The outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has affected all of us, impacting everyone in different ways, including financially and emotionally.  It has also, however, given people an opportunity to focus on the positive and on what’s important in their lives.  By staying focused on the positive, we can come out of this with renewed compassion and empathy - and with relationships and careers intact.

 

Working from home?

Stick to a routine as close as possible to your usual one.  Get up and get dressed as you would to go to work – maybe dress in “casual Friday” attire rather than full work day attire.  Take breaks at the same times you would if you were at your office; lunch and coffee breaks are important times to get up, move around, take a walk and refresh yourself!  To simulate leaving work, come up with a short ritual, such as shutting off lights, packing up your coffee cup, closing the window shade, taking a walk (with your mask on, of course), etc. 

 

Not working? 

Learn a new skill.  If you’ve got time on your hands and don’t want to spend it all watching Netflix or eating junk food, try learning something new.  How about a new language, or how to build a raised garden bed or make a chocolate soufflé?  The options are pretty much endless, especially with technology like YouTube to show step-by-step instructions!

 

Get a grasp of virtual technology.  Want to hold a meeting outside the office, or talk “face-to-face” with the grandkids?  You can do it easily using apps like Zoom, Skype and Facetime.  You can even have video calls through Facebook Messenger.  These apps and programs are pretty simple to use and will guide you through the first set up.  You’ll be a pro in no time – or at least comfortable enough using the technology!  There are also many programs you can use if you need to have documents created and signed.  One of the better known is DocuSign.  Or create an account and upload your own YouTube videos.  Maybe you’ll be the one teaching someone else a new skill!

 

Connect – or reconnect - with family and old friends.  Stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation by staying in touch with others.  Use virtual technology or even more old fashioned ways of communicating like calling or sending a card or an email.  Even just a quick “how are you doing” or “thinking of you” will provide a nice pick-me-up to both you and the person you reach out to. 

 

Get organized.  Do more than just picking up, get going on a really good “spring cleaning”.  It’s a great way to get some exercise and make your home healthier and your mind clearer.  Do things such as making a budget, updating your contact lists, organizing files, decluttering closets, planning a vacation (there will come a time when you can go out again) and all those tasks you’ve been avoiding or have been too busy to think about.

 

Focus on the positive. The most important of all!  Find a silver lining each day.  Maybe it’s something as simple as making cookies again with your college student who is now at home, or sitting in a chair in the front yard soaking up the sun.  Enjoy the slower pace of life and use it to recharge and reset.  Life will be hectic again soon enough!