Covid-19 is changing everything about our working lives, from our interactions with colleagues to our hobbies and after-work pursuits. Many of us have become remote workers—whether we like it or not—and have had to adjust to entirely different schedules, work styles, and office mates than we had just a few months ago. 

Amid all this uncertainty and change, it’s helpful to take a momentary break from the everyday. While none of us asked for this disruption, we are living through a time of profound and impactful change. Some changes, such as wearing a mask, might be temporary, others, such as remote work, might be permanent. 

To help shift our perspective on this moment of confusion and stress, we’re offering some strategies to help reframe what work and life means to us right now—and how to think about lessons from today that you can apply in the future. 

What is the upside of this upset?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been incredibly harmful to communities around the world and highly disruptive to every industry. But on the flip side, this time of hardship has also changed our perspectives on our lives. How can you look at your life differently now that so much has changed? Perhaps you have a new appreciation for what you love to do now that your daily life is more restricted. Perhaps you appreciate the freedom and flexibility that comes from working from home. Or maybe you better understand and appreciate the role of child care providers, family members, friends, and loved ones in your life. Whatever it is, note what the pandemic has taught you about yourself. 

How has work changed for the better? 

The way we work has shifted for most of us. What has your new working arrangement taught you? Maybe you discovered that you actually prefer working from home, or maybe you’ve discovered how important your co-workers are to you. Perhaps your communication with colleagues has improved or this tough time has helped you better understand and appreciate your office mates. Take stock of the lessons you’ve learned about work now that everything has changed.  

Where are you now, and where do you want to be?

For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic has stripped away the hobbies and activities we used to have fun and stay busy. With more time at home, have you had more time to think about what’s important to you and what you want from your personal and professional lives? Take this time to reflect on where you are in your life and where you want to be. Maybe there is a professional goal that feels particularly important after this experience, or maybe social isolation has left you feeling the need to connect with others. There’s no wrong answer.

Can you create a road map for yourself?

Last, think about how to create a road map for yourself. How can you inspire yourself to get through this uncertain time in a healthy and sustainable way? On the professional level, assess where you are. Have you fallen behind industry trends? Are you ahead of the curve? What can you learn or teach yourself using the myriad online tools and learning platforms available today? 

Think about your personal goals.

On a personal level, use this time to reflect on what you need to prioritize in your personal life. What interests you or feeds you on an emotional level? Is it exercise, cooking, reading, or spending time online with friends?

Think about what will make you happy until these restrictions lift. This may require reframing your expectations. While we all are eager to return to normal, we may have to rethink what “happy” means for us now. 

Personal growth means something different to everyone, but using this time of disruption to help yourself move forward is a good use of a stressful time.

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