By Jane Young
Covid-19 is causing tremendous upheaval in our lives resulting in uncertainty, fear and stress. Due to social distancing many are spending a lot more time at home. While we are distressed and concerned about the impact on people throughout the world, we can make the most of this extra time. In the past, one of our biggest complaints was we didn’t have enough time. The necessity to practice social distancing allows us to do things we previously didn’t have time for.
Your priority is to take care of yourself. Concerns about your health and the health of your loved ones, job security, financial stresses and changes to your daily routine can take an enormous toll on your physical and mental health. Use this time to eat well, exercise and relax. Engage in activities that you enjoy, to forget about the negative news for a while. Consider reading a book, watching a movie, listening to music, playing games with family, or participating in your favorite home-based hobby. Stay electronically connected with friends and family. Many people are using software like Zoom.com to virtually socialize with people in different locations. Last week ten of us celebrated a friend’s birthday with a virtual happy hour on Zoom.
If you are feeling financial stress, use this time to work on your personal finances. Set some financial goals, evaluate your current situation and develop a budget. Although, the circumstances are terrible, the restrictions on travel and socializing can help you save money. You will probably save on travel, transportation, entertainment and eating at restaurants. This can help you grow your savings to be better prepared for a potential decrease in income. This is also a good time to read some books and listen to webinars to improve your understanding of personal finance.
While this crisis will pass, the impact to the economy may have a longer lasting impact on those working for small and medium size businesses that are forced to scale back. Use this time to work on your career. Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Read some books, listen to podcasts and take virtual classes to improve your skills, learn new skills and explore new career fields. This could create an opportunity to move into a job or career that is more lucrative and rewarding.
Being organized and having your home life under control can help reduce anxiety. This is essential with so many negative external forces that are out of our control. Organize your kitchen, closet and paperwork. Catch-up on laundry and do some deep cleaning. Prepare and freeze some meals to eat when things return to normal. Doing something productive will give you satisfaction and will help you be more prepared to jump in full force, when you return to work.
Finally, connect with others who may feel isolated and lonely. They will appreciate it and helping others helps us deal with our own problems more effectively.