One of the lessons learned over the past several months is that we cannot succeed and/or thrive without the support of others. The pandemic has shed a light on just how connected and intertwined our world is. Our economies and livelihoods are linked with each other. We have learned that our actions have consequences, positive and negative, beyond our own bubbles.
The impacts of the virus will be felt long after a vaccine and herd immunity is reached. The way we live, the hobbies we have, the jobs we perform and the way we interact with each other will all have changed in some way or another. Will it be different? Yes. Will it be better? That depends on you.
A fellow CPA and friend of mine, Michael Wall, recently wrote about three things – Routine, Habit and Normal. He talked about how each of these has been impacted by the pandemic and as a result, a lot of stress and anxiety has been created – not because of the virus but because of changes in our routines, habits and what is normal. His words struck me as something I needed to ponder more.
My weekday routine used to be awake, scan the email inbox for anything that needed attention today, read a few articles, get up and shower, take my vitamins, drive to work, work, drive home, have family dinner, work on home projects, read, bedtime. The routine has been altered significantly since working from home started. In addition, the virus impacted tax season and time that would have normally been spent on now cancelled family vacations was spent on taxes. Energy spent without a recharge.
My habits have changed too. The proximity of my temporary office is a lot closer to the kitchen than it used to be and I have gained some weight. I have had to force myself to get away from the house to do something different.
My normal is different than it used to be. My bet is that yours is too. I wear a mask when in public spaces (because I care about the people around me and if it helps stop the spread, even a little, I will show I care.) My days often blend into each other. I have no vacations to look forward to or plan for. There are days I don’t leave the house. We don’t see family or do things with neighbors or friends.
Changes to these three things have created stress and anxiety for me. I generally deal with both well but there have been times I have needed to talk, get out, or do something completely different to reset mentally. That is okay.
Now we must ask ourselves what new habits we want? What new routines do we want? What new normal do we want? We can all twist, pry, shape and mold these to become better and make positive changes during these times. Some may also have to deal with negative changes such as job loss, health challenges, loss of a loved one, and loss of a business to name a few. While these changes do add extra challenges, I do think we can still rise higher through them. We can help and support one another to all make a better ”new.”
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