Turn on the news and the Coronavirus is all people are talking about. It keeps people tuned in, but it can be very scary. We hear about people dying and how it affects our health. These can be scary stories and images. Then we go to the grocery store and we see someone with a mask over their face. We see danger signs everywhere we go. If you continue to worry about the Coronavirus it will hurt your health. When you are stressed out you are more likely to get sick. We must focus on the good things that we have in our lives, so we can continue to grow and enjoy life.
We do need to take precautions. We need to wash our hands and stop going to events and places like concerts, playgrounds, church services, restaurants and sporting events. If you do have to travel or be around groups of people, you’ll need to be extra vigilant in taking care of yourself, and then when you get home you will need to limit your social interactions in order to protect others from getting sick. If you are older or have any medical conditions, your best bet would probably be to stay home until you hear from the CDC that it’s safe for you to be out and about. Make sure you get plenty of rest to keep your immune system strong. This is a good time start an evening routine. It will help you process your day and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.
I stopped reading news at night because it would mess with my sleep. We used to consume our news in the morning. Newspapers were delivered early in the day. We had time to process the news, talk about it and not let it stress us out. Then TV came along and it messed up our rhythms. We became a culture of fear instead of joy and adventure. The internet came and we became hypersensitive to everything because it piled on top of our already overloaded brains.
There are a million things that can kill us on top of Covid-19. We can’t let worry and fear dictate our lives. We can use this as an opportunity. We are curious beings that need to step outside our comfort zone. We can’t let this virus stop us from deepening our understanding of ourselves and each other. We need to keep connecting with each other.
You have friends that would love to hear from you. You haven’t reached out because you’ve probably been getting entrenched in your habits. This is a great opportunity to message or call an old friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. You can break free of hanging out with the same people. This is how you can grow. You can reach out to old friends and/or acquaintances and get to understand them better.
I recently watched a TEDx talk about being better at conversing with people. When we stop waiting for our turn to talk and start really listening, we can let our natural curiosity free and start learning more from others. This can lead to friendships that help us unlock parts of ourselves that were previously hidden.
Next time you are on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and someone’s post fascinates you, try engaging with them. Ask them a question like…
- Can you explain a little more?
- What was the most interesting part of this experience?
- How did you learn from this experience?
The idea is to ask open ended questions and just listen to how they describe the experience. If you enjoy the response, I want you to try something uncomfortable. I want you to ask them if they would be interested in hopping on the phone for 10 minutes so you can learn more. This will be uncomfortable the first few times you do this, but then it can be amazing. I’ve made quite a few friends doing this. It’s helped me deepen my online connections that I’m truly grateful for because I wouldn’t have as many friends without this technique.
You can also send out gratitude messages to friends and family, letting them know that you are thinking of them. This makes them feel good and gives you a natural dopamine hit, which helps boost your immune system.
2. Enjoy This Day
We need to stop taking life for granted. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. We could be hit by a car or a huge meteor. That's a beautiful part of life. We are lucky to be taking our current breath.
We can enjoy each day by appreciating the small things in life. The little things are what add up, so we can enjoy more of our lives. We can't let life’s dangers dictate our happiness. We still need to live and enjoy life. We can use this moment as a way to live more fully.
It starts with understanding what makes you happy. So let me ask you…
What makes you happy?
Is it writing, reading, creating Instagram posts, working, cooking, spending time with your family, hiking, etc?
Now figure out how you can get a little better at doing these things. When you try to master these things then you will be exploring more of who you are and how you can connect with others.
These are actions. This is very important. You still need to stay active. You can’t lock yourself in your house and hide under the covers. You should keep engaging with other people (online and offline) and challenging your brain. The more connected you are to others and yourself, the more enjoyable life becomes.
Try creating a habit of writing down your gratitude each day. Keeping a gratitude journal can do wonders for your health.
3. Try Something New
I recently started a Challenge Network to help push me to go deeper. I asked people in my community to give me feedback on future articles, course ideas and courses that I create to let me know what stinks and what doesn’t. I just started this challenge network and it has already helped. I’m not only stepping outside my comfort zone, I’m also improving how I help others.
Creativity comes from trying new things and pushing yourself beyond your current habits and limits. You can still go and do things like visit a new restaurant or try a painting class that you’ve always wanted if you are healthy, but like I said earlier, be cautious. Keep your distance and try holding your hand over your heart and bowing instead of shaking hands to greet.
There are so many options for online too. I just did a Google search for “Private online guitar lessons” and there were over 7 million results. You can do your lessons online or in person. TrueFire has a plethora of instructors to choose from. We live in this connected world and when utilized well we can grow happier and smarter. It’s up to us to choose to try something new or let our fears get the better of us.
I hired a writing coach to help me. I wanted someone who could review my work and point out where I’m missing the mark. You can also hire a life coach or a transition coach if you are going through a life change and want someone to help you process the change and create a plan to come out the other side even stronger.
We often have too many options and we end up not choosing anything. It’s important to choose something that fits in line with your larger goals. I wouldn’t hire a guitar instructor because although I do love music, my bigger goal is to help people with their mindset. I want people to use their life transitions as a springboard into a more purposeful life.
Ask yourself some hard questions and you’ll get amazing answers.
What do I want to accomplish in the next two years? How can I get closer to reaching this goal?
Then find someone to help you get closer to reaching your goal. My goal is to have a thriving online community dedicated to helping people feel more joyful. This starts with creating a grateful mindset. When you are grateful for what you do have, you build a mindset that appreciates what you’re able to do instead of worrying about what you can’t do.
That’s what we can learn from the Coronavirus. We have an opportunity to grow stronger and happier with our online and offline communities. Use this time to appreciate what you do have, then go and connect with others to help you reach your dreams. You can help them reach theirs too. We are in this together, so let’s use this time the best way we can.
Image courtesy of Alexandra Gorn.