If you’re one of the thousands of people who have been asked to quarantine yourself during the Coronavirus outbreak, you’ve most likely just found yourself with a drastically new way of life.
You’re not going out as much as you used to. Unless you need something from the store, you’re probably staying in. Restaurants are closed. Gyms, movie theaters, theme parks and many non-essential stores aren’t open for business like they once were.
In other words, you’re stuck.
But when it comes to your life and professional career, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, we won’t always be quarantined. Eventually, we’re going to emerge from the other side and go back to our previous lives as normal. Start living as we did before.
How can we best use our time while we are stuck in a quarantine
There are two ways to use your newfound downtime instituted by your city or state. First, you can binge on Netflix or lament the fact that your previous lifestyle has been put on hold, or you can use this time to transform your life. Improve your skills. Build healthier habits.
What if I told you that determined professionals can use this time away from bars, restaurants, concerts and sporting events to come up with some of their best ideas, drastically improve their lives and position themselves to emerge from the quarantine better than when it started?
How to Use the Quarantine To Your Advantage
Use these six ideas to improve your life, build new skills and reconnect with your family and friends during the quarantine.
If you want to make better decisions in your life, slowing down is one of the best ways to do just that. And, this quarantine is forcing a lot of us to slow our roll.
Slowing down gives us time to process the world around us. Reflect on our lives. Think more clearly and honestly about the decisions that we make in our lives and how those decisions affect our jobs, careers, financial stability and, of course, our happiness.
Don’t believe that slowing down means that we’re unproductive. It’s not true.
It sounds a little “up in the clouds”, but meditation not only gives your brain a much-needed break, but it helps relieve stress and anxiety – both of which negatively affect our ability to think creatively.
Healthline also says that meditation promotes emotional health, enhances your self-awareness, improves your attention span and might even reduce memory loss. And, meditation has long been used by some of the most influential and well-known people on the face of the planet, such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington and Jerry Seinfeld.
Being creative is the spice of life, and this might be an opportunity to start letting your creative juices flow. For example, try new recipes with those things in your pantry, or with what’s left at your local grocery store (toilet paper, anyone? – but, don’t cook with that!).
More examples include arts and crafts, like sewing or knitting. Or woodworking. Watercolor painting is a cheap and easy way to start dabbling with art. Or, practice the instrument (guitar, keyboard, flute, etc) that you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time.
Or, start writing the book you’ve wanted to write. Or the blog you’ve been meaning to start.
Try new ideas (or re-start old ones)
During your quarantine, take this opportunity to try new things, or start doing those things that your previous commute or work schedule prevented.
For example, things like:
- Eating clean
- Exercising regularly
- Reading, creating and learning
- Home improvements or repairs
- Starting that side project you always wanted to try
Anything that your commute or office-work distracted you from, use this time to start doing those things. You might be surprised at how many fresh ideas these new habits will generate.
Prepare for a new career
This might seem extreme, but if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to change your career, this could be the perfect change to start preparing.
Always wanted to get into Artificial Intelligence? Or computer science. Or heck, maybe you’re just tired of being tied to a cubicle and want an opportunity to work outside more (ie: contracting, landscaping, etc). Whatever change you’re looking for, use this time to start in that direction.
This might include:
- Practicing a new skill
- Taking online classes
- Working with a friend on a small business
- Building a brand new resume for your new career
Grow closer with people you care about
Take the time to touch-base and grow closer with your family – which a busy schedule, jobs and commutes can easily prevent. Learn more about them. Do more activities inside the house as a family to build stronger bonds and more meaningful relationships.
Also, have dinner together as a family. If things get boring, fight that monotony by trying new routines like going for walks, having a board-game or movie night, etc.
And, Facetime or video chat with friends and extended family all over the world. Your quarantine gives you the opportunity to reconnect with friends whom you haven’t seen in years, and these connections can spark amazing new ideas and future goals.
Believe it or not, groups of people are building 100% remote social groups that are growing in popularity. For example, remote book clubs, knitting groups or movie chats. If you’re so motivated, start one or see if your family might be interested in joining one.
Write more letters. In the age of email, it’s too easy to just fire off an electronic message to check in. Instead, consider hand-writing letters and sending them to friends or family, especially if you know that they are in a quarantine as well. You might be surprised that a little hand-written letter can go a long way to lift someone’s spirits!
Remember, while a quarantine will disrupt your daily routine, the opportunity can also be used to improve ourselves. Try new things. Reconnect with people and learn new skills to help us as we emerge once again back into society when things calm back down.
Be smart by slowing down. Try meditation. Or, start building your skills for a new career.
Now’s the time.