“Infrastructure: the basic systems and services, such as transport and power supplies, that a country or organization uses to work effectively.” Cambridge English Dictionary
We’re hearing a lot about infrastructure these days – roads, bridges and buildings collapsing, water systems filled with lead, power grids reaching their limit and millions of people unable to access wi-fi, to name a few systems and services that need improvement to work effectively.
But, I’m not here to advocate for or against improvements to this type of infrastructure.
I am here to suggest that we all have our own internal infrastructure that needs attention.
Are You Ready For Post-Pandemic Life?
Now that we are coming out of 15 – 18 months of isolation, lockdown and/or separation from any sense of pre-COVID life, many are wondering what the “new normal” will be. Some people are clamoring to get back to the office, travel, or go to concerts and parties. Others are admitting that they really liked their hermit lifestyle and aren’t all that anxious to be around people again. Many are actually admitting that as a result of pandemic pondering and reclusive reflections, they really don’t want to socialize or work with the people who had been in their pre-pandemic life.
Emerging From Crises And Upheaval
We are emerging from an unprecedented global health crisis with massive death tolls. At the same time, we’ve been experiencing unparalleled social, economic and political upheaval. I think it’s safe to say that if you have the same awareness, attitudes and values that you had before, then maybe you’re suffering from illusions and delusions or have been living in a cave.
July 2021 vs. January 2020
So, how are your current needs, desires or interests different than they were in January 2020?
Here are some fairly broad questions to consider to get started on what your “new normal” may be. Then determine the internal infrastructure systems or support structures that can help to have peace of mind, and a healthy, joyous and productive life.
- Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces
Since most of us have been confined to our homes for many months, what did you enjoy most about your indoor and outdoor living spaces? What aspects of your home seemed uncomfortable or needing improvement? Are the changes needed major or minor and what steps can be taken to bring peace of mind and comfort in your living spaces?
- Friends and Family
Have any of your friendships/relationships changed? Which relationships have grown or been enriched and which have fallen by the wayside since the pandemic? What steps can you take to continue to nurture the positive relationships and wean away from unhealthy or dissatisfying friendships?
- Work and Values
How do you feel about your work, the work environment, the management and values of your organization? Has your opinion or outlook changed since January 2020? Do you feel like you need to make any changes? If yes, to gain clarity, make a list of what you want. If you’re uncertain, then make a list of the things you don’t want, then determine what the opposite of that would be.
- Physical Health
Some people, although no one I know… embarked on a rigorous exercise and diet routine. Many of us are experiencing the “Pandemic 15” – gaining excess pounds munching our favorite snacks while binge-watching Netflix and not being able to go to the gym. What systems and structures do you need for your own internal infrastructure to support improving your physical health?
What are you committed to doing and by-when?
It’s time to get out of B.E.D. (Blame, Excuses and Denial)!
- Mental Well-Being
The physical and emotional isolation, fears about our health, loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues, and fears about financial stability, have increased depression and stress and anxiety levels for millions of people. Children and older people have been particularly vulnerable. Since children may not be able to articulate their concerns, it’s important to be observant and keep dialogue open. Older people often think they need to “slog through it,” thinking that admitting anxiety or depression is a sign of weakness. There is nothing normal about what we’ve experienced and each person’s capacity for change or grief is different. Your current capacity for handling all of the changes in the past 18 months may be very different than what it was pre-pandemic. Honor your current needs for establishing or maintaining positive mental and emotional well-being.
Know that you are not alone and that resources are available to help you navigate these turbulent times.
Early in the lockdown, I thought it would be a good time to get a small dog, since I’d been wanting a pet. I wasn’t travelling and really wanted the companionship that a pup could provide.
Seems a lot of other people had the same idea. I tried for months with every rescue agency to no avail. I was beginning to feel pretty pitiful that I couldn’t even adopt a rescue dog! So I arranged play-dates with my neighbor’s dog to fill that need…and then I met Jerry.
And the rest is history – till recently.
One morning before dawn we heard hungry kitten cries under our deck. Lo and behold there was an itty bitty black kitty, about 6 weeks old. Despite being very skittish and scared, she camped out under our couch and hasn’t left the house since!
She has brought more joy than I can say. A colleague said my life in the past year reminded her of the book “Eat Pray Love.” Now it seems our conversations about this kitty revolve around “Eat, Play and Poop!”
We struggled to find a suitable name. I’m happy to say that we found a good compromise for something “island-y” and not just call her “Kitty.”
So, may I present: Captain Kiddy – Pirate of the Caribbean.
Marty Stanley is a national speaker, author and consultant on personal and organizational change. If you’re ready to reset your life or your organization to adapt to a post-pandemic new normal, give me a call. 816.695.5453 MartyStanley@alteringoutcomes.com www.alteringoutcomes.com
Curious about how two old people fell in love during a pandemic and moved to a tropical island? Check out these blogs for more behind-the-scenes thoughts and experiences: