Life can change on a dime

As we sweltered through the recent 30+ degree heat (in London that is!), we all found ways to cope.  Personally, I missed good old air conditioning from back home in Canada as I sat on my balcony and sweated it out instead!

The following week, as we were greeted with thunder, spectacular lightning displays and torrential rain, I watched kids out in the street dancing in the downpour, and it was such a welcome release.  I was reminded how things can change so quickly. My mother used to say, “This too shall pass”, and as a child I didn’t quite understand what she meant but given current times I realise how right she was.

Our daily lives came to a shuddering halt in March with the dreaded Covid-19 lockdown and suddenly life changed forever for everyone. If you are comfortable with navigating change – pushing yourself outside your comfort zone – then most likely you were able to roll more easily with this unexpected turn of events. But for others it would have felt as if someone had pulled a rug out from under their feet and the world tilted on its access. Will it right itself and how do we operate in this ‘new normal’?

So what happens next? As a career and leadership coach with diverse clients from different sectors and levels in their respective organisations, their challenges are often different. However, through my (now virtual!) coaching calls with them during lockdown, I discovered some similarities in how they went about dealing with the new issues they faced. Here are just 5 of those ideas that worked, and may work for you:

5 Tips on coping with Covid

  1. Staying positive is a huge help. Growing up, my best friend’s father gave us both some good advice. He said, “Always maintain PMA – Positive Mental Attitude” This term refers to having a positive outlook on any given situation. If you can see good in every situation then you are more likely to cope with change more readily.
  2. Random acts of kindness make all the difference to both the giver and the recipient. One particularly challenging day I was surprised by a knock on my door. My neighbour was on the other side, and on my doormat was bread flour. This small gesture made my day! She had heard I was trying to find flour (which had become SO hard to come by!) so when she visited the store, she picked up another bag for me. How many acts of kindness have you received or given?
  3. Listen to only one piece of news per day. Don’t get drawn into the web of social media fear. Surrounding yourself with supportive, positive people can do wonders for your frame of mind.
  4. Whether walking, yoga, running, or taking part in online classes, exercise changes the chemical makeup in the brain and helps us deal better with uncertainty. During lockdown, I discovered Qigong and it changed the game for me by doing Lee Holden’s 10- or 20-minute morning Qigong. The energy boost was miraculous!
  5. Gratitude. Find three things every day that made you smile or lifted your spirits. It could be something as small as a rose in bloom, creating a meal out of nothing, or listening to a piece of music that makes you dance around the room or listen in quiet contemplation. Before you go to bed, write them down in a journal or notebook. This can be incredibly helpful on those bad days as you can go back and revisit the things that make you feel more positive.


Finding new ways to create meals when eggs, flour, sugar and pasta were impossible to buy, we learned to make different things. The same applied to my business. Faced with a new virtual world and maintaining my income when most of my work was face-to-face meant having to re-evaluate how I operated. By collaborating with a client in the food industry that shared my passion for food and networking we were able to launch a new initiative to bring people together virtually – and so the Virtual Kitchen was born. Join us, learn a new recipe and new skills to boost your career!

Covid-19 isn’t going away any time soon, and we all need to find ways to cope and manage. Hopefully the tips shared from my clients’ personal experience will help you gain some semblance of balance too.