The Coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate globally. The number of cases is doubling and more cities, states, and countries are practicing social distancing and self-quarantine. From all the news feeds and media alerts on the Coronavirus, businesses have chosen either to close, reduce down and/or assign regular 9 to 5 staff to work remotely. This time away from the office can be an opportunity to grow ourselves and focus on what we as individuals can control for. By focusing on yourself will help manage with your current stress levels, but also allow you to be more aware and grow yourself in the following areas you where you can make an impact during these times:
Be Mindful. Trust me, it is easy to get caught up with all the economic numbers and uncertainty for what lies ahead for the future.
But this is the time to reassess mentally where you currently sit in your life both personally and professionally. We typically never get a break or even a reset to take a deep breath as a working professional. With the lockdown, finding at least 5 minutes to practice deep breathing to help clear your mind and subdue the fear of uncertainty to be calmer becomes more relevant.
There is no doubt that many things have slowed down, but focusing on the positives around you and finding things you have been putting off to do will keep your mind engaged. Learn about a certain industry you have always had an interest in, pick up a new skill set by watching educational videos and/or create a sleep schedule that gets you the necessary amount of sleep. My favorite is to get the old fashion pen and paper (not digital devices) and jot down all/any ideas that come to mind. You will be surprised that your “outside the box” thinking has progressed in just a couple of weeks of practicing to refresh yourself.
Take Care of Your Body
Your body matters. With everything going on and as we take a day-by-day-approach to the new way of living, our ability to maintain our body can easily get ignored. Being confined indoors does break regular habits of daily movement and exercise. Which only puts more of an urgency to focus on eating healthy and remaining a positive fitness regime.
Set small fitness goals throughout the day that you can accomplish if you cannot have long stretches of time in working out. Even if it is doing a couple of pushups, situps or even yoga stretches before the kids wake up or when you find yourself with a 10-minute break – it will make you feel accomplished. If you are on a phone call, try to talk and walk especially if you have been sitting at your desk for hours. Create a digital workout buddy where you hold each other accountable for what you have accomplished. Here are some other simple steps that you can take to boost your immune system on a daily basis as well.
You have to feed your soul. That means staying connected to your family and friends have become even more important. But finding ways to do it digitally will take time in getting used to from sporadic attention to scheduling a weekly/daily call.
Do not forget to get your kids some chat time with their friends when you can as well. Social interaction for them in a time like this will make them feel a little bit more normal. Finally, remain optimistic and positive minded. During times like this, it is easy to be negative and find yourself with depressed thoughts which can be contiguous to others. Be a keeper of positivity and uplift others’ spirits up as well. Making an impact for others and assuring them that they are not alone can be one of the most powerful things that we can do during these lockdowns. We may be practicing social distancing physically but we can still connect in solidarity through our souls.
My public service announcement for this piece, we need to lead by example. Staying at home and following social distancing protocols for essential items are important. Do your part and spread the word. The faster everyone abides these rules, the faster we all can come out of lockdown. As Arianna Huffington stated in her book Thrive, there is a “distinct upside to downtime.” The question is, how will you use it?