Has the time in COVID-19 lockdown given you a chance to reflect on how you’ve been living your life up to now? Maybe you would like to make some changes to your work life, to your personal life, to what you give priority to – or even to figure out why you’re feeling restless or why you’re not that keen to return to your old routines. You know something has shifted – that you’re in a transition of sorts – but you’re not clear on what that might mean for you and maybe there is some anxiety building. You don’t really want to commit to going back to all your old routines, you know you want a new normal – but you’re not sure what that might look like…
Sometimes we have to embrace not knowing, letting go of our need to control, our need to have life neatly planned out, and our need to have all the answers. This whole experience of the global pandemic, seeing how quickly contagion has spread and the universal response of lockdown and enforced isolation, has certainly reminded us that the future was never ours to control or to know in the first place. Such a stark reminder is unsettling – we don’t have the control we thought we had and our response is to question if our past routines will serve us well in the future. It is only natural to ask these questions, to reconsider our way of living, our way of working, and even our priorities.
There are some activities we know we need to continue in some form or another; we need to earn an income to support our lifestyle; we have family and/or relationship responsibilities; we have obligations and duties to perform, some of which are non-negotiable. In short, much may continue as before, however our attitude towards their importance or the level of priority we give to these activities may have changed.
For example, we need to work, however we have a choice about the type of work we might perform. Making a change here may require some planning – but knowing that we want to make a change and that we want to change the focus of the type of work we do (or the type of company we work for), means we can take back some control of the situation. If we don’t have to make any changes straight away, we can take some time to really consider what our next steps might be.
Another example might be that you want to make some changes in your personal life; that the enforced isolation with your partner may have brought into focus just how separate your lives had become, that your busy work and family routines were masking the reality that your relationship wasn’t really meeting your needs on a number of levels. Now seeing the fragility of life across the world as many have become ill or died as a result of COVID-19, it has reminded you that life is too precious to spend time in a relationship which doesn’t nurture or support you and/or your life goals.
You might be considering other major lifestyle changes – embarking on new study; moving from town to a less urban lifestyle (or vice versa); leaving paid work to start your own business; deciding to sell your business or taking early retirement – any one of these decisions needs to take into account a wide variety of circumstances, understanding the pros and cons of each and then developing a staged approach to achieve your new objectives.
It might be useful to discuss the alternatives with a coach who can help you work through your options. If you want some help to define your new normal, give me a call!