Its been a crazy year and one thing that’s for sure is that no-one expected the events of the last 12 months.
No matter who you are, everyone has been affected by the pandemic, hopefully, all of us out there are surviving but no doubt there will be some that may be struggling more than most.
Personal development – Get yourself ready for the lockdown lifting by increasing your knowledge and skills by continuing professional development. Personal development can be carried out in many forms, online training, reading and learning from industry publications, listening to podcasts, refreshing that CV. We have all become good at remote working since the first lockdown and many providers out there are offering online training courses so why not look to see if you have any skill or knowledge gaps on your CV and get signed up to fill those gaps? Don’t put procrastinate and put it off, the work you put in now will benefit you post lockdown and help keep you motivated.
Networking – Network I thought we were locked down? You may be locked down; however, you can still network. There are many great platforms out there to do this, such as Facebook, Linkedin, and professional membership sites such as the BBA. Remember whenever you post and network online you may be commenting/speaking to a large audience so remain professional and humble at all times, if you feel you can add value discussions then do so. Many employers will do background research on candidates that they are looking to employ and you never know that post you made slating some company may well be the one that stops you getting your dream job. Maintain professionalism and be courteous in all communications both online and off.
Workout – Gyms are closed, so how can you work out? If you are like me, you may find it hard to motivate yourself at home to workout when the gyms are closed, but by staying fit and active even if it’s just going for a walk to clear the lockdown blues is essential to maintaining some form of sanity! Working out and staying fit has always been a big part of my life however, I have certainly struggled during these lockdowns to maintain motivation with a large workload and running a couple of businesses. With this being the case, I intend to make more of a conscious effort as relying on past endeavours will not last forever, especially now being post 40.
There is plenty of great equipment you can buy which takes up little space in the home such as a TRX suspension trainer which will enable you to carry out a full-body workout just about anywhere.
Structure – Maintain some form of daily structure and routine, don’t fall into the habit of waking up at 11am and switching on Netflix to devour the next big boxset. Treat each day like a workday, and give yourself the weekends off. (Example structure – Wake up, workout, breakfast, work on some personal development. lunch, walk, tick off items on the todo list, prep plan for next day, evening meal, relax). If you can keep yourself motivated during these lockdowns, it will stand you in good stead and ready to attack the world post lockdown.
Stay Connected – If you live alone, depending on the type of personality you are, it can be incredibly lonely. Some prefer and thrive on alone time and are more effective at getting things done; however, if you are not one of those people and are struggling make sure you maintain communications and speak to family and friends. Don’t suffer alone, pick up the phone and say hello, you never know the person on the other side of the phone may be feeling the same. If you are someone with no family and feel you have no one to share your troubles reach out through your support network of friends and colleagues there will be no doubt someone willing to share a coffee and talk things through.
Maintain Focus – Uncertain times bring a tremendous amount of stress, and it can be tough to maintain focus with so many stresses. Personally, I’ve found throwing on a winter jacket and getting out for some fresh air helps me most however I have also looked at other methods of maintaining focus and relieving stress, two apps I came across and can recommend are “Headspace” and “Calm” which can help bring you back on track and help you to take some time out for yourself. If you are like me and traditionally very busy using a tool like Headspace and making it part of your routine can be extremely helpful.
What the future brings nobody knows but with vaccines being rolled out we can only hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel although it may well still seem some way off.
These times are unprecedented with many stresses, family, business, work, homeschooling, finances the list can be never-ending however be kind to yourself, maintain focus, stay positive and we will eventually reach some form of normality, hopefully these words may help someone out there if you are struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Surviving Lockdown 3.0
By: Shaun West