By Andrew Kupperman, RISQ Consulting Employer Services and Workforce Technology Consultant, SHRM-CP
We are now past the 1st year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Things do seem to be turning in the right direction from the perspective of getting closer to life as we knew it prior to this monumental event that’s impacted all of us. While it certainly won’t exactly be the same, we are getting nearer to that new normal. And remember, according to my blog post back in July, the new normal does require adoption and openness of change to our everyday lives.
In reflecting over the past year, there was certainly a lot of different things to stress over in our personal lives. Initially there was worrying about contracting COVID and not knowing how it might impact you and those in close contact with you. Then there became this air of mystery around not having a great sense of how long we’d be in this state of pandemic, which included our initial expectations continually being extended. On top of all of this, we were also faced with the most contentious election year most of us have experienced.
While these things became a big concern, almost all of us then needed to worry about at least one of the following: the impact to their employment, changes in how they worked, or how to balance work with needing to now be the primary daily childcare provider while schools, camps, and day cares couldn’t fully operate. All these things, combined with the pandemic environment, left many of us often feeling isolated, confused, and overwhelmed.
In our constant state of isolation, many of us often turned to the internet for answers, which in most cases was not a wise option. Others tried to focus on work (if it was still available), while others had more time to spend with immediate family and find solace in that.
Personally, my work life hasn’t been easy over the last year, as I know it hasn’t been for many people. There’s been the need to know about new and constantly changing regulations that’s impacted many of our clients, who have been facing very difficult business decisions of their own. There also hasn’t been a lot of room to focus on more strategic initiatives over the last year, due to these new day to day challenges to meet our clients evolving needs. One thing I can find comfort in, is our clients have shown a great deal of tenacity while being faced with the pandemic, and while some have had to make very hard decisions, their employee’s interests were always given the attention and consideration it deserved prior to finalizing a difficult change.
I’ve also tried to focus on my immediate family as well. I had my first child arrive in my life about 8 months prior to the COVID pandemic starting. It’s been a whirlwind trying to learn his ever-changing needs and how to meet them. The one thing I can say though, is whenever I’ve had any moments of doubt, depression, or anxiety during this pandemic, I could always rely on my son being able to cheer me up with a laugh.
To close my thoughts on my reflection, the issues I was faced with may have been small in comparison to others. My family and I were lucky enough to not have contracted COVID yet (knock on wood). But no matter the level of impact the COVID pandemic might have dealt you, I do hope you can find and reflect on that one thing that might have helped you through all of this. Despite things looking up, we’re not out of this pandemic just yet, so remembering that one thing will be important for any other challenges life decides to throw at us.