This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our 'world' would be confined to our homes.
This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is - and how much we need human connection!
Remember you are not alone. Because what is DIFFERENT here is that everyone is impacted! Your neighbor, mom, boss and friends as well as your counterparts around the world are all going through something similar.
So, it's important to remember:
Everything can be taken from a man (or woman) but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
~Viktor E. Frankl
This is the challenge each of us must rise to! If we're going to be stuck at home, we may as well make the most of it. So how are you using this rare “time out” from life? Here are some suggestions for you. Hopefully at least one of these will help you maintain your life balance (and maybe your sanity!).
1) Build Your Physical Strength, Fitness Levels or Flexibility
Building your physical strength is powerful and health-boosting! Not only is physical strength and flexibility life-affirming and good for our health, but feeling more physically powerful actually helps us feel more empowered and less helpless in life too.
So add some physical activity into your schedule - as little as 15 minutes daily. Maybe by the end of this you'll be fitter or even be able to do a few 3 minute planks (ok…maybe 5 minutes…but 3 is my limit!)
There are many options to boost your physical strength and health. Here are some ideas:
EXTRA TIP: REMEMBER: BEING stronger = FEELING stronger and more in control! And BUILDING your physical STRENGTH or fitness = REDUCED feeling of HELPLESSNESS.
2) Learn with Non-Fiction Books:
Use this time at home to educate yourself with non-fiction books. There is so much to be gained - like self-confidence, negotiation skills, health (sleep, nutrition), how to have difficult conversations and much more.
What keeps you up at night? There's probably a book about that! What do you wish you were better at? There's probably a book about that too
Here are some book ideas to get you thinking:
EXTRA TIP: Reading one book will expand your mind, reading several of these books is going to make you more interesting, help you learn new skills - and maybe even make you more employable too!
3) Explore your Life Life Purpose:
Rather than watching endless news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture - your future. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed you did NOT do? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work towards our goals, take action and make change. Soon, we'll all be super-busy again - and a vision might be just what you need stay focused!
Here are 5 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:
EXTRA TIP: Remember to think possibility not probability! Don't limit yourself and your ideas because you don't believe something is likely. Instead believe it's possible - and even if you don't get all the way there, you may get close - or even find something better along the way!
And if you'd like some help with discovering your Life Purpose, I can help! Set up a time and I can share how I have helped over 300 people discover and live out Life Purpose and how I can help you, too. https://calendly.com/charlie_cindy/check-in-call
4) Be in the moment:
In THIS moment you are OK. You are safe. Take one day at a time. One hour or even one breath at a time if you need to.
This tip is about being super-present, not thinking ahead or remembering the past, but practicing BEING.
This is a PRACTICE - meaning you will have to do it over and over again - bringing yourself back to the NOW. Over time it gets easier, and it's a great skill to have to take back to "normal" life.
So when you notice you're worrying, feeling twitchy and want to pick up your device and find out what the "latest" is about the COVID situation, say to yourself, "It's OK. In this moment, I am safe. In this moment I am OK." You can also add or say, "In this moment, my children/husband/family are safe."
EXTRA TIP: Reduce or minimize how often you watch and read the news! And DON'T read or watch the news (or articles about COVID-19 or similar) just before bed!
My husband, Charlie, and I have put together several free mini-webinars about this very topic. Go to our Facebook page, Pass It on Purpose or look for our group - Activate Purpose - and you will have access to them.
Distracting ourselves from our fears is a valid technique for feeling better!
Laughter releases helpful chemicals in our bloodstream - Endorphins (our natural "happy" drug) and Dopamine (part of our bodily "reward" system).
IMPORTANT: We should NOT use over-use laughter as a distraction technique. And it shouldn't be used for ongoing and persistent fears in regular life. But for a situation like this, where this isn't much that any of us can do other than sit and wait - distraction can be a great coping mechanism.
EXTRA TIP: As I have coached others while they were in difficult circumstances, I often would prescribe: Laugh 3 times each day. My hope for you is that you can laugh many, many times each day!
6) Be Kind!
Kindness and compassion are one of the most powerful tools any of us have in our toolbox right now. Many of us are largely housebound, never mind the fear that you or a loved on might actually catch the COVID virus! So, of course we're going to feel unpleasant and weird.
EXTRA TIP: If you need to get rid of your pesky Inner Critic, we have a great self coaching program you can work through to rid yourself of that Inner Critic once and for all! Click Here: The Rebel Within
7 ) Help Others
Helping others is empowering and makes us feel better. Here are a few ways you could help others.
BONUS SUGGESTION: Live By Your Core Values Every Single Day
When we know our core values, we understand what motivates and drives us. When we build our lives around our values, we create a life that is meaningful. Finally, when we align our actions with our values - we are being truly authentic. It's a very satisfying and fulfilling way to live.
And living by our core values could be the single most important thing any of us can do right now.
Here's an exercise you can do:
For example: You have a value of creativity, but you're only managing to 'go through the motions' right now and your score is 4/10. Ask yourself how you could be more creative during this time - whether it's cooking, gardening, art or writing or helping your kids do something creative, or even watching a documentary about someone creative you admire...
Need Help? If you don't know your values, now is a great time to learn. I'm offering a Values Kickstart Session or Values Review Session here. Just click here to set it up. https://calendly.com/charlie_cindy/check-in-call
All of us are learning how to navigate this global pandemic. We have a choice. We can bury our head in the sand, binge on the 24 hour news or Netflix or work on ourselves. It’s not often we get a time-out from life like this. Why not use it to be fit and ready for whatever comes next.
You have the skills and power to tackle this situation - and you will. For me, I have read more books over the last month than all last year. I’ve connected with clients - past, present & future with simple check-in texts, calls or messages. I’ve painted the bookcases, put new webbing on the outside chairs, contributed to non profits doing amazing work and made sure there is humor and laughter in each day.
There have been moments when I have worried about a cough, achy back or fatigue, but have to learned to be aware, but not operate in the fear/terror zone I could go to! Right now, I try to live in the moment and continue to live out my purpose of helping other men, women and organizations reach their dreams and live and breathe with purpose.
Believe you have the skills and power to tackle this situation and you will! Choose to make the best of a difficult situation and no matter what - you'll find a way.
This current and strange COVID-19 situation will end. And when it does, you'll be proud you made the effort to learn something - whether it's about yourself, fresh knowledge, a new skill - and who knows what else!