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It’s just over  1 month since our Covid-19 enforced lockdown began.

I’m not sure where you are in the world, or what your personal situation is regarding “shelter in place”, self-isolation, or enforced lockdown, but what I am certain of is that no matter who, where or what your situation, the past few weeks and months have been life-altering.

We’re constantly being given information on how to survive this time in the best way possible; have a routine and stick to it; do something purposeful each day; make sure you exercise daily; eat well and fresh produce to boost your immune system; don’t spend more than one hour a day watching the news – and make sure it’s from credible sources – form the gist of it.

Since “lockdown” some of us have been able to “go with the flow” and take this time for a real reboot – how we live, how we think, what our values are, what we’ve lost as we’ve been hurtling from goal to goal and deadline to deadline without ever being able to pause and smell the roses. Lockdown has become a time of real transformation, positivity, creativity and gratitude.

Many of you in the corporate world are working harder than ever; you go from one call to the next, morning to evening, Monday to Friday, with little time to get your actual work done. If you provide an essential service, you’re working flat out and may be wishing that you could take some personal downtime – a chance to do some of the amazing free online courses and attend extraordinary summits from the world’s finest talent to inspire and improve…and then feel guilty for those thoughts because at least you still have a job.

For some, this feels like the worst of times; unable to get “elective” – although life-saving surgery; have lost their job or a big chunk of their income; are business owners in a constant state of anxiety trying to figure out how to not only save their business, but to keep paying staff so that they in turn are able to keep feeding their families; some of you are even stuck in foreign lands caught as airlines shut down whilst in transit and are  living in an empty hotel without any home comforts, waiting for your government to repatriate you. It’s quite simply unimaginable.

Some of you have lost loved ones – and regardless of whether they were already unwell and had “lived a good innings”, or whether they were relatively healthy and it came as a bolt from the blue, a loss of someone you love hurts, no matter the circumstance.

What I know is this – no matter your situation, we’re all feeling a little out of step right now  and most certainly have no control over what or when our “new normal” will emerge. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is accept that we’re allowed to feel happy, sad, to get angry, frustrated, depressed, and when we’re having a nice mellow time, or feeling inspired and excited, we definitely don’t have to feel guilty. We’re allowed to laugh, cry, shout, whisper, sing, and sigh – even all in one day!

Many of us are caught up in a busy routine taking care of everyone around us, and we’re really worried about our kids and aging parents and how best to support and take care of them. But in order to take care of others, we have to be taking care of ourselves first.

This time is without doubt a roller-coaster ride, and the more we resist whatever it is we’re feeling, the harder we’re making it. Maybe this is the time to allow ourselves to soften? To let people in, to ask for help when we feel we need it?

To conclude on a positive note, the community spirit and gratitude towards those on the frontlines of the Covid-19 response has provided one of the high notes of this unprecented time. I know I don’t only speak for myself when I say we are filled with gratitude for their bravery throughout the incredibly difficult time they’re having taking care of us – both physically and emotionally.  

I believe music is a great healer. The Global Citizen ‘One World: Together at Home’ concert on 19 April ended on the most extraordinary note. If you haven’t already seen this – please, click this video and let your spirit soar! 

Liz Grantham