We’ve all been impacted by the Coronavirus in one way or another. From work, school, and event closing, to the “adventure” of going grocery shopping, to thorough and frequent hand washing.

And the more I hear about not touching my face, the more I realize that I do it constantly!

As you may know, the entire NCP staff is working remotely. And as you can imagine, this is an adjustment for all of us, and we’re trying to figure this out as we go along. So there might be a few glitches along the way. We hope that you understand that we, like everyone else, are doing our best.

But this should not impact how we support our members – we’re still available to you on the phone, through email, and via social media. Thank goodness for the Internet!

Keeping Calm …
Now don’t get me started on grocery shopping! I’m sure you may have had the same experience as I had:  Long lines and plenty of empty shelves. But we need to keep calm; for instance, I just saw a video of some people actually fighting over rolls of toilet paper.

C’mon, people, we need to fight this virus together! Try to do what you can for other people. (I know it’s a small gesture, but I was able to pick up some groceries for an older neighbor who didn’t want to go out.)

How are you dealing with the impact of COVID-19? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Continue To Record Your Shopping Trips
We understand that things are different for the time being, and certainly your shopping habits may be impacted. You may be buying large amounts of specific items or just stocking up.

Please continue to record all of your purchases, especially if you are just shopping online. Also, if people are buying things on your behalf and bringing them to you, please record those purchases, too.

At this time, retailers and manufacturers really need to know what our panel members are buying.

However, if you expect any major changes in your shopping habits, please contact the Panel Support Center via email at [email protected] and let them know.

Working From Home Tips
For those working from home, I found some helpful tips from Psychology Today – at least they’ve been helpful to me so far this week!

Tip 1: Maintain a Routine. We are all creatures of habit, so mimic your previous routine as closely as possible. For instance, if you usually wake up for work at 6 a.m., then continue doing so (OK, maybe sleep in until 6:30 … ). If you get dressed for work, then you should still do that. (You don’t have to put on a dress or a suit, but get out of your PJs!)

For those that have kids, keeping the same routine is critical for your children; otherwise, they will perceive time at home as if it were time off and not be motivated to learn. This will make it harder for you to help them stay on track in finishing their school work.

Tip 2: Don’t Use Extra Time To Work. One of the biggest mistakes people do when they work from home is to work more. Many do it because they feel guilty that they are working remotely and don’t want their boss or co-workers to think they are slacking off.

So create time boundaries and use that extra time to do something else. If you commute to work, chances are you take that time to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or something else. That shouldn’t stop.

Tip 3: Use Video Chat. For many, in-person contact is important because we are able to read social cues when talking with someone. When we work from home, our in-person contact with co-workers disappears; as such, it becomes important to see the people you talk to. Video chatting will help you feel connected.

Tip 4: Take breaks. Being in the office lends itself to chit chat with co-workers. You can’t do that at home, but it’s still important to take breaks every now and then. So add scheduled breaks to your calendar, so that you get your eyes off the computer for a few minutes.

Tip 5: Move around. When you take a break, you should try and walk around, even if you just do a few laps around your bedroom or kitchen. Find places in your home where you can move around throughout the day even if it means simply taking a call from your phone somewhere other than your work area.

Thank you, and we hope you keep calm and safe!

Best Regards,