This sh*t got real. Supermarkets are selling out, the health service is on its knees and we are fearful of the many unknowns of what’s to come. It’s hard to stay positive when many of us are feeling that the advice about what to do has been unclear and inconsistent.
We’re in unprecedented times. This situation has never happened before so the hard truth is that there is no right answer. It’s a new virus. Experts are still learning about how it spreads, how it mutates, how infectious we are, how long it lasts and whether or not people who have had it will have immunity.
Every country affected has a different regime and demographic, every country affected is responding slightly differently. We are learning from others as we go along. The news has many inconsistencies and unanswered questions.
Social media is fuelling panic, pandemonium and poor behaviour. Economically the situation is a disaster, every industry and sector will be impacted and the impact is going to last a long time.
Self-isolation is going to take its toll. Humans are social animals, we live in communities for our survival. Anxiety, loneliness and depression can easily close in if we’re left in our own minds for too long. People at risk will depend on family, friends and neighbours to look after them. The health service was already stretched and now it’s bursting at the seams.
The situation is bloody awful and we have a choice about how we as individuals, communities and society respond to it.
We can choose fear, we can choose anger and we can choose to be defeated.
Or we can choose to help each other, we can choose to be compassionate humans, and we can choose to make a difference.
How can we help each other?
I was mulling this over at 3.27 this morning (anyone else not sleeping that well right now?) and I think the key is being able to shift your mindset. Think about the opportunities that this situation might bring, stay positive, make connections, help each other and do what you can to keep your pecker up.
Here’s my thoughts.
Think before you post – think about the impact your social media post has on others. Catastrophising posts create mass hysteria. Do we need to know that South London Sainsburys shelves are empty or Tesco in Birmingham has been ransacked. Perhaps tell your local friends and family these insights to save them a wasted trip, but no need to broadcast it to the whole world. Post positive stories, acts of kindness, helpful articles or advice and even cats on robot vacuums in shark suits if it might cheer someone up. Bring light, not darkness with what you share.
Stop panic buying – buy what you need. The shops won’t run out of pasta. You don’t even like pasta. Stop posting about the panic buying it just encourages other people to panic buy. Some of the most vulnerable people are on low incomes and buy their food weekly because they don’t have disposable income to stockpile. If we all buy up all the no frills, budget ranges then the people who can only afford to buy those either have to spend all their budget or go without.
Look after each other – How are you neighbours doing? Do you know them? Can you check in on each other? I’ve seen great community work on this already, people offering to go shopping, collect prescriptions and have phone chats with those on their own. How might you help? How are you already helping? – share your story.
Keep connected – human beings crave connection, even us introverts like hanging out with other people. Technology is a great enabler, use videoconferencing, set up WhatsApp groups, pick up the phone – whether you’re working at home or stuck at home. If you want to connect with others check out Facebook groups that offer advice and support. I’ve found the different groups I’m part of very helpful so far. I run the Lucidity Facebook community which offers help and support for leaders and managers. Join us here.
Sort out your sock drawer – have a go at shifting your mindset to a positive one and use the time you’re not going to work or socialising with friends to do something useful and constructive. Sort out your sock drawer, finally find out what’s in those boxes in the loft, put your books in colour order, rewrite your website, groom the guinea pig, paint the kitchen.
Learn something new – how many times have you thought, I’d love to learn <insert thing> if only I had the time? Well here it is. There’s hundreds of online courses, people with expertise with time on their hands and teaching books to read. Get curious. Just think you could be fluent in Catalan by the time we are allowed back out. Learn to cook, play guitar, sing, get to grips with the rules of cricket. If you think carefully, the list is long.
Binge on books and Netflix – maybe this is my opportunity to watch Game of Thrones (No I’ve never seen it) or some of the classic films that I’ve not seen either. When someone recommends a book, I’m the person that buys the book and puts in on the shelf for when I have time to read it. If that’s also you, here’s the opportunity to get some of that reading done.
And finally I’ve received so many comments about my blog with tips on working from home, I’m going to run a webinar on the topic. Get quick, practical tips to help you form good habits and be happy, motivated and productive working from home.
Join me on Thursday 26 March at 12:30pm UK time (GMT) for this 75 minute webinar for tried and tested tips for working from home, and learn;
– Systems to focus and ensure the important work gets done
– Practical tips to apply straight away to make working from home more enjoyable
– Tips to stay connected to others, look after yourself and stay motivated.
This is a live webinar so you’ll have your opportunity to ask questions directly, as well as receiving my guide on how to make time to think. Here’s the sign up link.
You’ll have more, better ideas for how to stay connected, think positive and help people. Please help us all and share them in the comments.
Take care x