Making the most of an unexpected situation
Being someone who’s obsessed with having everything planned, under control and organised is great; especially when, like me, you’re preparing to start your career journey. But what do you do when the most unexpected situation imaginable happens and the world is plunged into a global pandemic? Be grumpy for a couple of days? Curse the stars? Vent to your friends and family? All the above? Probably. It’s only natural. But there eventually comes a time when you need to pull your socks up and get back to work. You need to define and set your ‘new normal’, and find new ways to bring joy to each day. This is how I went about setting my new routine and I am certain it will help you too.
1. Observe the time in the day you are most productive
While 11am to 6pm is the time when I find my brain is most active, I know that some of my friends work best during late evenings or at the crack of dawn. Understanding what works for you is key to setting your new routine and making other things work around this. I use this time to hold meetings with my project teams, work on my internship and complete assignments.
2. Spend time with friends and family
I returned home to Mumbai before the lockdown began. Although I did not expect to have stayed this long, I take it positively and spend as much time as I can with my loved ones. It is always nice to be in the loop and know more about the daily ins and outs of those closest to you.
Days spent in quarantine or lockdown can get monotonous and even frustrating at times, making it even more important to have some time to yourself. Personally I enjoy yoga, watching movies, writing poems and reading novels, but this time could be spent on anything which makes you feel good. This time is your time; where you can reflect, rejuvenate and think more clearly. Taking moments for yourself can help you to frame situations more positively and give you space to prepare for the future.
4. Up your game
Despite the fact that what is happening right now can largely be seen as a negative, I’ve found it helpful to be less pessimistic and where possible try to think of what positives I can take from it. One example of this would be taking the time to learn a new skill you’ve always wanted to develop. I am a huge foodie but never had the chance to explore my culinary skills, and so every day I now try to make a new dish. For you this could be something completely different, from photography to languages or even a new sport – the beauty is it’s up to you!
Now that I have shared with you my tips on how to adjust to your own ‘new normal’, I’d like to share my daily routine in case it helps you in any way. I would also like to mention that while this is what I follow on most days, I do keep it flexible to accommodate change and stop anything from becoming too monotonous!
My New Normal:
- 09:30-11:00: Wake up, shower, breakfast and catch up on news
- 11:00-13:00: Job applications and building connections via LinkedIn and other job platforms
- 13:00-14:00: Lunch with family
- 14:00-18:00: Group meeting, internship work and assignments
- 18:00-19:00: Me-time (exercise such as power yoga or walk)
- 19:00-20:00: Shower and cook a meal
- 20:30-21:30: Dinner with family
- 21:30-23:30: Movie or chit-chat with family
- 23:30-00:00: Novel, talk to friends and off to bed
Hopefully you’ve found these tips useful and are already well on the way to settling into your ‘new normal’, whatever that may be! While this is undoubtedly a challenging time for everyone, taking the time to properly adapt and rise to the challenge can have unexpected benefits that may well see you making your ‘new normal’ the only normal, even when this is all over.