• The Savvy Millennial

Adjusting to the new normal

Life is pretty weird right now, we can all agree. It feels like the world has ceased to exist as we know it and we are living in a strange movie script. Many of us have adapted quite well to the new circumstances and quickly learned how to navigate the new "normal". Many of us continue to show up strong daily, even when conditions are not optimal. However, some of us are having a more difficult time adjusting to the new way of life. All of us are going through our own changes and challenges, and it is not easy. By now, even the strongest and the most productive of us are getting to a point of burn out and need the self-isolation to end.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. And over the past three months we've formed many. Some good and some really bad ones. Now is a good time to evaluate all of the habits we have been reinforcing and figure out which ones we should keep and which ones we should let go of. Quarantine period has really tested our will-power, our coping skills and our physical, emotional, mental and financial strength, or lack thereof. The sad reality is that even when everything starts opening back up, things are not going to be the same. This pandemic has changed all of us, shifted our priorities and mindsets, and we will have no choice but to embrace a different way of life.

We all need to get prepared for when life picks up pace once again and we can hit the ground running. Now is a great time to start making small daily changes and focus on progress. Global quarantine presents a great opportunity to go inward and reflect on our goals and life in general. For those of us, who've been stuck in what it seems like a hamster wheel of life, now get a chance to slow down. We can finally stop, get out and regroup. It's a great time to strategize our future and pivot, if necessary.

There is no doubt that things are going to be different in the new post-pandemic "normal". People will be more cautious while meeting strangers and attending large gatherings. Work from home will be the norm and "going to work" will have a different meaning. In-person meetings will be limited and will be replaced by video conferences and phone calls. Networking and sporting events, conferences, and concerts will look very different during the post-pandemic times. Global traveling and flying will be even more challenging. The lines will be longer, and the flights will probably be more expensive and less comfortable. Any type of activity that used to be routine like grocery shopping, getting your dry cleaning done, going to the gym or a restaurant, or doing any kind of class in a studio will be VERY different and will probably become less popular.

With that in mind, start searching and paying attention to the opportunities those changes will bring. There are a lot of good things that will come with this new "normal". People will commute less, and will get to spend more time with their families. Most of us will learn to be more productive and become happier as we get to plan our schedules around our lifestyles and family dynamics. There will be less useless meetings and productivity long term will increase. People will learn to be more efficient with their time and the tech sector will be booming with opportunities to serve the remote work market. Dress code will be more comfortable, and home cooked meals and healthier lifestyles will be the new norm. We will start to appreciate more quality time spent with friends, colleagues and people we don't get to see very often in-person. Going out and traveling will be a privilege and mean more than ever before. We will also get to focus on enjoying our backyards and exploring our own countries locally.

This pandemic has created a lot of grief, but it also created a lot of good too. In the long run, our lives will get better and easier with all of the technological advances forced by the coronavirus lockdown. Some of the greatest companies will emerge out of this pandemic. We have already noticed majority of businesses shifting to some sort of online revenue model and almost every traditional brick and mortar business now has a digital presence. Many businesses were forced to finally improve practices and their processes by going remote and digital (dental clinics, banks and doctors' offices are some of many examples).

Over time, we will all get used to the changes and will, maybe, even fall in love with the new way of living. In fact, it is not really a "new way" of living; it's just called life. Change is not always pleasant, but it is necessary and it is normal. It is constant, and often uncomfortable, uncertain and challenging. But it presents opportunities as it forces out the things that don't work any longer and brings in fresh perspectives. We just have to pay attention, prepare ourselves and adapt to the new circumstances. It won't be easy, but it will be definitely worth it.

Use this time to prepare yourself for what's next. Use these slow days and weeks to give yourself a competitive advantage, an edge, if you will. Whether you are developing a new skill or perfecting the craft you are already good at, whether you are pivoting your business or researching trends for a new venture, the post-pandemic world will offer many opportunities for people who are prepared.
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