Imagine you were asked to predict where you would be in July of 2020 on New Year’s Eve of 2020. Would you have predicted the entire world had just gone through a pandemic that closed or dramatically impacted companies and businesses on a global scale? Would you have imagined that restaurants, schools, daycares, and sporting events across Canada, the USA and in most countries around the world would be canceled? Would you have even remotely thought it would be possible that people would be ordered to work from home or stay-in-place for weeks on end?
Most people are able to answer these questions with a resounding “No.” This year has been one of personal and professional strain, stress, and uncertainty that is unlike anything this generation has lived through before. To add to the challenge, there is still no clear understanding of what the next few months will bring. Hopefully, a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is just on the horizon, but there will still be changes and issues with reopening businesses and rebuilding the economy.
Look for the Positive Accomplishments and Changes
It is very natural to find it challenging to look to the positive in times of uncertainty and unrest. However, focusing on what you were unable to accomplish due to the issues with COVID-19 is not only unproductive – it is not at all helpful to your sense of self-worth and accomplishment.
Instead of a focus on what has not yet been done, focus on what you have done. Think about the things you do now with ease that were challenging when your professional life changed in February or March.
One of the big changes that most people can list as an accomplishment is learning how to work for home. For many, this included balancing their time with their kids, pets, spouse, and the many distractions of working from home.
Another accomplishment for many of us was learning how to communicate through a very different platform. Business meetings and training went from in-person events to online activities, creating challenges in managing technology, sharing information, and effectively communicating information in a very unusual format.
Often overlooked and undervalued, the small changes made in our personal lives may have long-term positive benefits. Making it a habit to do a home workout each morning, to walk the dog every day, or to find time to spend with the kids enjoying a fun activity indoors or outdoors are all positive accomplishments and habits that we can extend well beyond the challenges and obstacles of living through the COVID-19 pandemic.