Blog & Insight

9 things to do to weather the storm and pick up the pieces after a pandemic

We’ve never come out of a pandemic before.

Yet we have picked up the pieces from many storms in our lives.

The following post therefore uses weathering storms and picking up the pieces after them as a metaphor for what to do as we come out of the lockdown.

Use of metaphor helps you to put a plan together based on your past experience and understanding about something you do have some knowledge about to apply to the unprecedented and new that we are all facing at this time.

I’m a speaker, coach, trainer and author and use metaphors as tools for shifting people’s mindsets – from reactive to proactive, from unresourceful to resourceful.

9 things to do to weather the storm and pick up the pieces after a pandemic

“We need to weather the storm” is something I’ve heard repeatedly over the last year. With a hint of optimism over recent weeks that “we’ve already done it”.

Have we though – weathered the storm that is?

Have you weathered the storm?

When a storm warning is still in place and the storm is still very much in the throes of hurling its fury at you, the best place to be is safely inside.

To protect: yourself; those who depend on you; and the four walls around you.

Protection is achieved through the following actions:

  1. Battening down the hatches to ensure the storm is kept outside
  2. Ensuring you have everything you need to survive inside – food, water, heating and something to occupy your mind, body, heart and soul
  3. Patience whilst the storm passes

It’s been no different during the COVID storm – even if after over 12 months your patience is being tested to the max!

What can you do to ensure that each of the 3 actions above are covered if - where you live - the COVID storm is still raging outside?

Might one of the actions have slipped a little over time and need a little maintenance? Perhaps the metaphorical nails fixing the window boards have started to rust after constant and continued bombardment of the elements?

What action can you take to metaphorically re-nail your window boards?

Picking up the pieces after the storm

After the storm has passed, it’s not always about rushing outside and life continuing on as it was before.

There’s usually a mess out there and pieces that need to be picked up.

What can you learn then from actions in the aftermath of storms to ensure you pick up the pieces more quickly after COVID?

  1. Make sure the storm has passed

Whatever the storm, if there’s another front coming through the best thing to do it stay inside. The riskiest place to be is too far away from home unable to get back to safety when the storm hits again.

  1. Map the current situation

After a storm people, routes, destinations, and resources may not be as they were before, nor where you expect them to be.

Before rushing outside, therefore, it’s preferable to find out as much as you can about what you will face out there.

It most certainly will be different than before so assumptions, judgements and beliefs need to be tested before relying on them.

6. Identify and gather resources

Once you know the lie of the post-storm land, and what you’re going to be dealing with, then it’s time to gather resources that will help you deal with the situation outside.

For example, you might need different clothing, or more time to get to your destination, certain products and gadgets to help with the clean-up operation might be of assistance, or you may notice your confidence in the unexpected requires a little boost before you venture out.

Lack of preparation as you take those small steps outside can certainly lead to unintended consequences when you are unable to deal with whatever presents itself.

  1. Develop an action plan

Rushing out in glee and excitement after the storm is not a great strategy.

Even for those who usually trust their gut and respond to situations in the moment, the aftermath of a storm can throw up the unexpected.

It’s this unexpected that a robust action plan will help you to manage and deal with effectively, efficiently and safely.

  1. Take the first step

Once the storm has passed, you’ve assessed the situation, identified and gathered the resources needed, and developed the plan then it’s about taking those first few steps outside.

Certainly not rushing too much in case your assessment of the situation, resources or plan were incomplete.

Once you’ve taken the first step, you can take the second, and the third …..

  1. Cut yourself and others some slack

As I wrote in a poem recently entitled “What is normal?”:

My normal isn’t your normal - yours isn’t mine.

What was my normal has changed, will change again, and again over coming weeks and months. Yours too.

An emerging ravelling and unravelling of old, not so old and new and yet to be discovered habits.

A tightrope of known and unknown, of certain and uncertain.

This was as true from when I wrote this poem when the COVID storm first hit us as it is today as the storm passes.

What will do you to help you or your team to pick up the pieces after the storm?

If you're interested in finding our more about how I can help your team develop more resourceful mindsets for these post storm times do get in touch [email protected] not .uk. A fun and yet insightful 28 day mindset challenge may just be what's needed, a session looking at disrupting habitual thinking, or simply doing something different every day for a month.

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© Alison Smith
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