How we can utilise the coronavirus-induced lockdown to the fullest

COVID-19 is not without opportunities. This is the time to upskill and add to your professional competencies and capabilities.
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Just as we were experiencing the euphoria of returning to a semblance of normalcy, the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has again disrupted our lives. It is hard not to feel a sense of deja-vu and despondency as the incidence rate rises, be it followed by a spike in mortality rates and several regions being pushed into lockdowns.

This will have some impact on overall customer and investor sentiment as well as create some short term anomalies in demand and consumption as well. However, it is not the time to hold back on remaining positive, and keeping your heart and head forward looking.

Accepting the new normal

Even as the picture decidedly appears bleak, it is not all gloom and doom. One just has to look around to find inspiring stories and people who have turned this crisis into an opportunity. Human resilience has been demonstrated in several possible ways during the pandemic.

The commitment with which healthcare professionals continued to respond to challenges while putting their own life at risk is laudable. Similar resilience was demonstrated on the economic front, and people revealed strength they didn't know they possessed.

Entrepreneurs quickly changed their business models and offerings to adapt themselves to the changing market scenario. Several people waiting for the perfect time to start their entrepreneurial journey decided to do so during this period of extreme uncertainty.

Students turned their hobbies into a business; homemakers chose to use their cooking skills to help senior citizens who were unable to cook; and people adopted new hobbies to spend their time meaningfully, and so on.

Making the most of the silver lining

Like every challenge, COVID-19 is not without opportunities. This is the time to upskill and add to your professional competencies and capabilities. As per Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends survey, organisations recognise that reskilling is important, with 53 percent of the respondents saying that around half and all of their workforce will need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years. There are several courses available online, and you can opt for one, depending on your professional goals.

On the personal front, this is the time to focus on health and wellness. While going to the gym is temporarily out of the question, discipline yourself to walk within closed complexes, stretch, and do meditation at home. Spend quality time with your loved ones and cherish this time.

It is important to accept that even as we work on moving ahead in these difficult times, this will not be possible without some level of emotional distress. There will be days when anxiety about the present and the future will plague you, and when the longing for freedom to move around, meet friends, and watching a movie will overwhelm you.

Treat these phases/days as bumps in the road and reach out to people you trust and can express yourself openly with. You may make some great connects and re-establish old friendships as well in the process.

Continue to believe in your dreams

It’s important to realise that we must not give up on our dreams even in the face of adverse situations such as the pandemic.

Every economy goes through regular cycles of ups and downs for different reasons, and this crisis, howsoever severe, should not make you rethink your long-term plans. Continue with your investments and savings, so you are able to accomplish your life goals in the near future when things become clearer.

History is replete with examples of adversity and crisis, but human resilience ensures that we grow despite odds stacked against us. While we are used to short disruptions like earthquakes or floods, COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis like no other. Even so, the COVID-19 pandemic is not without opportunities and it is up to us to make the best use of them.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed by the Author in this article is his personal opinion and readers are advised to seek independent financial advice before taking any investment decisions.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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