The spread of COVID-19 has brought about all sorts of changes to the daily lives of many of us. Many employees who have been deemed essential are still going into their workplaces and putting themselves at risk for the benefit of all of us. Some are working from home and trying to balance homeschooling the kids now as well. Still, others are laid off and part of the massive number of people in the U.S. applying for unemployment benefits.
Not only can this be a difficult time to remain productive and get work done. But it can be an incredibly difficult time to remain optimistic about both the present and the future.
In situations like these, one of the best things you can really do for yourself is to find ways to be optimistic. It isn’t always easy to stay positive when it seems like our entire way of life is collapsing around us, but there are ways to bring a bit more optimism into your life. For starters, always remember that this will end and although it may take some time, life will ease it’s way back to normal.
Of course, one of the most challenging things to deal with during the pandemic is the feeling of isolation, especially if you live alone. In order to combat these feelings, hundreds of thousands of people are taking to video chats, online games and board games, work conferences, and good old fashioned telephone calls to stay in touch with those around them. Many of them are even finding creative things to do together virtually to stay in touch — some may even become new traditions in a post-COVID-19 lockdown world.
For some, this also means spending more time with the family surrounding them every day. Although it certainly isn’t easy all the time — in fact, it can be downright challenging most of the time — this can also be one of the most memorable bonding times for families. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy to be special. Really, it could be something as simple as making your smart TV smarter by using it to filter positive shows that the whole family can watch to kick the feeling of doom and gloom. Or take on a creative arts and crafts project, such as making slime or glow in the dark paint, for an art and science combo you and your family will surely enjoy.
A number of people are even noting that the virus is bringing them closer to people they would have never been close with before. Communities are coming together in ways they haven’t in decades to support local businesses, shop for the elderly, and check in on their neighbors. Doing something as simple as calling an extended family member to check in, sending snail mail to friends, or talking to your neighbor (maybe for the first time ever) from across the yard are all reasons to have optimism during this trying time.
Take Care of You
Another way to build optimism about the current situation is to take time to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Being on lockdown can add all sorts of stresses that we didn’t have before, especially if you are suddenly trying to balance a new work environment, same busy work schedule, and a bunch of unruly new coworkers (think spouse, roommates, kids, or even pets). Add all of the other uncertainties that come along with COVID-19 and it is easy to see that it has never been more important to take time for yourself to destress.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is literally walk away from the stress for a while. Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stressful situations both mentally and physically. Take a lap around the neighborhood (a great time to check in on neighbors) or go for a bike ride or run. If getting outside isn’t an option for whatever reason, try indoor activities such as creating your own zen yoga space, using home exercise equipment, or doing calisthenics in the living room.
Things like deep breathing exercises and meditation can also work to help you stay calm. All of these types of activities are likely to help you relax, focus, and stay productive — officially making you the calm in the storm. Who knows? You may even find a new routine that works for you and continues to help you once life goes back to normal.
These are trying times, but they will end. In the meantime find small ways to stay busy and optimistic. Some of the best ones are staying engaged with the people in your life and taking time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate.