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  • Writer's pictureVicki Viall

Anyone Else Miss "Normal?"

It may just be me, but the one thing I miss more than anything right now is just the sense, the feeling of normal. Now what I mean?

I am the type of person that thrives on structure. Must be my OCD nature, but my introvert side is actually enjoying this - to an extent! Overall, however, I am going stir crazy with a huge bout of cabin fever!

Since I am always curious and love the dictionary, as soon as I started thinking about this week's blog, I had to look up the definition for normal. Here you are:

Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural. Serving to establish a standard. The average or mean: Production may fall below normal. The standard or type. (Note 1)

What we are dealing with right now is not just surviving the current Covid-19 situation, but also having to think forward to what, and how we will be doing as things do shift to a new normal.

I fear that so many businesses, especially smaller Mom and Pop type businesses will suffer a fatal blow from this. I also fear that all businesses will suffer irreparable harm.

Today, I want to attempt to focus on what we all can be doing now, and perhaps a bit on what we can be doing to plan for tomorrow, next week, next month, and so on until this thing ends.

You may, or may not, be familiar with Jocko Willink. He is a former Navy SEAL, now a motivational speaker and writer. He recently released a video on surviving and thriving while working in isolation.

As a Navy SEAL, the man certainly knows discipline and hard work. So, I wanted to share some gems from him with you to encourage and inspire you during this time.

"Self-isolation is no excuse to be lazy – and Jocko Willink wants you to know that." (Note 2)

Anyone who has served in the military can vouch that Willink is correct when he states that preparation is the key to anything and everything.

"Your communication with employees should be consistent, he says — and honest."

Especially be mindful that your employees are stressed and having to deal with such issues as homeschooling, shifting to work from home, and still dealing with every day household issues. In addition, there may be loss of income. has some great advice as well:

"It's not easy. But setting some boundaries will go a long way toward keeping you sane. It's mostly a reminder to draw bright lines between work and the rest of your life. Set boundaries. At the very least see if you can walk around the block a couple of times a day." (Note 3)

Even during mandatory stay home, we have all been encouraged to get out and walk, ride a bike, anything to just get out and breathe some fresh air. Do that. Build that into your daily work schedule.

Another source,, also offers same sage tips:

"Too many days of confinement and you forget how to people. It can get lonely—depressing, even—and if you don’t make some changes to your routine, it can take a toll on your whole life. But it’s important to remember the joys of working from home. You’re all by yourself! Embrace the glorious solitude." (Note 4)

While a large portion of those working from home, at this time, will also have kids and/or spouse underfoot. It can still get lonely as we miss our co-workers. So, keep in mind that:

"Solitary isn't just lonely. Those who spend extended periods in isolation often start to lose their minds. As the physician and journalist Atul Gawande wrote in The New Yorker, "simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with people." (Note 5)

Perhaps, the best expert to give advice on sudden isolation would be someone who experienced the ultimate in isolation: time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

"Vietnam prisoner of war Tom Moe didn't see, hear, or talk to another American for months during his captivity, accordinghis account in Notre Dame Magazine. During his time as a POW, he made sure his mind was always occupied. He designed and built 10 houses in his mind, he wrote. And he constantly made lists — ticking off candy bars, countries, and the capitals of those countries." (Note 6)

Well, I have learned some helpful tips while researching this subject, and I certainly hope you find some help here, too. If you have any tips or suggestions, please feel free to send them to us and we will amend this blog to include them.

And, we hope you enjoy some of the photos taken for our "Outside the Window" album. Even short breaks, such as this, can go a long way to keep us energized.

Next week, let's look at ways to start looking forward and how to transition back to the new normal.

In the meantime, as always, please feel free to provide feedback and share the link to our page and blog. More than that, please practice social distancing, do all you can to stay germ free, and enjoy every moment with those you love!

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