How are you? It's a question, that for the first time nobody has a single phrase answer for. It is April 2020 (isn't it?), Coronavirus is a pandemic and we are all in isolation. All those things that we took for granted before, those things that gave us a boost when things got tough, the support network that was there for every beck and call have been locked behind front doors.
Our business is still considered to be a 'key' business, as we supply personal hygiene products, so as the streets were emptying my team and I were doing another week against the norm. Last week that all came to a stop and the team hibernated. Shops are understandably having to be more careful with their choices of what they order and they slowed down. Then a dark horse rose from the ashes, in the form of our retail website, and suddenly the skeleton staff of me, mum and dad are definitely being kept busy, and we couldn't be more humbled for every order.
So the big question is - how are we really feeling?
We definitely struggled when the shackles were put in place - March was our best month EVER and we were on that upward trajectory towards our best year yet when it all screeched to a halt. We all took that knock, a couple nights of no sleep, a couple nights of an extra glass of wine - but then the sun came out. We've decided to change this around and we are using the time to make some exciting and beneficial changes to the business, that means that we are going to come back with BANG! We finally have that time for product development, business organising and personal growth that we haven't had a chance to even look at for nearly two years. Mum & I are avid list writers (yes, that means dad is not!), and we have always have two lists on the go - the day-to-day list and the dream list. And for the first time we actually looked at the dream list to see if any of it could be achieved, and now a portion of every week is being dedicated to that list - because, why not? No time like the very slow, restrictive present to start building those plans.
We've also been inspired by the incredible community around us - if they are keeping on going, why aren't we?As I said, our online orders have gone crazy, but 1 in 5 of those orders isn't even for the person that ordered it. For a friend that's in isolation, for a sister that's on the frontline with the NHS, for the birthday that you're missing. It's melted our hearts and given us that fire to keep pushing through. The independent community is also one of the most important parts - we're keeping an eye on each other. Do they just need a chat? A comment on a post to let them know you're there? Or buying something from them to let them know you've got their back?
But also I have recognised that it could not be a more important time for self care. I have read a full book in one weekend - for the first time in years! I have done a full facial routine! I have sat out and enjoyed that extra five minutes in that glorious sun. Because what we're forgetting is that when all this goes back to normal, and the 9-5 creeps back in, wouldn't it be better to look back on this time as a positive rather than the negative view we currently have. We wrote a blog post a year ago about self- care, so make sure to give it a read if you need inspiration!
So how are we feeling? Positive, inspired and we have the best will in the world to keep going and see the other side of something that will inevitably go down in history. Right now we are healthy, our friends & family are safe, and we have something to keep us going every day - Cole & Co. So if I had to try and put it into a single word answer I would say - grateful.
Hannah, Liz & Kevin