No Normal

No Normal‘ a new and a startling phrase…

Dr Graeme Codrington in an interview with the ‘Asia Professional Speakers Convention‘ sheds light on what to expect in the near future, as the global Covid-19 pandemic will subdue, leaving the world economy in a reset mode.  

Dr Graeme Codrington is a futurist, digging deeper into scenarios, and analysing trends to anticipate the future, to help us prepare to combat threats and adapt to the changes efficiently. On being asked about how long the pandemic is going to last, basing the answer on historical accounts of previous pandemics, he expects the COVID-19 pandemic to last around 2-3 years after which the community can be expected to build herd immunity. But in the worst-case scenario, it might extend to 5-10 years. 

Rebutting the commonly used phrase ‘the new normal’, he highlights that there will be ‘No Normal’. He highlights that ultimately we will be living with deep disruption affecting all spheres of life and business.

When asked about the impact on the community, especially that of speakers, coaches, and trainers, he brings out the positives of the situation. He highlights how the ‘have to’ situations have made us learn and adapt inevitably. Most of the online services and the usage of advanced technologies should be seen as an enhanced reach that can possibly continue in the future.  The key takeaway from his interview was that the current scenario is all about recognizing all possible choices to extend services online and work upon the technique, style, and content to adapt to the ‘new default setting’ where people would want to avoid physical contact. 

Key Highlights:

  • Complaining about government regulations unless the global Covid-19 pandemic subdues would not be useful. Instead, keeping a positive attitude and a problem-solving approach would serve us. Our choices will ultimately shape us and our environment.
  • Not to panic, just a lot of preparation because there is going to be a change in the way we will now engage with the world around us.
  • Post Covid-19, there would be an exponential rise in the digitisation of businesses fuelling innovations in healthcare, online education, almost all across the board. 
  • Hope is not a strategy. Look at what’s probable and plan accordingly. 
  • The balance between fear and confidence will shape the future of businesses and our community as a whole. 
  • Spend lockdown time not just to enhance technology, but also your style and technique of delivering or imparting knowledge; taking it as an opportunity.

Personal reflections on the New Normal – Part 2

Hello! Here, in this blog, you would get to know me better, my likes and dislikes, and a few uplifting words/phrases for you and me to munch on.

We begin with an acrostic poem which briefs us of the term ‘NEW NORMAL’.

Researchers say that a new activity takes 50 to 70 days to become a habit. In the first 21 days, the brain starts firing a new neural pathway, and the more often we repeat an activity, the more we begin internalizing it as a daily habit.  We did get 50-70 days, over the four phases of the lockdown in India. Let us not break the new healthy habits. New normal after the fourth phase is the time to reflect and see how much we have internalized what we practised during the past four phases.

And now my reflections on what my new normal would be – work-life, habits and routines I’d like to stay with, after having experimented with a mix & match of what felt good to do and what not, especially in the past three months.

Things that I have been practising since 2018 & would continue doing the rest of my life are mediation, gratitude journaling, writing or singing affirmations, practising mindfulness, eating frequent moderate meals.

Below is a list of things which I did for the first time out of nowhere and a few which I carried out more intentionally during the last three months:

  1. I am a person who’d not cook as an everyday chore. I was more in the kitchen at this time around. Many a times trying out new dishes. It actually worked as a therapy for me. I also listened to inspirational Karen Drucker and Tina Turner’s song to add positive vibes to the meal preparation time. Their songs are affirmation based or mantra chants. I’d love to try out new dishes more often in an ethereal way… Below is a collage of a few new food items, I made:

  2. Uncertainties of the time brought me to write more blogs for my website- She Narrates, more than ever before. I would keep at it as my new normal now. You would get to hear more often from me now. I made more posts public during this period. I was also sharing posts on Instagram from handle more often, either musings or acrostic poems. Earlier I was writing as a hobby only, or I would write and not make posts public because I was somewhere not embracing my vulnerabilities of going public. I am a self-trained-extrovert person trying to shun my introvert nature. It is not natural to me, but I am getting better day by day. Cheers!

