Back in March, Shift decided to switch to an all-virtual model so that we could continue to provide support while doing our part to keep clients, staff and the community safe.
For me, the initial adjustment felt hectic. There were a lot of uncertainties, but once we worked out the kinks as a team, I settled in. Suddenly things were much quieter in my life and it was actually kind of nice!
As more time passed, I began to feel isolated, and most days I still find myself in that phase. It hasn’t been an easy time for me or for anybody, but I’m learning a few lessons from the journey.
Here are my top 3:
Regardless of what you believed this period “should” look like for you, take a moment to reset your expectations, whether those expectations are for yourself, your partner, family, friends, or colleagues. We’re all still adjusting to a very different way of life. People will just not be working the same way that they used to.
Personally, although I enjoy socializing, I’m still an introvert at heart. When social distancing began, I thought it was necessary to continue to stay connected the way I used. It wasn’t long before the virtual meetings with family and friends began to take a toll on me. I’ve learned that I have to ask for more time in between virtual meetings and I have to allow myself time for breaks (long ones in fact) and that was really new for me. Sometimes asking for a simple phone call instead of a video call, or even just rescheduling, is necessary, and that’s okay!
Different people react differently during periods of stress. Some people become withdrawn, others express their overwhelm openly and might become irritable towards those around them. Different people have different ways to cope. It’s important to check in with yourself to see how you’re really doing. I found it difficult to give myself the breaks I needed because the critical voice inside me was saying, “you’re being lazy!” and “you’re unproductive.“ I had to shut that down and continue to remind myself that things have changed and I also deserve a break.
If you’re finding yourself feeling isolated these days, try taking some time to consider what’s changed for you and what you’ve learned over the past few months. Consider sharing your reflections with a loved one.
Stay safe and be well!
This article was written by Vivian Zhang during their time at Shift Collab.
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