How To Survive The COVID-19 'New Normal'

Lifestyle

How To Survive The COVID-19 'New Normal'

Sunday, April 26, 2020

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Life throws us many curve balls and gives us opportunities to step out of our comfort zone and this COVID-19 curve ball has been no different. Many of us are dreading the long-term implications whether it be on our health, finances or social life. Any crisis involves change, which is the one thing most of us are guilty of resisting. But I learned in life, you must adapt, redefine and refocus on the things needed to achieve your goals.

As the daughter of a strong-willed female entrepreneur, I was able to witness from an early age the undulating and unpredictable atmosphere that came with running a business. I believe that's why I am able to adapt to change, and learn to cope with the 'new normal'.

Look Good, Feel Good

Looking good will have a great effect of how you feel. Have you ever noticed that one trip to the hair salon, and a quick manicure later and you're suddenly Rihanna — shining “bright like a diamond”? Just because we have to stay in, doesn't mean we can't look good and feel good. In fact, it's one of my top coping mechanisms during this time. I wake up, I give thanks for life, I exercise, I continue my normal get-ready-for-work routine and I dress appropriately for my next online meeting.

Budget

More than likely, we will have unexpected expenses during this period even though we are going to fewer brunches, spending less on gas to go on those random country trips and racking up less bills on parties and fun nights out. The reality is, now that we're always at home our utilities and food consumption have increased and we need to be very mindful of that. My supermarket bill pre-COVID-19 vs what it is now has seen an increase in the number of zeros.

If you haven't started yet, now more than ever it's important to budget and stick to it. Use this extra time to go through your credit card statements and your transactions for the previous month so you can track your spending patterns and identify ways to cut back.

See where you can begin to make changes to improve your long-term financial health and of course, institutions have financial advisors that will help guide you through this time. Many financial institutions like NCB have already implemented some relief measures for their business and personal customers that you should review to see if you can benefit from.

Don't Panic-Spend

Most of us are all guilty of this. The day the news hit about mandatory work from home, I too ran out to stock up on my groceries, much-needed comfort food and some good wine. We don't know how long this will last, but it is important to spend every penny wisely or you may create a dent in your available financial resources. Supermarkets and local manufacturers have said that they will have enough stock to cover our necessities and we can also use the opportunity to increase the number of local goods and services we use that are often less costly. I highly recommend the fruit and vegetable boxes from our farmers — eat and buy local.

Where My Girls At?

In the wise words of recently deceased musician Bill Withers: “Lean on me when you're not strong.” We get by with a little help from our friends and it's even more evident at a time like this that we need them most. Take the time to arrange a girls' virtual wine night in or a guys' virtual dominoes night. There are so many online meeting platforms available right now that make it quick and easy to get together while being socially distant. We're human beings and we were meant to be social, so stay sane and find creative ways to do the regular link-ups virtually.

The best advice I've given and received is to take it all in one day at a time. Manage your intake of fake or stressful news and keep surrounding your mind with daily gratitude reminders. At the end of the day, how we survive this is when we come together, share our experiences, spend and save wisely, check up on each other and know that this, too, shall pass.


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