When did these coronavirus restrictions start? Feels like about 100 years ago, right? For most folks current conditions have been a jolt to normal life. Everybody under the same roof all the time and nowhere to go. Simultaneously trying to work and keep the kids, if you have them, productively busy (or even homeschooled).
But there are still a lot of extra hours to fill with no commutes or, in many areas, no outside activities except visits to the bank and grocery store. It seems like people are falling into one of two general camps:
1) The “get ‘er done” group. These folks are knocking out every neglected project in sight. They’re organizing drawers, closets, attics, basements, and garages. Cleaning rooms, windows, cars, and yards. Some are going deep, taking on dreaded activities like checking expiration dates on all the food items, spices, and OTC medicines (“We’ve had this for 10 years?!?”).
2) The “mindless/mindful activity” group. Probably the larger of the two. Binge-watching TV shows and old movies. Puzzling. Sudokuing. Reading. Board and online gaming. Online...um, staring. Often accompanied by increased consumption of alcohol and junk food.
Or maybe you’re such an accomplished multitasker you’re managing to do some combination of all these things in an effort to stay busy. If this describes you, hopefully that ingrained sense of urgency driving your daily life has faded a bit over these past weeks.
Finding yourself with extra time is a gift, so we’d like to offer something else to consider spending some of it on that you perhaps haven’t thought of. Because, well, in normal overworked and overscheduled circumstances you’re too focused on trying to just get through your day to actually think about much of anything.
We’re going to emerge from our homes into a changed world. One that we can’t fully imagine right now. Why not take advantage of this unique opportunity to evaluate who you are---what you believe---where your present direction is taking you.
And if you find there are areas of your life that need a tune-up, or even a complete overhaul, is this not the perfect time to do something about it?
Health and wellness is a great place to start. Since our bodies are the trusty vehicles that carry us through this life, doesn’t it make sense to keep them running as well as possible?
Your car comes with an owner’s manual that reminds you when to change the oil and rotate the tires as well as other routine maintenance. No such luck with your most personal form of transportation. You’re totally on your own.
It’s predicted that a lot of folks are gonna come out of this pandemic 20 pounds lighter with a new lease on life or 20 pounds heavier with a drinking problem. Since we’re preparing more meals at home, how about this simple, 2-step suggestion to make sure you’re in that first group: 1) Eat better, 2) Eat less.
It’s tempting to mindlessly munch all day to fill the hours. Go rogue and clear out the junk food and highly processed stuff. As often as possible eat fresh and organic instead. Be aware of portion sizes and scale back little by little. In our last blog post we shared additional diet resources you’ll find helpful.
Of course, the health benefits of exercise are obvious. Have you tried any of the tips we suggested in that same blog? Walk, jog, or bike outside if you’re still allowed to do so in your area. Go on YouTube to find free tutorials for yoga and bodyweight exercises if you are stuck inside. Order a set of those resistance bands we mentioned.
Relationships are being put to the test during all this togetherness. We’ll probably see an increase in both the birth and divorce rate in the coming months. Are you and your significant other “thick as thieves” or on thin ice?
Having been married almost half a century (What?!?) this is a well-traveled landscape for us, so here are some suggestions for all you couples. Revisit what you found attractive about each other in the beginning. At the same time, because we all change over the years, give yourself and your partner permission to embrace who you are now without judgement.
Appreciate your differences instead of getting aggravated by them. Those contrasts are what add the spice, variety, and balance to your partnership. Would you really want to spend your life with someone just like you?
Above all, talk to each other honestly and remember to be kind. Assuming you know what the other person thinks or feels is unfair to you both. Don’t let frustrations smolder and suddenly burst into a raging blaze.
Have kids at home? Then you’ve certainly gotten “reacquainted” with them these past few weeks. And what a blessing that is. Sure, they’re probably driving you a little crazy now and then. However, if they are of school age, this may end up being the longest period of uninterrupted time you’ll ever spend with them again. Cherish this unexpected gift and create some happy, lifelong memories together.
How many times have we all thought of someone we haven’t communicated with in forever and said to ourselves, “I should get in touch.” But too often we don’t. The thought passes, we get busy and forget about it.
Call, text, or email that person. And everyone else whose relationship has been on the back burner. Love and friendship are so precious, yet we too often give what’s right in front of us, no matter how trivial, more attention than what’s ultimately most important. Would using this extra time to reorganize your priorities be a good idea?
Careers... Shifting gears (another car analogy?), millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past few weeks, and without a doubt more will follow as the pandemic continues. Hopefully, those jobs will come back. But if they don’t, or even if you’re fortunate to have kept working, maybe this is an opportunity to reevaluate your whole employment outlook.
A recent study found that a whopping 53% of Americans are unhappy with their careers. Certainly, if present conditions have damaged your financial situation, you’ll be happy in the short-term to hang onto or get back your current job.
One way or the other, why not now at least consider the possibilities of a more interesting and fulfilling career direction? New ways of doing things---indeed entire new industries---will manifest in the months and years ahead. Could there be appealing opportunities for you?
In the near future we’ll step out into whatever our new normal reveals itself to be. We encourage you to take advantage of this unprecedented period of history to bring your best self into the arena. Healthy, happy, and prepared for your exciting future!