  3. I will be working from home until my son’s school reopens in September. Earlier, my son used to stay in day-care when I was out for work. The lockdown period saw me sitting with my son for his virtual classes, and it felt so good. Now, he is attending summer camp, and we are making craft-work memories together. He has made a few car models and contraptions. I’d continue with this practice rather than sitting with him only on weekends.
    Here is a collage of a few activities of my little one:

4. Take a nature walk daily. Be it for 5 minutes or 20 minutes. Observe nature mindfully using all the senses- sights, smells, shapes, textures, sounds. Listening to the birdsongs, watching shapes of clouds and greenery all around is actually uplifting.

5. Exercise at least 30 minutes 6 days a week and swing my body and free dance (Qoya dance) for body flexibility and stamina. I have become a regular with Qoya dance now. Yay!

6. My family and I were eating healthy most of the time. We are choosing to keep at it forever now, with cheat meals once a week maybe!

7. Sanitizing of groceries, washing hands frequently, increasing fluid intakes, wearing a mask whenever I step out of the house, returning to our Namaste culture of greeting people, maintaining a safe hand-distance in public, calling friends and family once a week. Most of these things are indispensable, to live with the new virus and might be followed by all.

8. Changing the look and feel of my workstation helped me look at things with different perspectives – in a positive way, of course. We all had the spikes of fearsome thoughts come and go, isn’t it?

9. I was also switching off the phone two hours before going to bed and check WhatsApp, Facebook and LinkedIn after 10:00 am only- simply to be more present with family and at work. I’d maintain that as well.

10. Panic of grocery buying got me to declutter seriously and more purposefully. I had decluttered the kitchen and made an inventory of necessary things. Still, I could feel the extras of everything in my life. We were in a position to give away the extras to those who needed them.

11. Cosmic Writing was something new for me. I had never done this sort of writing before; this was the first form of journaling activity I picked up to get back to writing. I gave myself a 21-days challenge for this as a beginning for my writing spirit. I have discussed this in a separate blog. Coming up here.

Things that I would like to cut down on or eliminate are:

  1. Eating outside every Sunday: This had become our Sundays’ ritual. My family is cutting down on this purposely.
  2. Junk foods: We are considering less-junk and canned foods. We may keep cheat meals; otherwise, it would be like going too harsh at one go.
  3. Social media: Cut back on social media time and frequency of visits. Use social media more purposely.
  4. Screen time: less screen time, less watching TV for all.
  5. News: I’d refrain from watching the news all the time.

Uplifting Phrases or Words that kept me going are:

  1. Treating the quarantine period as the ‘Gift of time’,
  2. Taking the ‘leap of faith’,
  3. Reviving of the new (Reawakening),
  4. The word ‘discipline’ changed to ‘orchestration‘ for me,
  5. Slowing down helps in increasing the number of productive hours, and it was much relatable at this time for me.

I hope the above reflections may help you in making your list. Please feel free to share which new habits would you like to keep, in the comment section below.

Thank you! Stay happy, calm and healthy!

Reflections & the generic New Normal- Part 1

In this blog today, I am reflecting on my experiences of staying home from Ides of March 2020 (15th March 2020) till the culmination of the fourth-phase (i.e. on 31st May 2020) of the nationwide lockdown period. I am also reflecting on what was the NEW work-life amidst the stressful pandemic period. We also have a definition and an acrostic on ‘new normal’ in this blog, a term that has again become generic in our conversations these days. Towards the end, we have a list of requisites on behavioural changes to keep-up with, after the pandemic quake. We close this blog with gratitude to all the essential co-workers who have always served us selflessly. So, stay tuned till the end!

I begin by asking, haven’t we all discovered new things about ourselves, looked out for new ways of healthy adaptations, discovered new ways of running businesses, customized the delivery/deliverables by virtual means, orchestrated to new-work-life balances?

Many of us also learned new skills, indulged into long-lost hobbies, leaned into our creative talents, explored different work opportunities, experimented new ideas, looked for ways to grow spiritually etc., isn’t it?

Precisely! This period was and is about being resilient, anti-fragile yet lively-spirited in adapting to the new ways and protocols, most wanted, even after the coronavirus quail.

