The situation we find ourselves in calls for a deep breath and a bigger assessment, as the ground shifts – to a lesser or greater extent – below all of our feet.
Family and health come first, always. The extra time on our hands can be friend or foe, and without structure, the opportunity can be easily squandered.
This is not to say you shouldn’t binge watch a new favorite TV show or sleep in an extra hour, but productivity requires discipline, and its basic tenet is a combination of order and purpose.
How can you then keep your life on track – or better yet, come out of these uncertain times better than when you were first forced to shelter in place?
ROUTINE IS KEY
Having placeholders in your calendar is a good way to start.
If your job allows you to keep working from home, be thankful! Not only for the continued flow of income into your bank account, but because, as much as you may dislike your job, the feeling of being a productive member of society has its mental health benefits. And that’s before factoring in the pride of being a member of a select group doing its best to hold down the fort in the economy of your community.
Make sure to find time to keep enjoying the little things. If you have a favorite podcast you used to listen to in your commute to work, then try to dedicate a similar amount of time to keep indulging – perhaps on an afternoon walk around the block.
This advice applies to everything. You may not be able to meet your friends for coffee or happy hour, but you can still get your fix for takeout or enjoy that glass of wine at home. FaceTime and Houseparty will never be like the real thing, but I’ve recently found that the yearning for communication makes up for a lot of what’s lost with these momentary obstacles.
KEEP EXERCISING – OR PICK IT UP
The temptation to up the ice cream intake and lower the miles accomplished is real, and honestly no one would blame you for a temporary lapse.
However, a funny development is happening: more people are looking to exercise. It may be the hope of being in the best shape possible for summer, or simply trying to blow off steam, but many in my circle is taking up yoga, finding extra time for morning runs, or simply returning to the old pleasure of a walk.
Being forced to stay indoors brought an appreciation for fresh air to many people, and that’s translating to more exercise and healthier habits.
So get the bike out of the garage. Buy those cool running shoes. Find some weights and/or order those bands.
ADD AT LEAST ONE NEW ELEMENT TO YOUR REPERTOIRE
If there’s anything this pandemic taught us, it’s that there’s a lot of undercover chefs out there.
You’re probably one of them, and you owe it to yourself to at least find out!
Besides a trusty book of recipes, you can also diversify your reading habits. Politics (in preparation for the elections in November), finance (tips on how to navigate a recession will come increasingly handy), and self-help are my favorites.
No one’s expecting us to learn how to code or add another language over the course of a few months, but having a few more topics of conversation at the dinner table – and being better equipped emotionally for the world on the other side of COVID-19 – can’t hurt.
Written by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Exclusive for gymwrap.com