These are strange and unsettling times and another testament to how life as we know it could change in a second. It was just a few weeks ago when I was still traveling for work and busy making plans for several big events that were scheduled to take place this Spring. It was not too long ago when an invisible enemy – a virus called COVID-19 – seemed like a vague and distant possibility.
A cascade of events quickly signaled that “normal life” was about to change. Colleagues who were gearing up for domestic and international trips were grounded. Events planned for March to May were cancelled. Schools were closed. And towards the end of week, we were being told to bring our laptops and to prepare for working from home. It’s called “social distancing” (although “physical distancing” might be a better term) – a set of actions aimed to reduce contact between people to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease.
In this time of uncertainty, life still has to go on. Here are some thoughts on how we can make the most of life centered around social distancing:
Work from Home: If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home, it’s very important to “show up” and honor your work commitments. Be super responsive and communicative to your colleagues, team, and customers. I’ve also found that having a designated space, wearing clothes that signal that you are in “work mode” and make you feel good, and creating a schedule lead to increased productivity.
Prioritize health and wellness. More than ever, it’s very important to optimize health by eating well, hydrating sufficiently, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.
Practice self-care and mitigate stress through meditation and pursuing hobbies.
Stay social and engage with loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, etc. Send a text, email, or call someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to.
Be productive and tackle projects that you’ve been meaning to do.
It’s a great time to focus on personal development by reading books and taking online classes through Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, etc.
Last but not least, as you’re practicing self-care, remember to care for others as well. Social distancing is an act of responsibility and kindness to our fellow human beings. Think of the vulnerable – your parents, elderly neighbor, and those who are fighting a disease. Remember that there are people who are losing their jobs because of the negative impact of the pandemic to the local and global economy. Show gratitude and respect to the men and women who are keeping the stores and groceries stocked with food and necessities, keeping the public transit working, keeping our streets clean and safe, all the way to the healthcare professionals who are on the front line and likely to have many tough weeks ahead.
We are in this fight together.