... when all around you is going crazy, then you'll be some kind of superhero! What has happened to the world in the last few weeks? Events and meetings are being cancelled. Countries are closing their doors and hunkering down. And people are bulk-buying toilet rolls like never before. How should we be approaching these coronavirus-induced changes in circumstances? I'm no expert, but here's my two penn-orth.
Don't give up
Everything might seem up in the air, but that's no reason to give up! This is a time that calls for us to be much more creative - and open minded - in how we go about our work and our daily lives. For me, this week was supposed to involve facilitating a meeting for 100 people in Edinburgh and one for around 50 people in Durham, holding a day of face-to-face interviews as part of a consultation, attending an event in London I'd been keen to get to for ages and going with my mentee to her college interview. All have been cancelled. Instead, we're holding the Edinburgh meeting online, postponing the Durham one, switching the face-to-face interviews to online, and spending other time with my mentee. And I'll use the time I'd planned to be in London doing something else productive. Focus on rearranging what you can and going about things in a different way, wherever possible.
Look out for each other
Here in the UK, official guidance is still to self-isolate with symptoms, but otherwise carry on regardless. I don't know anyone who's really following that advice! Those lucky enough to be able to make their own decisions - based on their own health, work and family commitments - are doing so, often resulting in them staying closer to home. Others aren't so lucky. So, if you're able to decide where you work, make sure your decisions include looking out for other people. If you're heading to the local shop or supermarket, why not check in with neighbours to see if they need anything? Be kind to those who are keeping things like the local shops, supermarkets and health centres going. It's a great opportunity for communities to pull together and get things done.
Keep in touch
For those of us who work from home on a regular basis, we're already pretty good at self isolation! But we also know how important it is to keep in touch - and this extends to people you know socially as well as professionally. There are loads of great tools and platforms to help - whether it be through social media or on a video call. Don't think that because you're at home, you can't have conversations with colleagues.
Enjoy the difference
And finally, let's all take time to enjoy the difference that taking a few weeks off from the world might make. I'm an excellent hibernator, so I'm looking forward to not having to face what's outside the house. I'm going to enjoy having my partner around much more - and for us to finally finish those jobs that we never seem to quite get done. And I might even enjoy having my almost-teenage daughter around more (although the jury is still out on that one!!). Most of all, I'm going to try to continue to be the glass-half-full person that makes up the best of me.
I know that people will find this incredibly tough financially and it will hit the majority of us in some way or another. And for those who are already struggling, it will get even harder. So let's all pull together and help out wherever we can. And people - enough of the loo roll hoarding!