The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges to both people and businesses. An event that is often described as a black swan due to its unpredictability, Covid-19 has translated into fear and anxiety. With unprecedented change comes uncertainty and navigating uncertainty is challenging. And this can seem daunting. But, adapting to a “new normal”, for all its challenges, can produce positive change. 
This week, our Research Lead, Bob Melling, discussed how he has reimagined his daily life in order to focus on what he can do and not what he can’t do. 
Challenges don’t have to be overwhelming. Amid the fear, I have looked for happiness. Ways of reimagining how I do things. How I work, relax and stay healthy; mentally and physically. Two weeks ago, I started running again, not just for fitness, but to connect with my natural surroundings, something which is far too easy for us to overlook when we live accelerated, urban lives. I have discovered the importance of finding happiness in the everyday. Nature is a wonderful escape and has been my place of happiness recently. I don’t have the pleasure of a garden, but I’m lucky enough to live within a stone's throw of a country park, meaning I have no excuse not to indulge myself in the natural landscape. 
Researching the Mondrem name and history produced fascinating results. An ancient Cheshire forest, the essence of the word Mondrem is happiness. As a forest, Mondrem was a place of happiness for many people. A forest filled with birdsong and bursting with wildlife, understanding Mondrem encouraged me to re-connect with my surroundings and acknowledge a part of life that remains untouched by the current crisis. 
I often find myself getting caught up in the mechanics of everyday life, neglecting the things that matter. Making human connections is vital. Picking up the phone and checking in with family, friends and the Mondrem team has given me hope, despite the dystopian global story that is unfolding. Days have become an abstract concept, meaning routine has been essential. And factored into my new routine has been making human connections. This is something Mondrem place great emphasis upon. Nurturing relationships and building each other up. As a team, we have reflected on happiness and looked at how we can continue to offer hope. It is about becoming sensitive to the obvious, understanding and nurturing your imperfections and vulnerabilities. 
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has caused society to begin counting up to an unknown endpoint. This can be damaging and stressful. I have found counting down an effective way to prioritise my time and achieve my goals. Simple things like watering my bedroom plant and jamming along with Bob Dylan on my guitar have been good ways of marking time and counting down to short-term goals. This may seem obvious, but we are often very good at missing the obvious. 
But, there are also longer-term goals to keep in mind. Isolating ourselves has an invisible result, but we are all making a difference in doing so. Underpinning this is the concept of shared understanding and this has given me a sense of purpose. Instant results are satisfying, but it is important to trust in the process. Results may not be forthcoming, and they can seem invisible, but they will come. For now, I hope that adapting to the new normal will ferment long lasting change in my life. I don’t want running to become another fad, rather something I can hold onto. I also want to stay connected with those who matter. The new normal is providing us all with the opportunity to build compassionate and sustainable communities, laid upon the foundations of human connections. 
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