We are living in some strange times.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been oscillating between anger, despair, boredom, relief, gratitude, more anger, fear, with a sprinkle of happiness here and there. More than likely, these emotions are truly based in reality, as so many of us have been personally impacted by the hurricane of COVID-19. While you may not be battling the coronavirus yourself, you probably know someone who is at this very moment. And if you don’t, it’s only a matter of time.
I don’t say this to scare anyone, I say this to offer empathy. We are all in this together.
So instead of focusing on the harrowing realities of our new normal, I’d like to focus on the silver lining that coronavirus has offered us: perspective.
All of us have come face to face with what our life offers us – whether it’s a fulfilling, stable career, supportive friends and family, entertaining and challenging hobbies, or adoring pets who allow the time to go by faster. But we’ve also gotten extremely familiar with what we’d like our lives to hold as well. With extra time comes extra reflection, whether we like it or not.
So I can’t think of a better time to reevaluate our lives and figure out what we’d like to shed and what we’d like to add. It’s time to reevaluate your life. Let’s get started.
First and foremost – people are going to be what keeps us sane during this time of social distancing. While we can’t embrace each other to ease the anxiety, we can regularly check in, connect, and see each other thanks to the power of technology. Without positive influences in our life, it’s going to be all too easy to sink into the fear and despair.
While it’s important to honor the time with action and grief, it’s also a necessity to find the relief in this chaos. We have to be able to find joy in the now.
So it’s time to reassess who is in your life currently, and what you’re lacking. Are you feeling supported? Loved? Cared for? Do you still feel connected and a part of your social network? Do you hang up your calls feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and grateful for your friends and family?
These are important questions to answer. If the answer is continuously “no” – then ask yourself why. Is it because you tend to be surrounded by negativity? Is it because you don’t do a good job reaching out to people, and therefore your calls are infrequent? Is it because your friends and family don’t seem to care about your well-being?
If you’re not satisfied with the people in your life, this is the time to make the change. I totally understand that this might feel counterintuitive, because it’s going to be pretty difficult to meet new people.
But on the flip side – we are all bored. We are all thirsty for connection.
We all have time for an extra Zoom happy hour or HouseParty game. So don’t be afraid to reach out to your friend from high school whom you haven’t spoken to in years. Call up your old colleague and see how they’re doing. Reach out to people you have always admired but weren’t confident they would have time to hang out.
It’s time to invite positive people into your life and phase the negative ones out. There’s too much negative in the world right now to justify having any unnecessary excess of it in your home.
And remember to lean on the good eggs in your life. They need you just as much as you need them.
I have to give credit to my mother for this entire post. See, she’s an independent, hard-working, happily single woman living her best life in Dallas. Her lifestyle revolved around working as a CFO, spending time with friends, calling her children who live on separate coasts (we truly did not make it easy on her), working out, and cooking.
I think we would both say that she was relatively happy. Up until coronavirus came and upended just about everything.
While she isn’t miserable necessarily, this time alone has made her see that she’s actually way more interested in dating than she previously thought. Sure, she would have the occasional “I wish a man would come in here and squash this gross bug” pang – but otherwise she was extremely self-sufficient and probably didn’t see a HUGE need for a partner on most occasions.
But now, she’s singing a different tune. And don’t kick yourself if you are, either.
This era of social distancing is currently shedding new light on relationships everywhere. I’m sure some of you have realized that perhaps you like the person you’ve been dating.…but not enough to quarantine with them. Some have experienced the opposite (I’m hoping for an uptick in proposals as people realize they want to be with their S.O. in good times and in bad). Many single people are finding themselves genuinely motivated to find a relationship; while many attached people are scratching their heads wondering how they got into this relationship in the first place.
This is all I ask of you: be honest with yourself.
If you’re in a long-term relationship and thanking your lucky stars you’re not quarantining together, then this might not be the relationship for you. If you’re single and really wishing you had a mate right now, then take that seriously. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship right now and are finding it challenging to get along, examine the core issue and try to solve it. And if you’re going through or *about* to go through a breakup right now – we have you covered.
Take this as an opportunity to create a baseline of desire. You’re not going to experience an easier time to get clear about what it is you want.
If you got laid off during this fiasco, I’m truly sorry. While I am extremely blessed to have an entirely online business – my husband is in the same boat as you and it hasn’t been fun. We have full faith that once society begins again, his film will go back to shooting, but the unknowns are brutal. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Regardless if you have a job or not – now seems like a pretty good time to reevaluate whether or not you like the field you’re in and what you want to pivot toward. Perhaps a lot of you are thinking that something more stable sounds pretty good right about now. Some of you might be realizing that no matter how steady your work-from-home job is, you’re still just as miserable as you were going into the office every day.
