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Time To Grow

27 Mar 2020

One good thing emerging from this crisis is that people finally have the time to nurture their own personal growth.

One of the biggest challenges of self-isolation is simply passing the time. When you’re used to a busy life, both on a professional and a personal level, working from home without the instant benefit of colleagues beside you, can provide a less stimulating environment than normal.

 The one good thing coming out of the global pandemic is the oft quoted but seldom acted upon mantra of “be kind”. We’ve all seen messages of hope and goodness coming in the last week from medical professionals coming home from abroad to help with the crisis, neighbours forming Facebook groups to help those elderly and vulnerable with shopping, Gardai and An Post workers working to help those in need and organisations donating time and efforts to provide the healthcare sector with much needed goods and services. But what about being kind to ourselves and allowing ourselves to take this time to nurture our own growth?

Personal growth is not necessarily just about learning new skills. It’s about an on-going process, covering a myriad of things as improving your own habits, knowledge, behaviour, actions and reactions to other people and situations in your life.

 Many people including quite a few of our own consultants are now working from home meaning they are also spending far more time with their children. For those with school-age children, particularly in primary education, it’s an eye-opening experience that has the majority swearing never to moan about the easy life of a teacher again. However, it’s also proving to be a wonderful time to bond with your child. Getting to know personally their weaknesses and strengths as opposed to being told about them in a PTA meeting means that you can work more on these at home in what is essentially your child’s safe environment. This can do wonders for understanding your child and their interests, ultimately creating a stronger relationship. Social media at the moment is full of normally time-poor parents talking about how their children have told them how lovely it is that they’re home. (It’s also full of parents asking for ways to keep children occupied while they take conference calls but that too is personal growth). 

True personal growth is also about taking time to nurture previously forgotten interests. Taking the time to develop interests like reading old favourites and painting whether you’re talented or not, gives people respite from their usually busy lives. If we look for a moment for any of the positives of this pandemic, then forced time out of the office does allow people time to relax a little more and concentrate on other interests, not necessarily work related. Parents are taking time to do arts and crafts with children or are developing an interest in gardening that goes beyond the normal hasty and rushed chore of cutting the grass once a week. 

Some people too are also taking the time to upskill, to do online courses that they previously didn’t have the time to complete. Others are taking the opportunity to do those household tasks that they previously would have left for a “rainy day” like DIY or sorting out the endless paperwork that comes with running a busy household. That in itself does tend to give peace of mind once completed.

Where possible, use this time to focus on your own personal growth during this difficult period. There is no doubt it is going to be challenging for us all. We will endeavour to come out the other side, some of us will be wiser, some of us more skilled, some even more green-fingered but all of us with a far deeper understanding and appreciation of our own strengths.