Slightly over 2 weeks ago, the Kenyan Ministry of Health announced the first COVID-19 case. It seemed like we were watching a movie. And then the cases started climbing up…and it feels like we’re watching a really bad movie.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced during this period is having to create a new normal on an almost daily basis. I’m a creature of habit and thrive when I have plans and schedules. The new normal, however, has thrown all plans and schedules out.

This morning, I sat down to evaluate how things have been over the last 2 weeks, particularly the challenges faced and what has changed in my life for the better.

Here’s what I came up with…

Everyone who knows me expected that I’d have a great time with the enforced seclusion. After all, I should be in my element personality and business-wise given that I’m an introvert.

Apparently, things only work when you know you have the freedom to make choices. So I’ve found myself going through withdrawal symptoms now that I have to avoid people. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m missing meeting people physically…at least 1 or 2 people per week.

On the challenges side, I found myself:

  • Snapping at the children: They told me I’m wearing my angry mum face a lot. The new normal didn’t come with a manual for handling stress!

  • Watching too much TV: It’s less than last week, but still too much by my normal standard of no TV.

  • Having to battle with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): This is the culprit behind watching too much TV?‍♀️.

  • Losing sleep: Some days I wake up a few times at night and have problems getting back to sleep. This has reduced as I reduced the time spent watching TV.
  • Overworking: I extended my work hours to give my clients extra support. I also launched a new event, attended online meetings with my mastermind, and posted more on social media.

  • Struggling with lack of a formal schedule: I’m a planner and have had to throw all my plans out of the window. Living on a day-to-day plan hasn’t come easy.

On the positive side, I’ve:

  • Trained my children to work as virtual assistants. They were already working for me about 2 hours a week during schooltime. We’ve extended their working hours, which also led to increased income for them (nothing is free!)?.

  • Taught my children how to cook. We were already working on this. Now we have more time and they’ve taken over the kitchen. I only cook when we have ugali or chapati on the menu?.

  • Helped my clients grow their businesses – all of them. As a result, not a single client has quit, which is a blessing for me?. It’s also been great having to coach from the heart. No coach training or experience prepared me for the challenges my clients and I are working on!

  • Opened up my Fridays for free strategy sessions with women entrepreneurs?. This is a way of giving back. Many entrepreneurs are struggling and missing out on the opportunities they can take advantage of now or after this season is over.

  • Set up and hosted 2 Brown Bag lunchtime meetings on video. This is a huge and totally unexpected win. These meetings will run on weekdays throughout the COVID-19 season. The aim is to bring women together for inspiration, motivation and connection.

  • Attended daily mastermind meetings (Monday to Saturday). This has been a huge positive as it’s helped keep us all sane?.

  • Completed the first 4 podcast episodes and set up the back end: I’m now ready to launch it?.

  • Created 2 programs for leaders that I’m launching over the next few weeks at a highly reduced fee. One is on leading in times of crisis and another is on time management for women entrepreneurs. A summarized version of the time management program is available for free for a limited time?.

New life, new normal

When I started writing this post, I didn’t know there was so much to say. I was also sure I’d have more negatives than positives.

Additionally, as I write this, I’m realizing that all the achievements made didn’t cost me much. All I required was a new mindset, rearrangement of priorities, and a lot of focused attention on what matters most each day.

No one has escaped having to come up with a new way of living. There’s no manual for it and everyone has to come up with something that works for them.

While it’s not easy, there are many gems when you pivot fast and create a new normal that’s also fluid enough to shift on a day-to-day basis. This will also determine whether you end this season better or worse off than before.

Over to you…what’s your new normal?

What has been your experience during the COVID-19 era? And what challenges or successes have you experienced? I’d love to hear from you so please share in the Comments below.

In the meantime, keep well and stay safe.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

    2 replies to "Living in COVID-19 Era: An Evaluation of My New Normal"

    • Liz

      This is really encouraging Caroline. I am one of the people who benefited from you changing my mindset. I am now focusing on what I can control and I can’t wait for Ms. Rona to go away.
      Keep doing what you do. You are great at it!

      • Caroline Gikonyo

        Thanks for the feedback Liz. I really appreciate it. It’s been great working with you and having to rise up to the challenges that have come up. We’re all in this season together and mindset shift is going to be a big gamechanger. Those who shift will see the lessons and opportunities hidden behind Ms. Rona. Those who don’t will miss out on creating a new life that lasts beyond this season.

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