To put things into perspective: At minimum, we spend a quarter of our week working and a quarter of our week sleeping. Which means we only get to spend HALF of it doing what we like – and we all know so much of that time is spent doing chores. So no matter what camp you’re in (employed vs unemployed), NOW seems like a good time to figure out what can bring you joy, considering there’s so little of it floating around for free.
This is also an excellent time to put your side hustle or fun quirky hobby to the test. If you’ve wondered whether or not you can become a blogger, I would recommend starting now. Same with writing, vlogging, influencing (I guess), teaching (teachable courses!), tutoring (zoom!), sewing (Etsy!), crafting (Etsy again!), or whatever else floats your boat. How great would it be to come out of this pandemic with a new lucrative hobby/career? This could be your time. Don’t let it slip away.
And, in the meantime, get your resume ready to roll. We will come out of this pandemic eventually, and when we do, people are going to want to spend money and get out of the house. People will hire again, I promise. So make sure you are ready to roll the second we’re back live in action.
While I know that our typical self-care routines may be on ice for a bit, that doesn’t mean you get to abandon all of its forms.
No, we aren’t able to get a massage or get our nails done or dye our hair – but those forms of self-care were always surface-deep anyway, right? A manicure might lessen the sting of feeling the “blahs,” but it’s not going to solve the existential doom that creeps in daily.
So instead, I recommend reflecting on your typical self-care rituals, and seeing if you can enhance them a bit. If you aren’t journaling to process your feelings, now is a great time to begin. And what about life coaching or therapy? Do you talk to someone weekly to vent, cry, plan, brainstorm, evaluate, and grow? If not, always remember that online services such as Blush are available. Self-work will never not be valuable or timely.
And what about exercise? Endorphins are an amazing asset during times of stress. If you were one of those “I take enough steps per day running around” type people – now’s the time to stream some online classes and get into a routine. Meditation, bubble baths, cooking, cleaning, singing, creating, reflecting – these are all forms of self-care that you could put into place. The goal is to develop a happy and healthy relationship with yourself. You want to be able to check-in with yourself and be kind during the process.
We have the time. If you’re in a good mental state, let’s take advantage.
This one is very simple.
Get some hobbies that bring you joy.
Now is the time to take up new kinds of exercising. Stream a dance class online or try your hand at HIIT classes. Trust me, there are plenty of fitness instructors looking for participants and they’d be happy to kick your ass from the comfort of your own home.
Try your hand at baking (that is, if you can find any yeast). Learn how to cook like a pro. I’ve heard puzzles are making a comeback, as are coloring books and knitting. (I tried the knitting, not so easy, but I’m also not very coordinated). I would like to recommend reading (I have a good list here), home improvement projects, writing (clearly mine), painting, meditating….
At times like this, I think it’s important to reevaluate your relationship with spirituality. I am personally not religious, but I am friends with plenty of people who are, including my husband. And I know not being able to go to church has been tough on folks.
I also think now is a particularly crucial time to experiment with religion or spirituality. So many of us feel hopeless and scared – and while religion may not be the answer to everything, it could bring comfort to seek out a higher power during this precarious moment.
There are plenty of live-streamed services, meditations, worshiping sessions (is that a phrase?) and….you get the picture. My personal hero, Brene Brown, offers a free Instagram Live “church” where people can drop in and listen to her give some nice, warm, happy spiritual talk. And she’s not alone. I’m sure if you spend a little bit of time researching, you’ll find there are plenty of people creating virtual worship online.
If organized religion isn’t your thang – I hear you loud and clear. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay far away from spirituality. I find meditation and exercise bring me inner peace and clarity. I feel connected to the world and at peace with myself – which we could all use at this moment.
So consider how you could connect with yourself and with your world during this time. Whatever works for you, works for me.
Sending everyone love and patience during this time of extreme reflection, reevaluation, and boredom.
Remember that you don’t have to explore these areas of your life alone. Blush Online Life Coaching offers unlimited chat and personal video sessions for a low monthly subscription. We’d be happy to guide you through your reevaluation work and help you create a plan for what to keep, what to shed, and what to change. If you use this time wisely, who knows – you might end up grateful for this blip in our life.
Until then, may this all be over soon, and may we come out of this better than before.