Like so many Americans, I find myself thrown from normalcy. I am always down for a last-minute adventure, even if it is just to window shop, and I love being outdoors in springtime. We only shop for the next few days at a time, so my family is a frequent flyer in the grocery store. I am a huge podcast fan and enjoy the time in my car every morning and every afternoon during my work commute to listen to at least 4 unique podcasts a week. My husband works a few nights a week and some weekends and, as an only child, I relish those times of quiet with just me and the dogs while my 13-year-old ignores me.
Although I am very fortunate that I can continue to work from home, I am missing these things. I am doing as much of my shopping online as possible, I haven’t listened to a podcast in weeks and, although my teenager still ignores me, my husband is temporarily laid off and I am missing out on my quiet time. I also am struggling to adjust to my new responsibilities as a home-school teacher and full-time chef. It is hard out here in quarantine! Can you relate?
Change doesn’t feel natural for human beings and we often struggle with navigating new landscapes. In some situations, change can be thrilling. Currently though, with no reference, the loss of normalcy and no clue what’s coming next, I don’t feel thrilled.
I didn’t think I would struggle this much to adapt to this life. I am a great trainer at work so homeschooling should be a breeze. I am a confident cook so cooking every night should be easy. I am an introvert so staying home and avoiding people should feel natural. And yet, here I am… struggling!
If you feel like you are in the same boat as me, I am here to say that is OK and it can get better!
I am taking this time to take an inventory of the skills I have and embrace the growth this discomfort is causing. This is making a difference in my quarantine experience. For example, instead of digging my heels in to say homeschooling is not going to work for us (if you had seen the first 2 weeks, you might have also questioned our success), I used the skills I have as a trainer. I changed the distance learning curriculum schedule for my 8th grader to match an employee learning plan. It’s going much better and he’s happy because he gets to sleep until 10am and finishes his work by Thursday. This doesn’t mean he has stopped ignoring me though. I am also embracing that I am very anxious and not as patient as I would like to be. I am trying to work on this by stepping away, following a schedule, walking in my neighborhood A LOT and spending time reflecting on each day before bed.
Why not try to look at this time we are being forced to take as a blessing? It’s a chance to work on improving ourselves for what is to come next and adapting our skills to be applicable in situations we never thought possible. We can all embrace the quarantine life and come out stronger on the other side.
Amy Alvarez is a Certified Professional of the Society of Human Resource Management and has a Master’s in Human Resource Management. Amy has experience in Human Resources in healthcare and retail, Management in big box and specialty retail stores and Physician Recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, employee relations, and so much more. For questions or concerns about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.