'Out of crisis comes opportunity': 10 ways to keep perspective during COVID-19 social distancing

It's hard to be positive right now. Frightening stories are coming out of areas unable to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus. There is a sense of doom and unpredictability we've never experienced before. But finding our own sense of normal is also important. Amanda Cassidy reports.


Nobody wants to minimise the fact that many people will lose loved ones or get sick themselves during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Our health services will be under pressure, our children anxious and our vulnerable scared. It goes almost without saying that this is something we all have to take seriously.

But binging on fear won't help in the fight against this virus. Sharing images of people panic-buying in supermarkets only serves to fuel that panic. Forwarding on my-friends-friend-is-a-doctor information is unwise. In this case, we can become overloaded, overwhelmed and stressed — none of it good for our own immune system or minds.

Positive

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Many of us are at home, working, caring for children (or trying to do both); some are self-isolating, some are alone and unsure of what is going to happen. So how can any of this be seen through a positive lens?

The truth is that, as humans, in order to get through adversity, we have to try to find a level of positivity to sustain ourselves. It isn't always easy but it is necessary.

Realistically, there could be many of these types of weeks ahead — a weird suspension of our lives, our livelihoods. Like in wartime, and this is a war of kinds, working together to fight a common enemy is what will get us through all of this better, faster, easier.

With that in mind, we've put together some of the more benevolent aspects of what we are currently experiencing. Share this. Share the positive stories. The negative ones serve little purpose right now.

Family time

Whether you have your own children or if you have a wider family horizon, use this time to be together, mentally as well as physically. Read those stories you never get time for to your children. Play cards with your dad. Ask your grandmother about her upbringing. We complain about never having time. Now we are not going out, we have plenty of it. Don't waste the opportunity to bond with your loved ones.

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Upskill

There is only so much Netflix we can binge on instead of going to all those mass gatherings. It might be an idea to use that time to research something you've always meant to. Or start an online course. Learn a language or improve your vocabulary. There are endless resources to keep your mind occupied, to self-improve or to start down a path you might ultimately finish once this upheaval is over.

Declutter

Cleaning isn't exactly the most positive thing on anyone's list but again, trying to control the controllable is a natural human behavioural trait. There is catharsis in organising one's belongings —giving order to something in the midst of all this unpredictability. Your future self will thank you!

Reassess priorities

The saying that out of crisis comes opportunity has never been truer. Personally, if it wasn't for an upheaval in my own life, I'd never have started writing (which I love). Going through tough times is, well, tough. But what happens as you come out the other side can be amazing. Use this time to ask what really is important to you. This is a time to reflect on where your life is going and if it is what you really want. Find your opportunity and run with it.

Common enemy

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When you look at the current supermarket sweeps, it is hard to imagine we can set aside the individualistic lifestyle we've become accustomed to in favour of the common good. But as in wartime, having a common enemy can unite. Behaviourally, this is a good time to bring back the neighbourly vibes our generation never really understood. Adversity can bring us together and that might be the silver lining in our society after all of this

All hail the internet

So THIS is what it was invented for. To keep us sane while a killer virus is on the loose. Working remotely, staying in touch, having a lifeline to the outside world, being able to learn, to be entertained, to help others. This is something special that we shouldn't take for granted. The online world gets a bad rap — maybe it was just never given a chance to shine. Like now.

Do the things you've never had time to do

Read the classics. Watch the movies you've always wanted to. Paint the back of your house, plant a vegetable garden, take a lunchtime nap, learn yoga, speak Italian, spend time with your children, bake a cake. If we pare everything back, we can find joy in the simple things. Not a bad lesson to leave all of this with.

Be enterprising

Often Mumpreneurs are born out of circumstances. They find themselves at home with a problem and they decide to fix it. This might be one of those times any of us can discover, invent, create.  Channel your creativity, find your mission.

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Appreciate what you do have

Nobody really needs to be told this. And yet everyone does. When things are taken away from us, it is easy to feel 'without'. But right now, remembering how important the things you do have is crucial. Your work, your family, your home, your friends, your health. Hold onto the things that you have tightly. It is rare to have such an opportunity to do that in life.

Don't sweat the small stuff

How unimportant do things like forehead lines seem to you right now? Or deadlines? Or internet trolls? When a crisis hits, and boy is this a crisis, it helps sharpen our perspective, to remind us that there really are only a few precious things in life that actually matter.

Remember those things now. Focus on positivity. It may leave an indelible mark on all our lives, but ultimately, just like Leo assured us, we will prevail.

Image via Unsplash.com 

Read more: 10 things to do at home with the kids

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Read more: What we know so far about lifting restrictions

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