Change has been on the horizon for many of us, whether we like it or not. If you’re one who resists change and has difficulty adjusting when your routine goes sideways, then you might find yourself struggling with the new norm.
The pandemic has forced us to get used to our living arrangements because, let’s face it, many of us have now work from home. That’s become the biggest change is the new hybrid and fully remote work models. Not only that, there now seems to be a shortage of just about everything. One of my ultimate loves is Diet Coke. After I had my son, I couldn’t find caffeine-free Diet Coke anywhere. Why? There’s a nationwide aluminum shortage, otherwise known as the “candemic,” resulting from more breweries choosing cans over glass. The aluminum shortage is also partly due to China’s crackdown on energy usage to meet its carbon-emission goals. Auto industry experts are now warning of a magnesium shortage because the chemical element is a key ingredient in making aluminum!
Is this shortage of just about everything a change we must accept?
Once hard-pressed to find my caffeine-free Diet Coke, I now can’t even find it in plastic liter bottles, which I dislike because the soda flat too quickly. So, I’m stuck with the caffeinated can version, not that I’m complaining. As a mom of two, I need a little pick-me-up.
The pandemic has instigated a domino effect leading to not just a shortage of certain supplies but of drivers and port workers who are vital to transporting products to stores. We see the impact in the price inflation of goods along with skyrocketing costs at the gas pump. The shortage has continued into the restaurant business and is spreading to other industries. Qualified workers are seemingly harder to find, and so is the ability for most people to shake loose their COVID fears.
The pandemic has also forced the global workforce to relearn how they communicate with one another. Beyond emails, messaging systems, and phone calls, virtual video meetings are becoming the way we touch base with one another. It has challenged our approach to personalize our correspondence when remote work situations can often make us all feel, well, a tad removed. After all, social distancing has made it harder to inject warmth, camaraderie, and the ability to connect on a human level. Going beyond whether you work at an office or from home, it’s about inherent change in our education system, professional work situations, work-life balance, and how we conduct ourselves moving forward.
While vaccines have improved our quality of life, the pandemic has tested all of us and changed us forever. It’s not just physical symptoms but also the effect on mental health. It’s left a lasting impact worsening depression, anxiety, and more. Not to mention worsening addiction and access to care. The one thing change has done is to force us to adapt to our circumstances and teach us about strength and the will to evolve.
Three Ways Manage Post-COVID Change
Human Connection Matters: What the pandemic has taught us is that we all desire connectivity. We desire to be a part of something that’s meaningful. It has taught us that we need one another to survive. It has really made me appreciate a good conversation over coffee. Face-to-face meetings provide a personal touch that is missing in the virtual-only space. If you do work from home, it’s necessary to take a break from the computer screen and make time for real-life human interaction. This means setting up lunches with friends or getting in some mid-day holiday shopping. There is no replacing in-person human contact. It’s unnatural to maintain a life of solitude, which was what most of the pandemic felt like. We’re built to work together in harmony and not isolated in our homes for years on end.
Upgrade Communication Skills: Now that many people are virtual, there can be noticeable delays in response times. Having clear communication is vital in today’s remote model of working. Time zone differences can be easy excuses in terms of working virtually. I’m not a fan of keeping people waiting or making excuses for poor communication. This means managing projects, your time, and making deadlines. Good communication skills also means managing your boundaries and time with friends and loved ones. Miscommunication can be easily avoided by practicing clear and concise emails, text, or phone calls. It’s amazing how so many communication issues directly result from the simple failure to follow through and follow up.
Learn Life Management Tips: Life management encompasses time management and so much more. The pandemic has made many who work from home blur the line between workspace and living space. This means that the days of the week can begin to blend in with each other. It might start feeling like Ground Hog’s Day. Maintaining a schedule can help reduce stagnation and improve productivity. Being methodical with your sleep hygiene can keep you on a solid sleep-wake routine. When you’re rested, you have the energy to get outdoors and exercise. When you’ve running your life and not letting it run you, you’ve got time management down. You’re more focused and productive when your remain disciplined with your time and yet flexible to change.
The Bottom Line
For many of us, the pandemic has tested our physical, spiritual, and mental limits. Our society has changed as a result. But without change, we flat-line and can even digress. To keep moving forward and upward, we must be adaptable and be willing to develop. It takes motivation, self-awareness, and personal drive to remain productive despite life challenges. It’s easy to feel on top of the world when things come easy. It’s an entirely different story when our will is tested. Although it might feel uncomfortable at times, change produces evolution and the hope of eternal transformation.