Keeping positive through Lockdown 3.0 – SWLEP

By Ben Carey on 27 January, 2021

With Lockdown 3.0 upon us, The Business Exchange is asking for your insights regarding coping strategies, new habits and how to stay positive throughout this third (and hopefully final) national lockdown.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Business Navigator, Paula Harsley, reflects on virtual office banter, checking in on friends and being kind to yourself and others.

How are you keeping positive through Lockdown 3.0?

By accepting that it is not possible to solve everything but trying to influence what I can. 

How are you structuring your day? Have you changed your habits?

Due to video conferencing fatigue, I am taking more breaks than I would in the office environment, but I tend to work longer into the evening as I am more productive then and have the flexibility to do so whilst working from home. 

We have introduced a ‘coffee and catch up’ video meeting in the morning to replace the ‘chat’ you would normally have around the water cooler or kettle whilst making a brew.  In addition to our business meetings, we also have a ‘keep in touch’ meeting which is designed for office banter; catching up on whose watching what on TV, box set recommendations and (whilst they’re still available) which takeaways to try.

Are you doing anything new?

As a keen cake-eater, sadly, I have found that I am falling foul of eating more cake than normal!

Have you changed your New Year resolutions?

Further to my earlier answer, it isn’t always possible to change the world, so I am trying hard to ensure that I am not as hard on myself as I have been in the past. I also try to be more generous with others when they perhaps haven’t met a deadline or delivered to the expected quality – it isn’t possible to know what is going on in everyone’s lives.  They may well be struggling, so I don’t want to be the one to make the situation worse.

Have you introduced any new rituals?

Asking people how they are, asking them again and really listening to the answer and questioning them around their ‘I’m OK’ automatic answer.

What are you most looking forward to when restrictions are lifted?

Hugs and physical contact, not just with family and friends, but high-fiving colleagues, shaking hands with new contacts and being able to nudge someone conspiratorially!

What is your biggest goal this year?

To stay healthy and avoid contracting Covid-19.

What has the past nine months taught you and how has it shaped your future for the better?

Don’t take people for granted or constantly moan about them; when they aren’t here anymore, you will really miss them.  If you really have a problem with them, talk to them about it and agree a way forward which is a compromise for you both. Be more understanding and aware of the potential and real struggles that others are going through.  If you can’t be anything else, be kind and forgiving.

Find out more about the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership