With lockdown restrictions easing, hospitality up and running again, and countries re-opening their borders, things seem to be looking up. However, despite the slow return to normality, many of us have had to let go of any plans we made before the pandemic. From new jobs we had lined up canceling the hiring process, to postponing family holidays and delayed weddings, there is still a cloud of uncertainty looming above us all.
Letting go of plans and the inability to plan for the future is a struggle for humans. We are hardwired to set goals and plan ahead- it is how we make sense of our time. From the diaries on our phones to plans we voiced to our partners, the pandemic has changed so much of what we expected for our year ahead.
Even those amongst us who were planning whether to grow their families have stopped to question their next move, as women struggle with public-facing jobs, health conditions such as asthma and the uncertainty of getting pregnant in the midst of the virus.
Tapping into Support to Help Navigate the Future for Children in Care
It is fair to say that life in general rarely goes according to plan. When children are involved, things are always subject to changes and alterations, which means that even though things are difficult, we would expect to be used to adapting already.
The NSPCC have published great resources on their websites that help families and those working with a vulnerable group such as children in care cope with the uncertainty around the pandemic. We have also produced a blog around talking to children about their anxiety and uncertainties about the Coronavirus, which is a helpful resource for those looking for ways to manage these situations.
How to Remain Positive Despite an Uncertain Future
From the time we have spent in lockdown, we have learnt many valuable lessons.
However, if we want to optimise our planning processes in order to help reorient our life in the best way possible, here are some great ideas:
Stick to what you said: intentions shouldn’t be thrown out the window. Even the most trivial of things should be honoured. Remembering to keep morning routines for example, before starting your day of work at home, is a good way to keep our spirits up and moving forward in a positive direction.
Give more importance to attainable goals: it can be disappointing to have big goals set and an inability to meet them due to the recent turn of events. Many people put pressure on themselves to pick up a new language or start a business during isolation. However, putting too much pressure on goals and not achieving them can increase anxiety and make things even more frustrating, defeating the initial purpose.
Take it slow with new goals: if you or your children want to set new goals, remember to take it slowly. Collective learning online can be a great way to keep up the community spirit and meet new people to keep you inspired as you move forward.
Encourage children to revisit things: if there are things that have been dropped due to lack of time before, then now is a great time to jump back on the bandwagon, shifting you and your families focus.
Realise we all go at our own pace, especially children: some of us might struggle to give up on plans more than others, especially younger people. For a young person, their life is defined by things such as studying, exams, working to gain experience. These are all how young people make sense of their time and life. So, it’s important to provide them with the support they need and allow them to open up if they are struggling. This way we can see how we can help them reach a new normal if previous plans went amiss.
Finding a new normal after everything that has unfolded over the past few months may take time. Being patient and shifting priorities where needed can give us the focus we require to keep us motivated as we press forward.