12 Positive Things You Can Focus On To Ease Your Coronavirus Concerns
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(I originally published this piece on Medium).
Information is important, but information overload can cause unneeded stress and anxiety.
With more time than usual to turn on the TV or scroll through social media, many of us are constantly immersed in Coronavirus conversation. Who is or isn’t worried, who’s still going out to bars, and which cities are shutting everything down because, well, people were still going out to bars.
While it is enormously important to be properly informed, there is such a thing as focusing too much on something that won’t be productive in the long run.
So, after you’ve gotten the proper and accurate information and updates about the current state of the pandemic, what else can you fill your time with?
1. Focus on comforting others.
This is a restless time for many. There is uncertainty, confusion, concern for self and those around us.
For those called to step into a role of leadership, the time is now. Whether it just be leading your household or millions of online followers, you have the opportunity to step up and provide perspective and insight to those who need it most.
Everyone is confused and navigating this first-in-a-lifetime event as it comes at us, but each of us have unique life experiences and wisdom that has come from them.
Reach out to loved ones, start conversations on social media, start virtual groups or video hangouts where people can connect.
Be a beacon in the darkness.
2. Focus on learning.
I’ve mentioned this in previous pieces but that’s because it’s important. We can use this time to gain new knowledge and expand our minds. Even if you do something as simple as dedicating your normal commuting time to listening to podcasts or audiobooks, you can use the technology all around you to your advantage.
3. Focus on new ways to make money.
Many are working from home with uninterrupted pay, but millions and millions of people are stuck without work until further notice. Now is the time to research (legitimate) opportunities to leverage your skillset and talents for revenue online.
The world is your customer base and people will be spending a lot more time online than usual. Use this opportunity to reach them. Everyone has something of value to provide.
4. Focus on creating new habits.
One of the things I always say in my presentations is that discipline beats drive.
Even the most disciplined people are lazy at times. We all want to sleep in, or skip the gym, or order pizza instead of cooking a healthy meal.
The only difference setting people apart is discipline. To stick to their guns even when they don’t want to.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of a routine. In fact, the open time in your day is a perfect opportunity to create a new groove that serves you and your productivity.
Then, when it’s time to get back to ‘normal life,’ you’ll bring these positive habits with you.
5. Focus on defining your identity.
This is a time of reflection for a lot of people. A forced slowdown of a constantly moving life. For some, seemingly coming to a halt through layoffs or a company shutting down.
As an eternal optimist, I see this as an opportunity for reflection. When life begins rolling forward again, we can make the decision of whether we want to stay on the same path we’ve been on, or pivot and start something new.
Take time to sit with yourself in the silence and really ask: Who am I?
Better yet — “Who do I want to become?”
And then, begin working on a strategy to become that person. You may find that this provides an opportunity for a renewed spark and energy in your life.
6. Focus on health.
What better time to start cooking healthier? Begin practicing yoga? Finally starting your day with a short meditation?
Go on a walk or run around your neighborhood, hire a virtual trainer and work on body-weight exercises, look up creative recipes on YouTube. Much can be done without even getting in the car.
7. Focus on creating a vision board.
Many people swear by the effectiveness of a vision board in creating a visual representation of the life you want to live. Cut out images from magazines, print from online, and put together a collage of things you can be inspired by on a daily basis.
8. Focus on Netflix.
Sure, it’s not the most productive use of time…but it’s also not a bad idea to give yourself permission to let go and unwind now and then, especially in times of high stress or confusion.
9. Focus on cleaning and organizing.
Go ahead, tell me you don’t have anything you’ve been putting off around the house…just…go…ahead.
10. Focus on money management.
Not just because income may have slowed or stopped, but take this opportunity to look at just what it is you’re spending money on during the day, week, or month.
Many times we can lose sight of how things add up. That daily coffee times 30 days per month, for example…
If we can take a moment to step back and assess spending habits, it will be easier to find alternatives for them that will last over time.
11. Focus on giving.
Many around you are less fortunate and struggling harder during these times. Think of how you could send food, donations, or virtual assistance to someone who’s facing a challenge.
We aren’t in complete lockdown (as of 3/17/2020) so you can still get out to the grocery store and pick up some canned goods or non-perishable items that can be donated or sent to others.
Or, make a creative gift, write a letter, do something to brighten someone else’s day.
12. Focus on your relationships.
It’s time to reconnect. Not just to ourselves, but to those around us.
The daily frenzy of life can easily pull us apart, hinder communication, and make us too exhausted to fully embrace each other (literally and figuratively). Use this time to revisit why you’re with your significant other in the first place.
For significant others, play games, be romantic, cook something together, pour a bottle of wine and watch a movie. Have a “date night” without leaving the house.
Make puzzles or do creative things with your kids. Just because they’re out of school doesn’t mean they need to stop learning.
If you’re single, online dating is going to be ON FIRE for the next few weeks. Connect with new people you can meet up with once this is all over.
Most of all, focus on creating and living the life that you want to live, and becoming the person you want to become.
It’s always been in your control. Now you’ve finally got the time to make it a reality.
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