Thriving in Our New Normal

I don't know about you, but I'm not "thriving" yet. I am spending time working toward thriving though. There is so much advice out there, much of it on point, but sometimes I find it hard to see through the clutter to identify the few pieces of advice that make the most sense for me.

Here's my pandemic situation:

I have two daughters in high school who are mostly frustrated that they can't see their friends. My oldest is a senior, and to be honest, she is devastated to be missing all of those special moments like prom, senior skip day and graduation. My husband is a police sergeant, so he has continued to head to work in his essential role. I've continued to work from home, but many of our Kane Learning projects have been put on hold as our clients work through the challenges their businesses are facing.

Our house is an emotional roller coaster every day. I never know who will be overloaded with school assignments, crying because they want to see a friend, rejoicing because the sun is out and they can "lay out", or becoming angry because they are missing something they feel has been taken away from them... and that's just the kids!

I'm on my own emotional roller coaster: concerned about the health of the business and how that impacts the team, wanting to help clients with the challenges they're facing, trying to decide what we'll eat for dinner for the 4000th time, diving into a few projects around the house, and reminding myself to enjoy this time with my family. After all, so many people on social media are just having the best family time.

I realize each of us is on our own emotional roller coaster and I don't have a magic wand to wave to make it all better, but as I've been working with the Kane Learning team to develop some resources to share with clients to support getting back to work, a few ideas are shining through that I think will be key to thriving in our new normal.

Woman doing yoga on the beach

Self-care is key. This is a time of ongoing change. Every day our world looks a little different and we're each impacted in different ways. Taking care of ourselves by eating healthy, getting a bit of exercise, practicing yoga or even taking a nap can make a huge difference in our emotional and mental state. As I think about people beginning to head back to work or ramping up work from home, self-care resonates as a key to resilience. I've been leaning into self-care, and on the days I eat well, get in a run or walk and a yoga practice, I am happier, more productive and better able to work through the challenges I encounter.

Lean into Empathy. The pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways and while it's a collective experience, how it has impacted us personally and how we think and feel about the situation is different. As we head back to work, it is so important to connect with co-workers to understand how they're doing and how we can create the best possible work experience for them. Similarly for customers, they all have different feelings about interacting with us. It's important to provide options that they are comfortable with - curbside pickup, virtual meetings, on-line or phone orders, shopping or dining in person with social distancing guidelines in place - options that meet customers where they are.

Capture learning. While this has been a challenging time, I also see it as an amazingly innovative time. I have heard countless stories from clients who have developed new business processes or tools in record time and in ways that were previously thought of as impossible. We've also learned how we can be productive while working remotely. Personally, I have learned so much about delivering learning experiences virtually and leading engaging virtual meetings. I will continue to use these practices no matter what our new normal looks like. What have you learned that you will use going forward? What old ideas or blockers did you have to remove to see new ways of doing things? How can you bring that mindset to other aspects of your work or life?

While this is a journey we would never choose, I know we will come through it having learned valuable lessons and becoming stronger than we were before. I look forward to seeing you all thriving in our ever evolving new normal soon.