The coronavirus pandemic has created a disastrous situation filled with uncertainty, stress, and sorrow.
In a few short months, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has changed life as we know it.
People are working from home (if they’re working at all), universities and schools are closed, and travel is restricted outside (and largely within) the UK.
The government is also recommending not travelling, even locally, to visit with your family or mates… or, for that matter, leaving your flat for any nonessential reason.
If you’re not already suffering from cabin fever, you’re probably at risk for it to sneak up on you in the near future.
However, the collective priority is to stay healthy. And safe. And sane.
Here are six tips to help you accomplish all three.
1. Focus on Your Employment Situation
Chances are, you’ve been told to self-quarantine and work from home.
If so, you’ll want to set up a productive working environment.
Create a comfortable workspace, and make sure you have all the office supplies you’ll need for an extended period.
Select an area where you can work in a position that’s ergonomically sound — you don’t want to injure yourself.
Be sure your internet and Wi-Fi connection can handle your needs, and make certain you have the proper software and hardware in place to be productive.
If you aren’t using cloud computing, now’s a smart time to get started.
Not only will it help you ease the transition to remote work, but it also ensures that you’ll be able to stay connected and smoothly communicate with your bosses, colleagues, and clients.
2. Reflect on Future Employment Options
If the isolation requirements related to COVID-19 have put you out of work, you’re likely already thinking about the future.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provides workers with 80 per cent of their wages (up to £2,500) for the next three months — but this won’t last forever.
Many employers may not survive this crisis.
If you need to start searching for new employment, keep in mind the job search will be different going forward.
Now’s a good time to brush up on how things will change and learn more about how organisations will be conducting virtual interviews and handling the hiring process in new ways.
3. Start a Side Business
Rather than sit idle, why not start a side business?
You can create a website and offer a service online.
Or, if you’re less tech-savvy, you can become the neighborhood dog walker, or pick up and deliver the necessary groceries for elderly neighbors who have difficulty getting to the supermarket.
To help promote your new business, you can order tote bags adorned with your name, phone number, and email address to make your deliveries.
Then your clients will always remember where to reach you.
NOTE: If you decide to start a service where you’re interacting with people, remember to take precautions and actively practise social distancing.
4. Learn a New Skill
Instead of binge-watching your favourite programmes, use this time at home to do something productive.
Too much telly-watching is not good for your health.
Stretch your brain muscles instead and learn something new.
Take some LinkedIn courses to help boost your professional skills, or learn a lifesaving one, such as CPR training.
With medical facilities overwhelmed trying to take care of COVID-19 victims, now is a great time to know how to perform a lifesaving skill.
5. Start a New Project
Finding something productive to do can help keep your mind occupied, active, and stimulated.
Too much TV or web surfing will turn your brain to mush, and inactivity might lead you to depression.
Why not use this time to organise your closet, give your rooms some fresh paint, or start an indoor garden?
If you really despise housework, do something else that keeps you active and engaged.
You can begin an exercise regimen or learn how to cook some healthy meals based on the staples you have in your pantry.
Challenge yourself to see what culinary creations you can come up with.
6. Connect with Loved Ones
We often get so busy with work and other daily responsibilities we get sidetracked from many of the important things in life, such as friends and family.
Even if you can’t physically see them while under self-isolation, you can call or video chat with them.
In fact, this global quarantine is turning out to have a surprising effect, bringing together loved ones in a new way.
Use this time to catch up with people you haven’t had any meaningful conversation with lately.
It’s natural to feel you’re at the mercy of this pandemic that has changed life as we’ve known it.
Isolation is a sacrifice everyone has to make to help slow the spread of coronavirus, and people everywhere are struggling to stay healthy, safe, and sane while they self-quarantine.
Hopefully, this crisis will pass sooner rather than later — but even if it doesn’t, the more you do now to take care of your mental health, the better equipped you’ll be to transition back to “the new, new normal” once the pandemic is over.