Updated: Jun 27
I started the year full of hope, dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish in 2020. Probably you did too. Today I am here to tell you there is no reason to put those on hold because of what is happening. I know we are facing very challenging times as a result of the COVID-19, which is causing a lot of stress and uncertainty and it has definitely come to disrupt our lives in many ways.
I truly believe that we need to focus on the things we can control vs those we can't. The are many things out of our control and are these things that create the most stress in our lives. There is very little we can do about these things. On the other hands there are many things we can control in the current situation, even though some days might not feel like it. You can always control your perception and your attitude.
You can perceive this as a challenge or as the end of the world. You can choose to feel overwhelmed and use the current chaotic situation as an excuse to give up on your dreams and goals or you can choose to look at this as an opportunity. An opportunity to focus on gratitude, an opportunity to focus on driving your goals and dreams forward, an opportunity to connect with your love ones and spend quality time with them, an opportunity to stop unproductive habits or start new empowering ones, an opportunity to learn and grow personally. See, I believe there is always a bright side to every situation, even though it might not seem like it at the surface.
Today I want to share some ideas of things you can do and focus on in these difficult times to live your best life despite COVID-19 or any other difficult or challenging situations in your life.
Connect with your love ones:
In our day to day lives we are typically always running and don't have the opportunity to slow down and spend enough quality time with our love one's. Take the opportunity to connect with them, in person or virtually.
Make plans for a virtual coffee date or hop on a phone call to connect with family and friends. If you are staying home with your immediate family find opportunities to treasure memories, have fun and spend quality time together.
Establish a family game nigh tradition, watch a movie together, workout together, try a karaoke, get creative!
Invest time in building new empowering habits:
If you have listened to my podcast or read my articles, you know I am keen on habits. Now that you are spending more time home might be a good time to focus on building new empowering habits. Listen to episode 6 and episode 13 of the Leading Yourself Podcast to learn more about building empowering habits or check out some of my favorite books on habits.
Keep up with your routines:
Our daily lives have been directly impacted by COVID-19. Depending where you are most likely schools are close, you might now be working from home, while trying to care for your kids, and not able to go out and do your normal life. As much as possible try to keep up with your daily routines; the time you wake up, your morning routine, your work schedule, etc.
This might be also a great opportunity to start new routines that help you stay on track. Listen to this podcast episode where I share my morning routine and the 7 elements I intentionally built into my morning routine.
Invest in your personal growth, learn something new:
Read a book, listen to a podcast or take an online class. What a great opportunity to invest in your personal growth! The opportunities are endless. Many libraries are closed but most of them have virtual libraries available where you can borrow books if don't want to buy them.
Looking for ideas on what to read? Here is a list of my favorite non-fiction, leadership, personal development and business books
Looking for podcast recommendations? check out the Leading Yourself Podcast, 20-30 minute episodes focused on personal, career and leadership development.
Make a vision board:
Here is a blog post from a friend who recently talked about why you should have one and how to go about doing one. The good news, you don't have to go to the store to get any supplies, you can leverage Pinterest to find inspiring quotes and photos and create a virtual vision board. You can do it by copying and pasting images on a power point. Here is mine
You can do a personal vision board, but you can also try to do a family board, which can also be a fun way to spend quality time with your love ones.
Work on that new project:
Remember that new project you wrote down in your list of goals for 2020? Yes, that one you have put on the parking lot or that you are slowing making progress on. This is a great opportunity to invest a little extra time working on it. You can take advantage of being home and have less social commitments outside to carve out extra time to work on your personal projects.
Move your body:
Stay active while staying home, maybe try a new workout routine. Leverage the time you are saving by not having to commute to work and back home to add at least 30 minutes of movement in your day. What a great opportunity to stay active or start a new workout routine and focus on your health and wellbeing.
Go for a walk, while following the social distancing guidelines; or try a new workout that doesn't require you to have lots of equipment at home.
Here are some options you can try:
Beachbody on Demand, offering 14 days FREE membership to hundreds of workout programs. This is what I personally use every day for my workouts.
DownDog App has made all their apps completely free until April 1st. You can choose from hundreds of at-home yoga, HIIT, Barre, and 7-minute workouts.
This article from Glamour lists 31 of the best free fitness apps to try.
Travel the world from home:
I find joy in traveling, visiting new places, learning about new culture and trying new foods. While we'll probably won't get to travel for vacation in a while, you can still get to experience all of that without leaving your house.
Take a virtual field trip! Watch sea animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, go on a tour of the Louvre, explore Yellowstone National Park, or hop on over to the Van Gogh museum. Avoid the crowds and lines and get to enjoy these beautiful places for FREE!
Also, head to Pinterest and search for a new recipe you can try, get inspired by different countries and cultures.
Reconnect with your hobbies or explore new ones:
Spending time doing the things that we enjoy is something I consider an intrinsic part of living our best lives. Do you have hobbies you have stopped due to lack of time? This can be a great opportunity to reconnect with them or to identify new hobbies you can start doing that will bring you joy and make you feel fulfilled.
Protect your peace:
Get out, enjoy sunrises and sunsets, get out and get some fresh air. Depending where you live this can represent some challenges due to the measures being implements to flatten the coronavirus growth curve, do what you can, where you are and with what you have. Open the windows and let some fresh air in; get outside if you have a backyard or a balcony; or go for a walk in your neighborhood. As you do so, slow down and pay attention to your surroundings, take a deep breath and enjoy nature when possible. Not always we get the chance to slow down and pay attention to our surroundings so enjoy that opportunity.
I've talked about mindfulness before. Maybe the idea had crossed your mind before but you never find the time to try it out. This can be a great opportunity! Don't know where to get started? I recommend these two apps (Simple Habit and Mindfulness Coach), both have free versions you can use.
Another great way to practice mindfulness is to practice gratitude and using a journal. One thing I do every day as part of my morning routine is to write down the five things I am grateful for that happened in the last 24hrs. Since I started this simple practice I have experienced that I am more present through the day because I know I need to write down five thing the next morning the things I am grateful for.
When it comes to journaling, the underlying purpose is self-reflection. If you have not journal before and don't know where to start here are some resources to help you get started:
Finally, I want to share with you the Living your Best Life site where you will find additional resources to help you in your journal.