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WorkLife Balance Part II Living with Uncertainty

work life balances

As the medical world continues to evaluate the lessons learned from the first wave of COVID-19 to evolve and adapt to what many parts of the world are now experiencing as a second wave, we too can benefit from reflecting on what we learned from our personal experiences. We’ve heard the term “new normal” used time and again, and while some of us may feel that what we are going through is anything but normal, the fact remains that we are settling into a new way of life.

Uncertainty and change can be difficult – resistance and exhaustion are normal responses because our brains are wired for routine which consumes less energy. Many of us crave routine and when we are knocked out of it, energy can be low, morale dips and patience wanes. There are steps that we can take to manage our energy in times of uncertainty. One way is to reflect on our learning and experiences from previous times to help us to prepare for future uncertainty. Ask yourself:

  • What went well and what didn’t?
  • How did I overcome challenges that arose?
  • Who did I lean on?
  • Who did I help to support?
  • What would I do differently the next time?

Regardless of your personal living or work situation, chances are that something in the past six months has changed for you. Keeping the above questions in mind, below are some tips and resources to help you anticipate and plan for some of the situations that may arise in the coming months.

  • Routine – Whether you are single, have a family with young children or live in a multi-generational household, consider how your routine changed during the first wave and how you can take a structured approach during a second wave. Think about what your routine might look like if you find yourself in a situation where you need to work from home while caring for children, for example. The following article includes things to keep in mind as you work through a new routine: Managing Family Dynamics
  • Staying Connected – Many people found new and innovative ways to keep in touch and entertained during the first wave. Groups formed on social media platforms and families used video chats to support each other and keep close bonds. How will you ensure that the basic human need for social connection is maintained during a second wave? More info: Maintaining Habits and Connections You Formed During Lockdown
  • Back to School – This school year will include a new set of challenges and perhaps unexpected disruptions. For those with kids, take some time to think about what a school closure might mean for your family. The following document also provides tips to help your child be more resilient in the face of new challenges: Helping Your Kids Adjust Going Back to School After Lockdown
  • Food – If possible, slowly stock your pantry with essential items that will help see you through should restrictions be instated in your area. Building your pantry over time will help to reduce the shortages experienced through the first wave and minimize the risk of not having what you need.
  • Flu Shots – As a society, we are forming new habits and taking extra precautions. Getting a flu shot this fall is an additional precaution we can all take to help minimize further spread of COVID-19.


Morneau Shepell. (2020, March). Retrieved from Morneau Shepell.

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