Working from home? Social distancing? A few ideas to get you through the Pandemic of 2020

Photo by James Fitzgerald on Unsplash

So by now, I’m sure every human in the civilized world has heard of the novel corona virus or COVID-19. These are strange times.

It’s easy for me to get anxious and let my mind wander into worst-case-scenario territory, so I’m counteracting this by making a list of things I can do outside of working from home, that can maybe help you too.

Take an online class

I love online learning. It’s the answer, for an introvert like me, to keep learning without actually having to attend class. I currently have many classes I need to finish, so I’m planning to focus a little more on these. I find that taking a social life out of the equation is good for my focus.

There are all kinds of offerings online – Skillshare, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Creative Bug etc. And if you search through the YouTube, you can often find discounts for your desired platform. Many also offer a free first month – which might be just enough time for this pandemic thing to run its course.

Stay in shape

If you are already regularly working out, now is not the time to take a break. This is probably fairly obvious, but its easy for me to forget about this when everything is topsy turvy. Exercise has the added benefits of reducing stress and boosting our immune systems.

One of the yoga app companies I use, announced they were making all of their apps free until April 1st, as yoga and exercise are excellent for self-care and they wanted to find a way to contribute. Check out Down Dog‘s offerings.

Work on a craft; do an art project; bake

Crafting is my happy place. I am at my best when I have a crochet hook in my hands, using paint in an art journal, or gluing down random bits of paper in a #junkjournal. Learning to sew my own clothes has long been on my crafty to-do list, and Seamwork is a great place to start.

Bake something new. I find baking really therapeutic. Unlike cooking [for me, anyway]. There are lots of complex skills you can learn when it comes to baking, and I want to tackle french patisserie. Duchess Bake Shop’s book, is going to help me do that.

Start that side hustle

Making some extra income, often takes time and effort that many of us don’t have. Reduced commute times however means there may be an extra hour or two in your day where you can finally work on those ideas we have been toying with.

Learn to meditate

If ever there was a time to start, it’s now. When I take ten minutes and listen to a guided meditation, I am always the better for it. The Calm app offers a wide variety of guided meditations as well as music for relaxation.

Do a closet edit

Over the last couple of years, I have been much more serious about what I put in my closet, refining my style, and ridding myself of items that are not ‘me’ anymore. It’s a really slow process though.

Luckily there are hundreds of resources on the web to help get you started.

You could also consider hiring a professional like Leah, to give you some advice and motivation. She is currently offering virtual sessions!

Complete odd jobs

Me and my partner had to replace the handle on our front door recently, as the old one would occasionally fail, and lock us in. Not safe. So the other night we replaced it with a new, modern one and it sure is satisfying.

Maybe its time to finally touch up that base board, or fill those holes in your wall. Home improvement is a great way to fill that extra time you may have when your big event has been cancelled.

Learn a language

I really love the app Duolingo, but I don’t use it as often as I would like. Learning languages is really good for the brain, short- and long-term.

Read a book. Or three.

I have a lot of books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. I always have a couple on the go. But I know my partner doesn’t get much time for reading outside of what he reads online, when he has to go into the office all the time. I work from home so am able to make it more of a priority. Reading an actual book is much more relaxing, and far more beneficial, than bingeing yet series on Netflix.

Lastly, don’t get stuck in a thought loop

For many, the current restrictions and recommendations in North America on travel, socializing, and washing your hands are a lot to take in. It is changing how we live our lives, day to day. It can be very stressful.

Mental health for everyone, should be a priority. Your mental health can deeply affect those around you. Remember to put down the smartphone, turn off the TV and try something different that is not related at all to COVID-19, and your life will probably be the better for it.

The Next Steps

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I am taking my time to figure out what my next steps are.

I am enrolled in a variety of online courses, which I am working through slowly. It is so refreshing to learn something new, and feel excited about implementing the lessons.

I have read all different types of blogs for years and feel pretty comfortable with what I like and don’t like. I think I can do this.

After yet another lay-off from the corporate world, making my dreams a reality is now first and foremost. Mostly I dream of being financially abundant and not have to worry about the state of the company I work for. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel modestly (including visiting family members more regularly) and contribute adequately to the life my partner and I are building together.

After this past year, and being treated for breast cancer, putting a priority on health and reducing my stress is also paramount. My back-to-health plan includes going after what I love doing. Financial security is so important when it comes to major illness. It’s just one less thing you have to worry about at the most difficult time in your life.

It’s time to share what my experience and lessons have been in hopes that I can help someone else. I’m looking forward to the possibilities.