This post is also available in: French
Can there be a bright side to a pandemic? Can the COVID-19 lockdown bring out a better side in you and those around you? Let’s discuss.
How the world looks right now
Over the past few weeks, the world has become a very different place. Roads which were once teeming with traffic are clear as a bell and utterly free of smog. Trains and buses once packed with commuters are now virtually empty. The world has ground to a standstill.
Many are working from home, while some are on furlough. Some have had to come to terms with being out of work altogether.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s likely that you’re facing a new paradigm. You might be unsure of how to go on. You might feel alternately bored, depressed, anxious and climbing up the walls with unspent energy.
However, even though it seems as the world as we know it has ground to a halt, this is not the end. It’s potentially just the beginning!
Things may never be the same again. And maybe that’s good!
In times like this, where uncertainty and doubt define our day to day lives, it’s perfectly natural to pine for a return to normal. However, it also behoves us to be honest with ourselves and ask which parts of “normal” are worth returning to again.
There are many who argue that a return to normality is impossible. That we need to address the frailties of our consumer capitalist society that led to the lockdown sending the economy into freefall in the first place.
While you may not be able to do much from your living room to address the inadequacies of capitalism, you should still ask yourself the following question:
Which parts of “normal” do you want to keep?
Here is a golden opportunity to bounce back stronger and harder from your isolation. Here are some ways in which the COVID-19 lockdown might actually bring out the best in you.
Open the gates to a world of learning
Even if you’re able to do your job from home, it’s likely that you have more free time at the moment. Without the constraints of your daily commute or addressing the myriad distractions of the workplace, there’s an excellent chance that you’re actually more productive at home.
Yet, how you choose to use the free time gifted to you will determine the kind of person who comes out of the other side.
If possible, use this time in COVID-19 lockdown to:
- Learn about something you’ve always wanated to explore
- Better yourself – whatever that looks like!
- Identify opportunities for professional development and study
Whether it’s signing up to an online course, finding out about community college courses in your area or how to compare student loans, use this time to invest in yourself. Break out of your comfort zone and commit to bettering yourself.
Re-engage with your creative side
If you’re like many folks then you lived for your creative pursuits in your younger years. When in the youthful years, people tend to make sense of the world (and the feelings within) by expressing themselves creatively.
Creativity can lead to some of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life. Yet, over the years, you might find it harder to make time for our creative endeavors than before.
Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you’re older and have more responsibilities than in years past that the creative flame inside you has died. Whatever your canvas, now is the time to re-engage with your innovative side.
Some ways to express your creativity are:
- Work on your novel
- Pick up your paintbrush
- Get crafty with whatever materials you have around the house
- Try a new recipe in the kitchen
Speaking of the kitchen…
Ditch the junk and focus on whole foods
Now that we’re in COVID-19 lockdown, it’s time to address all those dietary bad habits that we fell into when quick fixes were so abundant and affordable. When you were having a stressful day at the office, the allure of the fatty, sugary and salty treats in the breakroom vending machines was irresistible.
Now is the time to start making better choices than before. Doing so will be easier on both your budget and your waistline.
Today is also the day to focus your attention on cooking wholesome meals and stretching your grocery budget through batch cooking. It’s the time to start making your own healthier versions of the prepackaged snacks that are all too easy to pick up off the shelf.
It’s time for more plants and less of everything else. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is full of protein fiber, vitamins, minerals and everything else the body needs, as well as immune-boosting phytochemicals which are more important than ever.
You’ll not only be able to make your budget go further, you’ll wow your friends with your leaning and healthier appearance when the coronavirus-related lockdown has lifted.
Make time for the people you’ve taken for granted
It’s okay to admit it. It’s not always easy to make time for our friends and loved ones.
After a long and stressful day’s work followed by a nightmarish commute through smoggy streets, it’s perfectly understandable that all you’d want to do is collapse in front of the TV. In so doing, however, we risk drifting further away from the people who lend our life meaning.
With the world on COVID-19 lockdown, we’re all realizing how much we’ve taken our friends and family for granted. Now, more than ever, we need to pick up the phone and talk to the people who mean the most to us.
Find out how they’re getting on in these difficult times. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make their lives easier.
And start planning the epic get-togethers that you’ll enjoy when restrictions are lifted!
Start down the path of entrepreneurship
Finally, you’ve likely learned a lot about yourself over the past few weeks. You’ve learned how professionally resilient and autonomous you can be as you work at home or brainstorm future business projects.
You’ve realized that you’re much better at managing your time and prioritizing your workload than you believed before, for example. You’re starting to wonder if maybe your employer doesn’t deserve to take you for granted the way they have for so long, perhaps.
Maybe, now is the time to start down the path of entrepreneurship. To develop a business plan, start carrying out market research and competitor analysis and think about how you’ll build your very own brand.
On the other side of the COVID-19 lockdown
You’ll emerge into a different world when the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted. And what sort of person the world sees then is up to you! That’s pretty exciting, no?
This post is also available in: French