ME SO ISO – lessons from lockdown

By Chris Nunn

It was weird coming back to work this morning after the long weekend. A real effort, if I’m being honest.

I started out OK with a flurry of caffeine-aided activity; got a prop out, setup a few client meetings, made a couple of ‘care calls’ (something we’ve been trying to do each day) but then I quickly ran out of steam. Three swift no’s to proposals didn’t help the momentum. I’d dropped into a funk and it was only 11AM; on the first day of the working week.

So, I went for walk. A long one, along the beach. Being by the water is my ‘go to’. Here’s a few thoughts I had as I ambled along. I’ve not been big on thought sharing (at least not sober and not much at all on social media), but this isn’t an ordinary time, so I thought it might help others to speak some of my truth to the uncertainty. Thanks for the nudge to do so, Luke Bould.

Thoughts on how to deal with the COVID-19 lockdown:

Slow down

At some point in time, if most of us had been offered a  ‘pause’ or ‘slomo’ button on the remote control of life, we would have taken it. Life happens fast and the pace of change is only increasing, exponentially in many areas, so don’t force yourself to keep pace right now. This is a chance to take our time. To take a breath. It’s not the reason anyone would have wished for but it’s here, so use it.

Give yourself a break

I, like many others, have been trying to write my own ‘COVID Crystal Ball’ piece of late. A piece to help market alacria, demonstrate our credentials, land some work to plug the gap until ‘normal’ returns.  It’s something I committed to myself and the alacria team that I’d do before Easter, but the words just wouldn’t flow. I know-not like me for those rolling their eyes at the prospect of me not having something to say.  It just didn’t feel right to be pushing that barrow right now and I’d been riling against it. So, I’m writing this instead. It feels much more appropriate. There is time to turn attention to how we all navigate the other side of COVID, and when businesses are ready to talk, we’ll be there to help them find their new way. But for now, don’t force yourself to work to the same pace, set of rules or expectations that you ordinarily would. What we are living through is anything but ordinary- thus it is unreasonable to expect ourselves to be operating on all cylinders.

Be kind; more so

People are scared. I’m scared.  Scared about getting sick, my family and friends getting sick, scared of getting enough work, getting enough of what I need to live well and be happy. Nobody really knows what the impact of COVID-19 will be for each of us, individually, so please treat people gently right now. Show compassion. Offer a helping hand, or a listening ear. Chances are that an act of kindness now will help more than you think.

Stay sharp, learn something new

Work plays a huge part in stimulating us and giving us purpose- if it’s taken away, or not there to the same level as before, we can become unmotivated and feel a bit lost. But there are plenty of other things to do to fill the void or give a sense of satisfaction-   When better to learn guitar, a language, chess, to stand on your head. Take an hour each day to learn something new, or work on something to keep the mind sharp.

Ask for help

Now is not the time for ego. COVID-19 has affected some more than others and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s been a bit of a lottery in terms of people’s jobs. So, don’t be backward in coming forward to ask for help. What better time to use your network?

Keep moving

If nothing else, COVID-19 should be a stark reminder of what it is to be healthy. To not take it for granted; to look after it. At alacria we’ve spent a LOT of time in our first year researching and espousing the benefits of being physically active. There are mountains of evidence that show not just the physical, but mental, educational, societal, economic health benefits of exercise. So, keep moving. Do it safely and smartly, but just do………..oops, I’ve gone and ripped off Nike again.

Stay safe and share some of your thoughts below. I’d love to hear them


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