Today it marks 51 days ago that our lives were turned upside down, inside out, for some like a monster roller coaster ride and for others an empty long tunnel. It seems like the turbulence is slowing down; some of you can see (a tiny) light at the end of the tunnel?

In the hope that you are all still doing well and staying safe, I write to you again. I’ve been good, my family safe, today my husband started working full time at the office again. To me that feels like I can start going back to some kind of normal too. Some kind… don’t know what kind yet, but I will have all the right intentions to do so. 

In the meanwhile I’ve learned how to facilitate trainings through Zoom and I’ve realized I can get used to that. My herb garden looks beautiful, I have cleaned out some drawers, threw away quite some stuff, donated others, baked a cake, got back to the basics of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. I have to confess I do miss my cleaning lady terribly. I love her dearly, I have great respect for the awesome job that she does and now more than ever I have been made more conscious how important her job is.

I realized there are people that truly believe their work is more important than others. In my book, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who had (the privilege?) to continue working during these 50+ days is a heroe to me. Every one of them have to gather their courage every day to go to work to serve our entire community. And what about those that had to learn how to work from home with all its challenges? What about those that didn’t have a choice? Remember one of the points I mentioned in a previous little story: “Be Kind”. Please be kind to everyone, you have no idea what they are going through and don’t judge that what they are doing is less important than yours. During this crisis it’s not only about you, but there is way for you to help yourself. 

During this particular period you have two choices how to go about your days: You wait this to pass and nag about it or you choose to be positive, focus on the positive and try to make the best out of a bad situation. 

Here is a list of 5 things I found you can do to cope with this “new normal”:

  1. It is OK to grieve: It is OK to feel bad, to get down. But it’s not helpful to you and those close to you to stay there. Find a way to grieve, find something that works best for you. Communicate your feelings with your loved ones.
  2. Try to let Go: Admit you can’t control everything. Once you acknowledge you have no control over the big picture, you can focus your energy on the things you can control—namely your thoughts, the way you spend your time, and the choices you make.
  3. Convert Your Thinking: Take a moment to look at what has been taking up your mind space and what is keeping you up at night then convert those thoughts that are out of your control back into your control. Try to change negatives to positives.
  4. Make a Plan: Once you identify what you can do to address your concerns, you can build a plan based on your conscious choices. Put that plan into concrete terms. What? When? How often? What tools do you need? How will you know you are making progress? What barriers will you face and how will you deal with them?
  5. Change Your Mindset: Mindset matters. Your messaging will make a difference. When you communicate with others you will need to look at the situation from their point of view and not just yours. ‘Be Kind’ remember?

Plans without actions are dreams. And if you want to dream, keep clinging to the illusion that you control everything and see how that works for you. It is not an easy road. You will have to pave it, but it will be your road. 

Bottom line: Get up each day and follow your plan. What will differentiate you from everyone else is discipline and consistency. What will ensure your ability to work through the extreme circumstances that we’re facing is your competence to execute. 

Today many of you went back to the first level of the ‘new normal’. I wish you a lot of strength and wisdom. Stay safe everyone!

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