It’s safe to say that the past 18 months have been tumultuous. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world, changing the way we live. Yet for those of us with a glass-half-full mentality, every challenge presents an opportunity, and these strange times are no exception.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to navigate the pandemic and emerge stronger on the other side.
- Hold onto your values
Keep hold of your desire for integrity, wellbeing, achievement, contribution, curiosity, fun… whatever motivated and inspired you in the past. And if you want or need to do some work on you, ensure optimism and resilience are high up your list.
- Make a commitment
Some people thrive with structure and sameness in their lives. Others wing it every day! If you’re closer to the latter, you may need to work harder to embed commitment to what matters most. To do this, identify five “must-dos”: non-negotiable commitments that you WILL do every day regardless of what else is happening.
- Challenge yourself
Whether you’re hibernating at home or business as usual, pick yourself up and challenge yourself. Banish complacency, apathy, passivity, reactivity! Instead, pick a problem, deal with an issue, find a resolution, make a plan, get proactive, optimistically prepare for what comes next… and make something of every day.
- Don’t miss the opportunity
Take this time to be strategic about how you can upskill to be the best version of you in your next chapter. Tap into your optimism: practise positivity, hopefulness and confidence. The world is still a great place full of great people and opportunities.
- Create your own COVID story
Don’t let anyone tell you what this pandemic has meant for you. You get to decide how you will reflect on this time and who and how you will be on the other side. This is one chapter in your life’s journey; write it well.
- Bust the excuses, skip the blame game
Make a list of all the excuses you tell yourself to justify your actions and responses – and stop it! You will not regret working on you. Get yourself out of your way and move past what doesn’t serve you.
- Embrace weirdos and weirdness
There’s intolerance of diversity, there’s recognising diversity, and there’s the true embracing of diversity. Value your own. And learn from and enjoy those who live, think, behave and communicate differently to you; they can play an important role in your development and your future. We need less ‘group think’, more diversity of thought and more kindness.
- Know who you are when life is hard
You don’t have to be perfectly positive or eternally optimistic, but you do need to be positive, optimistic and resilient whenever you can manage it. We all can be inspired by and practice the behaviours of resilient, optimistic people; for example, self-awareness, wellness, managing feelings, putting in effort, bouncing back, expecting challenges, reframing the negative, finding the light (and some fun).
- Don’t tell people how to feel
Even a simple, “You must be so worried about that…”, tells someone they should be worried. Ask questions instead and listen really well – more than you talk. Give people space to vent. Connect, care and trust that people can mostly find their own best way forward if someone who has their best interests at heart believes in them.
- Learn something new
All things are possible and believe it or not, the pandemic has awakened many of us to all kinds of possibilities. So adapt, flex and stretch! Look for what you CAN do and CAN achieve in these strange times. Rise to the challenge. Do what you haven’t done before!