Make time count


“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” – Michael Jordan.

Regardless of whether you like basketball or not, The Last Dance docuseries on Netflix is a must watch. Michael Jordan is an excellent role model for inspiring resilience and strength that knows no bounds.

It was the above quote, a lesson Michael’s father taught him, that resonated with me the most. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has resulted in 387, 298 confirmed deaths (World Health Organisation, 5 June 2020). People have been made redundant or lost businesses. Some have contracted this awful virus themselves or seen loved ones suffer. I can imagine that for some people, it is very hard to see light at the end of the tunnel, a silver lining or indeed, a ‘new normal’.

However, since the beginning of the pandemic, optimism, innovation and kindness have been displayed throughout our society. They’re more important than ever now, as we find new ways to do business and to stay positive. The phrase ‘new normal’ seems to have taken ‘unprecedented times’ and knocked it out of the park!

Looking after your health is key at the moment, as well as ensuring that you and your colleagues are fending off negative emotions and easing stress (see my previous blog: Stress Bucket). Whether working from home, furloughed or practising social distancing in the workplace, there are many ways to keep active and stay sane.

Sitting for prolonged periods isn’t good for our neck, shoulders or posture and can result in lower back pain. Check out these top tips to keeping healthy at home! Being housebound or at home for longer periods than usual, whether with family, friends or alone, can be very trying if you’re not used to it. It is vital that you take time for you, whether that is to read, listen to music, go for a walk or just spend time sitting quietly. Mindfulness is vastly growing in popularity and apps, such as Buddhify, Calm, Headspace and The Mindfulness App are a great way to inject some peace and quiet into your hectic daily life. It may even become part of your new normal!

Until now, I will freely admit I was very sceptical about many strategies used to manage stress and anxiety. Yet, as Winston Churchill once said, “Those who never change their minds, never change anything.” So, I recommend taking the plunge and finding something, anything, that works for you. Listening to audiobooks or podcasts, jogging, knitting, baking, or even tidying the cupboard under the stairs… just find something that helps you keep those negative thoughts at bay and perhaps do something that creates a small moment of gratitude or pride.

Possibly in contrast to popular opinion, I actually don’t like the phrase ‘new normal’ as I feel that it enforces an expectation that I will be a different person after the pandemic is over than I was before. The likelihood will be that I won’t have changed at all (minus a desperate need of a haircut!). Or so I first thought! If I take nothing else away from this time of reflection, it is that I will stop saying, “I don’t have time.” Lockdown has given me the gift of time, or rather the realisation that time is there if I carve it. As I’ve said before, don’t let the urgent take precedent over the important. Life really is too short.

We are in this together and none of us are as strong as all of us.

Stay safe, stay well.