Now, I want to acknowledge and share my experiences here. Like many of you, I too found myself being more purposeful and productive. I too witnessed the change. I was also handling both my personal & professional life- all happening under one roof- much differently. I’ve also customized my day to day chores- resized my personal and professional boundaries. As a freelance writer, I re-defined my work commitments, revisited my work proposals, redrafted all the templates.

Sometimes, it feels so surprisingly resplendent, and then I pinch myself to ask was it the magic wand tool*, the one that I use in the Adobe Photoshop for pixel selections, played out its role in real-time! Joking! When I reflect today, at the dawn of the containment period, I see that I was choosing only important chores in the past three months to stay happy, calm, and resilient in the new setup of life. My endeavours are to keep at it to the best of my abilities and capabilities.

My blessings served me too! My partner has been a prayer answered, domestic bliss, in helping me manage the household chores.

Besides, there are a few practices and rituals that I kept maintaining (religiously since 2018) helped me bounce back quickly and miraculously. There are some of the habits I eliminated (or cut-down on) from my everyday routine and lifestyle because they were not serving me in my highest good then and at present. You would find those reflections here.

I remember, initially, it was like alternating between mixed feelings of anxiousness and spur, in adapting to the new lifestyle of working from home and doing the household chores without helpers. Also, the fearsome thoughts were tiring my mind and body unseeingly. First 15-20 days, I wasn’t able to bring myself to any positive or comforting thoughts. I was mostly choosing to sleep through the days. I’d hear the affirmative songs of Karen Drucker and 101 power thoughts by Louise Hay, play them on, and go off to sleep listening. After almost a week, I slowly seemed to pick myself up. I started journaling twice a day (sometimes even more), re-joined the book reading members, started meditating, and so on.

Now, as we have almost come to the end of this blog, I’d like to quickly take you through the definition of ‘new normal’ with an acrostic. We all know that we have completed our 4-phase of the nationwide lockdown, and the business operations other than the essential services have also picked up its pace; let us be more careful and self-reliant now.

Here’s, the definition-

New Normal is a term used in a business which refers to new norms and new financial state of affairs to adhere to after the depression phase of a business. This term became standard after the global economic turning point in the fiscal year 2007-2008, followed by a recession period of four years. This phrase has become generic again, during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. This term is used in a variety of contexts. During the financial crisis, the term new normal is used by the economists and policymakers of the industries and companies to discuss the new state of affairs. In the COVID-19 situation, the term New Normal refers to the human behavioural changes adopted after the pandemic quake to live self-reliantly safe, and healthy.

Reflections & the generic New Normal- part 1 - image 1

On behalf of my, She Narrates writers’ team; I take a moment to salute the healthcare workers, bankers, our police departments, all the essential care workers who were helping us day in day out to keep us safe at the cost of their lives. Jai Hind! And a prayer to those who have transitioned!

Reflections & the generic New Normal- part 1 image 2

Now, every individual, post 31st May’ 2020 is wearing the title of a warrior, front-liner, unsung hero etc. along with our essential care workers, isn’t it? Such a proud moment for all of us! So, let us co-operatively continue to live and maintain our physical, mental and social well-being. Here is a list of human behavioural requisites as our new normal, after the pandemic quake:

  • stay home as far as possible,
  • rework your ‘essentials’ definition,
  • avoid travelling, especially those in the state-wise containment zone
  • wash and sanitize hands frequently,
  • wear face-mask correctly,
  • wear the mask while outside and at work
  • keep up at healthy eating habits
  • drink water frequently; hot water helps
  • follow the Namaste culture of greeting people,
  • maintain a safe hand-distance in public,
  • diligently follow the grocery sanitization process to contain the spread.

The number of corona positive cases in India is still rising. Yet, together we can contain the spread by choosing to stay indoors and maintaining our safety.

Please feel free to share your experiences adapting to the new lifestyle during the quarantine period of last three months. I would be happy to hear from you and extend my help if I can, in any manner.

Thank you! Be blessed! Always remember that the Universe has your back!

P.S.- *Finding the closest tolerance value is the key function of this tool in Photoshop.