It’s ok to admit it. We’re all feeling the “crazy” right about now, regardless of whether or not we’re working from home, temporarily unemployed, or part of an essential business. So, what do we do to curb that slippery incline into quarantine madness? There are many ways to do this. Here are five.
Establish a routine.
Developing a daily routine can have a tremendous impact on our state of mind, especially when the four walls seem to be closing in us. Routine can help us feel more in control of our everyday lives, help us cope with change, and form healthy habits. Routine can also serve as an anchor. The certainty of it can help us manage the uncertainty that life can throw at us. Coping with the unpredictable can feel less daunting when we have a little structure in place.
Having a daily routine can also help reduce our stress levels by taking some of the decision making out of our lives. Steve Jobs believed that we have a finite amount of decision making energy available to us each day, and he wanted to conserve as much of it as he could, saving it for what he considered more worthwhile endeavors. You know, like inventing the iPhone and stuff. To help him do this, he created habits and routines to help remove the decision making from certain everyday tasks, like picking out clothes for the day. He set them out each night so he wouldn’t have to waste precious energy doing it in the morning. Personally, that’s how I keep from losing my keys. I do the same thing with them every time I enter the house. I never have to think about where they are. Unfortunately, this has not helped me invent anything close to the iPhone. But, a can do attitude, right?
Prepare for your “new normal”.
Sooner or later, the quarantine will be lifted and we’ll be launching ourselves out into a world that will look similar to our pre-pandemic one, but not really the same. It will have new challenges and for sure, the employment landscape will look different than it did at the beginning of 2020. So, why not take this time to prepare for this “new normal”? One of the very best strategies for keeping yourself relevant on the career front is to improve your abilities. That might mean getting an advanced degree. But it can also mean taking online courses or getting an important certification – anything that could help your career move forward. The bottom line is, you’ll be doing whatever it takes to improve your value in the job market. In the process, you may be preparing for a new job, or even a whole new career.
Looking to experiment with something new? Try a side hustle. A side hustle is really just a side business. Side hustle just sounds cooler. It could be an online or off-line business, but it’s something you’ll create as a way to generate extra income and diversify your income sources. In the beginning you may only be making a couple hundred dollars per month. But if you continue to work on it, day to day, week to week, you’ll eventually increase that amount. While being stuck at home, your side hustle can be an important additional revenue stream. It can supplement other sources, like unemployment benefits. Take this time to turn that side hustle into something bigger. It could possibly even become your next primary occupation.
Level up your health.
I’m not saying this is fun (for most of us), but really, what excuse do you have NOT to start exercising and eating better in these crazy times? Even if you’re business is doing better than ever (kudos to you by the way), now is still a great time to create some healthier habits and level up your health. There are approximately a bazillion weight loss and healthy living resources loose upon our planet at any given moment, and it can seem overwhelming trying to figure out which one is “the best” (spoiler alert: none of them are, in and of themselves). So, don’t try, at least not in the beginning. Keep it simple and start with small changes. Walk around the neighborhood three or four times a week or check out a local park (all while practicing social distancing of course). And you don’t have to abandon good tasting food for reduced carb grass trimmings and low salt ply wood. Start by checking your portion control and sticking to the serving sizes printed on the packaging. You’d be surprised by how much difference just that small change can make. Exercise and healthy eating have many benefits which will make the effort worthwhile. Beyond the obvious, healthy eating and exercise can increase our energy levels and even effect our mood in a positive way, as in you will feel better. Who doesn’t want to feel better?
Work on a Hobby.
Now is probably the best time to finally get into that hobby you keep putting off. Maybe it’s building a miniature recreation of the Battle of the Bulge in your basement, or learning another language. For me, it’s been picking up the acoustic guitar that’s been sitting in the corner of my office for the past ten years. Granted, I had to learn how to restring and tune it, but hey! New skills. A lot of us find it difficult to spend time on something that seems as frivolous and unproductive as a hobby. Well, consider this time being quarantined as a guilt free opportunity to delve into something that might just be ... fun.
Let some of that crazy out to play.
And last, but not least, it might not be a bad idea to let the crazy out to play once and awhile. Build a fort. Play a video game. Grab some squirt guns and launch an offensive against the neighbor who’s always letting their dog do its business in your yard. The bottom line is, we’re all going to feel a little bit bonkers at some point during the quarantine, and letting it build up without release isn’t going to do anyone any favors. As for me? I like to sing “Yummy” by Justin Bieber, with the dance moves to boot. My family just loves that.
What are you doing to stay sane during the COVID19 quarantine? Feel free to comment, but please don’t choose that moment to share the crazy.