On 13 December, the Government implemented ‘Plan B’ measures to counteract the growing threat of the emerging ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19. With record numbers of new cases being reported over the Christmas period, uncertainty remains as to whether further restrictions will be brought in at the start of 2022. In response, I have taken time to remind myself of some of the best advice I have seen over the past year and a half which helped me to stay positive and motivated throughout the pandemic.
Finding things to be grateful for can help to keep you positive, regardless of the challenges you must face. For example, I am grateful that I can minimise my risk of exposure to the virus, for myself and those around me, simply by working from home during this time. This is a privilege that large swathes of society do not have and so I continue to be grateful for this.
Be empathetic towards others and reach out
All of us, be it colleagues, clients, friends or family, will have reacted differently to the latest set of restrictions. Whilst some may be thriving in the new normal, others will be struggling to deal with the stresses of another difficult winter ahead and the uncertainty surrounding this new variant. Take time to check in with people who might need it and ask how they are really feeling. Listening and giving others the opportunity to express themselves can make a big difference to their day.
You may also find that doing this helps you to grow your own support network which you can lean on if you need it in the future.
Continue to set goals and celebrate achievements
Having goals can help us to stay motivated, even during a crisis. Before the pandemic started, my primary goal was to secure a training contract and I achieved this despite everything that was going on in the world. Actively celebrating this was also important as it helped me to remain positive throughout the difficult periods of the year.
My advice for anyone in a similar position this year is to keep focussed on your goals and continue taking the steps which you know are necessary to achieve your objective. Motivation follows action and you will always feel better by being proactive rather than inactive. Although few of us enjoy drafting vacation schemes or training contract applications, the sense of accomplishment you get by completing one well will give you a boost of confidence and motivation which you will never get by procrastinating or putting it off completely. Finally, do not be hard on yourself if you get rejections and actively celebrate the small wins along the way, e.g. when you are invited to the next stage of the application process.