Life was so busy before the lockdown began, wasn’t it?
As introverts, we need quite a bit of downtime to recharge, but this doesn’t mean we always give ourselves that time. My calendar has always been a little too full of plans to see friends, check out new restaurants, and have all kinds of outdoor adventures.
Then in March, the global pandemic brought all of our social lives to a screeching halt. Depending on the nature of your job and the industry you work in, you may have become busier than ever or found yourself with a lot more time.
Regardless of how the past few months have played out for you, we’re all entering into a new chapter of our lives. This pandemic may not be over, but the entire world is in the process of figuring out what our new normal can look like—and it’s time to start thinking about creating your new normal, too.
What have you learned during the past four months, and who do you want to be on the other side of this?
Let’s dive deeper into these questions, and what they can mean for you.
The Importance of Reflection
When the lockdown first began, so did the articles about how “easy” and “ideal” these new circumstances were for introverts.
And it’s true that as a result of the quarantine, we’ve been living in a world that supports the way we’re wired for the very first time. So many introverts have now discovered how much they love working fully remote, staying home more, and doing less.
For other introverts, this quarantine has been difficult in unexpected ways. It’s not easy to be on lockdown with roommates or small kids at home, and Zoom fatigue and empathy fatigue are very real.
It may have been challenging to get the recharge time and self-care that you need. You may have struggled with how you’re “supposed” to feel and respond when that’s in direct conflict with how you’re actually feeling.
Maybe you’ve developed new routines and self-care practices that work well now, but are wondering how to continue these when you return to the office or your social calendar begins to fill up again.
So now, as the world cautiously begins to reopen and some companies talk about employees returning to the office (or staying fully remote to the end of the year), it’s so important to spend time reflecting and deciding what you want the second half of 2020 to look like.
The Quarantine Lessons
What have you learned during these unprecedented times—about yourself, about how you work best, and about what you need to be the best version of yourself?
Uncertainty can be a tough but powerful teacher, especially when you’re living in uncertainty on multiple levels for an extended period of time.
Life still feels uncertain. We don’t know what the pandemic will do to the economy long-term, so many are still out of work and may never be able to return to the same job, and the success that organizations have had with their entire companies working fully remote will likely change the way we work forever.
A lesson I’ve been learning throughout this challenging season is to focus on what I can control and let go of the rest. This isn’t easy, but acceptance is key here. Only when we accept the things we can’t change can we shift our focus to the things we can.
I’ve also learned the importance of unapologetically asking for what I need at work. Just because our introverted needs may seem different from everyone else’s, they’re likely not—and they’re just as legitimate.
Defining 2020 (Part 2)
It’s time to begin creating our new normal, instead of simply letting life happen to us again. I think it’s safe to say that the first half of 2020 looked very different than any of us expected as we rang in a new year and a new decade, but it’s not over yet.
We still have the second half of the year, and an opportunity to make this our best year yet. I love this poem from Leslie Dwight:
What if 2020 isn’t canceled?
What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw—that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change.
Become the change.
A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.
If you’re ready to intentionally create the second half of your 2020, join me for a virtual workshop on Sunday, July 26 at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET.
Together, we’ll define what you’d like your new normal to look like by setting values-based goals and creating an action plan that you can begin implementing right away.