not. Less talk, more action! (We’re totally preaching to ourselves now. But do it!)
Need some help to get your butt in gear? Check out the links below:
5. Keep your sense of humour
Viktor Frankl says it best: “Humour, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.”
Just remember: laugh with people, not at them. And if you have to metaphorically kick someone, always kick up at the Chiefs in Charge, not down on vulnerable people!
6. Remember: this too shall pass
It might not feel like it right now, but it will. Eventually. “Normal” might never look exactly the same again (and you know what, this might be a good thing, and we might start seeing some much-needed changes...), but there is still a world out there, with jobs to do, and people to love, and things to get done, and fun to have. Hold on to hope, and when that gets hard, reach out to the people you love. Or even strangers – we all need a bit of TLC right now!
Feeling really lonely or isolated right now, or know someone who does? Try these resources:
Yes we shall.
There you go. You’ve got this whole future thing waxed – as long as you take action, make decisions, and keep trying things. Now get to it!
Main photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Gifs via Giphy.com