Are you ok?

Life is weird right now. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and everyone reading this is likely to have undergone significant changes to the way they live, work and play.

I started at Stash a week before the UK lockdown was announced. Stash took the decision the week before to move all their staff to remote work, so for the first time I’ve been through a remote onboarding process. This has continued, and as I write this, I’m half-way through my fifth week of working 100% remote. Once again, something new to me. New skills to learn, new ways to work.

For folks that know me, you’ll understand that I’m not the most socially active person. As an introvert, the idea of self-isolation seems to be designed for people like me. Yet, it’s hard. It’s hard not sharing a physical space with co-workers, friends and family. It’s hard looking at the same four walls. It’s hard having your freedoms removed. All these changes result in a higher cognitive load as we try to adapt to the new normality.

News broadcasts, social media and conversations with others cover a single topic – the virus. Rarely are these conversations positive. This induces higher stress levels as our concerns grow about not just our own health, wealth, and well-being, but also that of others.

Undoubtedly, it’s a difficult time (understatement).

Trying to adapt to the new normal, while at the same time dealing with the higher stress of just being will put emotional, mental pressure on yourself. I feel it, and make no mistake, others around you are experiencing this too.

At this time, we need to look out for each other. Take the time to talk to people, and ask one question – “Are you ok?”. Then shut-up and listen. Don’t offer solutions or advice, just listen to what they say. Let them know you care and let them know that you’re there if they need help. Let them know that there are people there who can help.

We may be self-isolating, yet with Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, etc. we have better technology than ever to stay connected. So, jump on a call with someone you know and check-in – “Are you ok?”.

Look after each other.