Embracing my New Normal. Written by Skincare Specialist Bernice Crause
Sometimes, we need to be brave enough to outgrow the life we’ve built
Here I find myself in the 65th day of lockdown, thinking: a few months back I had no idea what this word would mean, not just the state of isolation or restricted movement, but the real meaning this word or action will have on our daily lives or now, for me, my comfort zone.
I complained so easily how busy this year started out and so often say I need a holiday after the holiday. This was the start of many of my conversations with my clients, already tired, not knowing how to wiggle everything that 2020 was running with. My answer: I wish March can stand still so I can catch up. In our practice having discussions on how we can make a plan to get up to date, maybe closing the practice for 2 days and everything can be done. Little did we know.
From a personal point, I’m also finding myself as a newlywed being one of the lucky brides that was still privileged to have my perfect day on the 21st of December, dancing, hugging, laughing, traveling, walking around in the airports and chatting about different cultures, before the unknown entered. Who would have thought in as little as 2 months we would face this new normal, seemingly very similar to being grounded.
With the announcement of the lockdown, everyone had to make plans and we as a practice were as proactive as we could have been. We each planned how and where our new office space will be. We packed all the necessities, training manuals, protocols, and computers from the office and said goodbye on Thursday the 26th of March and prepared for our new normal.
At my home where I was used to my own space I was with my husband and my little brother (initially a good idea to come and visit during the school holiday). Think of this: husband working remotely from home, always on international calls at the strange times of the day, my brother, not being able to do much as he is a tennis coach and myself moving from being practical and interactive with clients to a full day in front of a screen. Happy times I thought.
Soon I was in the rhythm of my new normal and starting to change my focus on how my days will start. I had made a conscious decision to make the best of this time and not constantly follow the news about the new kid on the block that we should not mingle with. In my limited time I have grown in so many ways and started focusing on the small things in life that make you ‘do you best’, helping to live life to the fullest. Not complaining, but feeling grateful for what I do have and being able to still work while many others couldn’t.
The first thing that stood out for me during the first phase of lockdown was my morning check-in on Microsoft Teams with our whole team. How amazing, never knew this was possible. To really see how everyone was doing and what is going on in their lives and how their new day looks. We shared our intentions and what we are grateful for each day. Slowly getting a piece of my whole team daily, something that was not there in our normal day today. Usually, we rush to the office from the gym, not eating properly, not thinking what this day will hold, falling into the everyday rhythm, and already planning the weekend on a Monday.
Dr Nerina Wilkinson has always believed that starting your day with the right mindset will set the tone for the day. Every day I share a motivational quote with the team and we all share our thoughts and intentions. Such an important way to take a deep breath and think about how you are positioning yourself.
I have been able to step into my husband’s footsteps in getting a good daily routine going at home and this has become part of my new normal, training together in the morning, and sometimes even having a quick breakfast together before the day started.
I have learned to cook properly. Wow! Not something that I thought I would start to enjoy, but this new normal of planning a little menu for the week has made our time so much more valuable. I am so lucky in that my husband helps out with everything. For me, a big realisation was that it takes 2 to tango and we share our roles and help each other wherever possible. It did help to have my brother to hang up the washing or quickly sweep the floor every now and then.
Spending time not just watching TV, but bonding over old memories by going through photos, painting, cooking, enjoying too much wine and feeling content that we are healthy.
As the days went on, it struck me that the 2 days we were planning on catching up would have been a drop in the bucket.
We started sharing our techniques and knowledge with live Question and Answer sessions on Instagram, something so daunting to me, as I am not a frequent user of social media. For instance, I have never even posted an Instagram Story in my life. Luckily I had our clued-up team to guide me as I slowly acquired a new skill: online presenting, which I actually started to enjoy. I realized, sharing what you feel passionate about is easy. This also assisted me in feeling comfortable with the virtual consultations we initiated. These ended up being a daily excitement of my new normal, some interaction with clients where we often ended up chatting afterward, sharing laughs and motivation.
During the lockdown, we updated our protocols, including development and training on new treatment protocols.
We further launched our new website www.drnerinawilkinso.co.za, which entailed hours and months from the team to make this dream site become a reality.
Hand in hand with the team I took on the big challenge of setting up an online store for our practice. Initial thoughts: surely, it cannot be more than 1 week’s work. It ended up pushing me to exhaustion levels I didn’t know was possible. The end result is now a reality and our clients can browse and buy all their favorite skincare products with the convenience of door-to-door delivery.
We cannot wait to share this exciting new journey with all our loyal Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates patients.
In retrospect, change can be scary and beautiful at the same time. The work to push through the change can hurt, but also heal and bring increased happiness. Sometimes it’s best not to question why you’re feeling this way, but instead, experience all of the emotions the new normal may bring. The main takeaway for me is always remembering that kindness begins with understanding that we all struggle and with that we can pick each other up. Focusing on the new sounds of chirping birds in the CBD, geese taking over the roads, and that we should not take anything for granted are thoughts I will leave you with. Embrace your new normal.