We are living in strange times indeed. It doesn’t matter who you are, what country you are from, what part of the world you live in, or what work you do, we have all been affected in some way by the events of the past 6 months.
Many of us are understandably worried. Worried not only ourselves, but for our loved ones, friends and families. Many are also worried for their future. Is there going to be a job to go back to? How am I going to pay the mortgage? How about our children, how are they going to cope when everything around us is in a state of flux? What kind of world are we going to be in after this all calms down? Will things go back to normal or will normal be redefined for ever?
Then there are the services that we are leaning on heavily right now, the key workers and the Health service. How will they be coping if things continue or get worse… will we have enough food? How long is it going to take to pay back grants or loans if we take them out now to survive?
Will we be able to travel in the future? What about our friends and relatives in different countries? When will we be able to visit them again?
Many of us would normally be having family gatherings at this time of the year. Regardless of religion, the UK celebrates a two week break. With the kids off school, it is often a time to get away, especially as the weather begins to take on a decidedly more summery feel.
And yet here we are in a lockdown situation confined to our homes in what for some has become a welcome opportunity and a break, yet for others is beginning to feel like an extended Christmas horror break with no end in sight.
We are all feeling it. The confinement can create disagreements and family rifts and can damage friendships and collaborations, the psychological and mental strains of which may take much longer to heal than the vanquishing of the invisible enemy Covid-19.
Can we learn any lessons from what has been a sudden shock to all our systems?
Are there some positives and things we can reflect on as a result of what has happened? In many of our Link4Growth / Link4Business and L4GOnline discussions people have shared how they are coping with what is going on and some of the adjustments they have made. Many have stated they fully intend to continue with these changes even after this situation has improved.
Use of technology. By being forced to communicate in different ways, many have discovered things like Zoom and WhatsApp and where they would have shied away, are now looking at how these tools can save time and money.
Taking more time to reflect and ponder what they are doing with their time. People are rediscovering reading, art, crafts, exercise and even cooking as we look for things to fill the day. Family games have made a surprising comeback along with puzzles and gardening.
With the shops closed, and no need to rush from A>B then to C and D people are beginning to ask why were they doing so much and putting such stress and strain on their lives. The treadmill perhaps became a goal in itself and being busy is a sign of success. Many are now reflecting that they would like more of the downtime they are experiencing now in their day to day lives.
When we face the prospect of an uncertain future, it quite quickly focuses us onto working out what is important to us in our lives. What could (would) we not want to lose. This has been a revelation for many, as they see exactly what it is that has been driving them, often for the 1st time ever. Some have decided they need to change this, which may also come with huge conflict and uncertainty.
There are many more examples, too many to include all here such as, doing more sport, spending time on self development or even checking in with themselves (spirituality).
At Link4Growth, we transferred all our events online so that we could continue to meet our friends and business colleagues too. These have been very popular and without the need to travel has enabled people to book in and attend events that they would not normally be able to attend.
Additionally, we added three more events for those who are registered as “Friend’s of Link4Growth”. These are drop in sessions, no agenda but just a space where people can come 3 times a week (Mon / Wed / Fri between 1-2pm) just to speak to someone. Maybe to get something off our chest, or perhaps ask for some advice / guidance, anything really…
Aligned to the mantra of Link4Growth “we’re all in this together”, we can all play a part and take some responsibility to collaborate and co-create the future we want to live in, in some part maybe, this situation could be a catalyst that will accelerate this process.