We’re all in the midst of the storm and learning how to weather it. It’s become the new norm, at least for this (hopefully) little while, and we’re all figuring out how to adapt. With every new challenge, comes new opportunities and some self-reflection. What better time to strengthen your coping mechanisms when you can’t do anything else but stay home.
The economic downturn has been tragic and has caused major job losses across the country. What’s even more heartbreaking is the daily reminder of illnesses and fatalities. As we brace ourselves for the unforeseen, and an overall unpredictable future, let’s focus on positive solutions within our control that can help us make the most out of a tough time.
I think most are appreciating the lifestyle they had before COVID19 and the quarantine lockdown existed and may realize they had been taking things for granted. This can be a cleansing time to acknowledge the present and look to what we want to make of our future. We can build a bridge from our old reality to the next with a new set of knowledge and understanding to reshape our realities.
Here’s a list of a few ways that we’re coping and making the best of these times.
1. Find new indoor hobbies/activities or keep developing the ones you have (learn to adapt)
Like any storm, when you can’t go outside you need to learn how to play indoors. There is an endless amount of new skills and activities you can teach yourself. You can start getting into a routine now and have it become a habit that you continue during and after quarantine. This is also a great time to dive into that side project you’ve been trying to make time for. You can consider: sewing (i.e. DIY mask-making for family and friends), painting (art pieces for your place or others), drawing, writing (blogging, short stories, comics, screenwriting, build your resume), reading, video editing, animating (2D/3D), make a music mix, practicing an instrument, learning a new language, yoga, dancing, exercising/running, etc. Youtube has plenty of tutorials you can look into for starters.
This is also an opportunity to be more self-sufficient while many businesses are closed. You can learn new recipes to cook and treat yourself or with your family or roommates that you live with and have themed dinner parties. I’ve looked into making recipes for dishes I’ve been craving like the delicious Vietnamese dish, banh xeo, pandan waffles, and sushi. Dress up for the occasion and make it fun or dress up your food and make it feel good. You can turn the night in as if it were a night out. You can also start learning a new language with Duolingo. I actually started this before quarantine, but I’m trying to use this time to do a better job at the frequency I practice. You can set how long you practice for each session to as low as 5 minutes to get you started and ease your way in how much time you want to commit. Check out Youtube and search anything you’ve been wanting to learn like a DIY project, a new food recipe, how to mix music, or how to 3D animate. You can take free or paid online courses. We found out that the LA Country Library is offering temporary digital library cards valid for 90 days. Harvard University also has their free catalog of courses to choose from. Check your local libraries and universities and see what else they may be offering! Some may be doing special offers during the pandemic crisis. There’s a full list you can check out here. Some general popular online courses you can look into are: Skillshare, Lynda, MasterClass, Coursera.
This can be a time to reflect and turn inward by facing any fears or doubts. Be honest with yourself- what are your fears and doubts? How do you work with those fears and doubts to see and use them as strengths? What have been your coping mechanisms to deal with the pandemic crisis? How have you been utilizing your time? What’s a skill you can look into that’ll improve your work performance? What’s something you’ve been viewing negatively and crushes your soul or frustrates you? You can turn your thoughts and habits around for the better. Let yourself sink into a deeper level of self-analysis and question any negative, or unconstructive mindset. The cure is setting a positive frame of mind. This dictates your thoughts, actions, emotions, feelings, and habits. A good attitude goes a long way. If you’re resisting- why? For example, if you’ve been bored, feeling uninspired or and don’t know what to do yourself, maybe this is a reality check to figure yourself out a little better and reconstruct. You become lethargic from the things you’re not doing, not from the things you are doing. It’s Newton’s first law of motion (Law of Inertia): an object to remain at rest or in motion will stay in rest or motion unless acted by an unbalanced force. The people who stay active are propelled by their actions not exhausted by them, at least not in the same way people who are inactive. Ever notice you tend to be more tired when you’re doing nothing?
This is your opportunity to come out of quarantine with a developed sense of self and the ability to use this time of isolation for constructive self-reflection. You can come out feeling better about your own clarity and resilience than you came in with into quarantine. There are some helpful guided meditation videos on youtube. There are also popular apps like Headspace. There are articles and podcasts that can help you better understand your thoughts and behaviors like Psychologytoday.com, Hidden Brain podcast, Making Sense podcast, Secular Buddhism podcast. There are also podcasts to help you on your endeavors and relationships like The Art of Charm podcast and Entreleadership.
Another great thing to do is to celebrate yourself! Self-love and self-care are important ideas to circle back to. You can give yourself that at-home spa treatments you’ve been hesitating to go out and pay $$$ for. Order online or pick some spa goodies up from your local grocery store – face masks, bath bombs, nail polish, hair masks, and massage oils! Complete your spa treatment with a glass of wine and a good movie or book. Don’t forget to set the mood with a soothing candle or incense and a good music playlist. Time for self-sufficiency and R&R. Revitalize yourself so when you come back out of hiding, you’ll be replenished and feeling brand new.
Some things you can use for your next r&r session:
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon overnight face mask to help brighten and moisturize your skin ($22 – 45)
Our ongoing curated Spring Mix v. 2020 playlist you can find some jams to listen to: SPRING/2020 curated playlist by Ruby Angela
Candles from Get A Whiff Co. ( $3 – $22 )
(Some of the ones we’re into are Houston We Have A Blossom, I Stole These Orchids From the Neighbor, and The Fig Bang Theory)
Bathbombs at Lush.com($5 – 9)
4. Develop your home and workspace
You’re going to be stuck at home for a bit and home is always going to be home. Might as well make it feel cozier and more comforting. Time to pull up Pinterest and Amazon and figuring out how to develop your living space and at home workspace a little more. Clean up, organize, and maybe consider some new additions you feel would develop your space further.
5. Take on that challenge
You can’t spend 5 minutes on Instagram without coming across some type of new challenge. Some may seem silly but can be a fun way to challenge one’s self, engage with others and maintain a sense of community. It’s a way of interacting and engaging with others, but it can also be a way of self-improvement and friendly competition. Remember those 30-day challenges? Well, pick another one for the quarantine lock-down, mark your goals and record your activities. My roommates, our significant others, and I are doing a running challenge where we log our miles and are going to compare at the end of the month to see who has the most. I’m not even much of a runner while one of us used to do cross country, but it’s a way to motivate me to stay active. It’s not always necessarily only about winning, but finding a healthy driver to push you to do better. I don’t expect myself to have a higher log of miles than my friend who runs cross country, but it does motivate me to at least try to keep up.
We’re all learning to adapt to this new evolving landscape and figuring out the best way to respond for ourselves and for businesses to remain sustainable. What coping mechanisms are you exercising? What are some ways you’re choosing to respond to the change of climate?