The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in all areas of our lives. From employment, to school, to community activities, routines have completely changed. Adjusting may require some creativity to stay motivated and healthy.
1. Alive time vs. dead timeAuthor Robert Greene has written of two concepts of using time. ‘Dead’ time is being in a state of passivity, waiting for things happen to you. ‘Alive’ time is when you feel in control, learning, improving and growing. Take ownership and do a ‘time audit’ of how you spend your day. Below are several ideas for switching from dead time to alive time.
2. Take online courses to expand your skills and upgrade your career
We are in a new age of learning, with fewer barriers to accessing education and training. Many colleges, universities and online learning platforms offer courses and modules at low or no cost. Some allow “auditing”, where you can participate, but won’t receive a certificate.
- Khan Academy
3. Sharpen your career interests
Explore job postings in areas/careers of interest. Research specific sectors or businesses to pursue when the economy starts to recover. Focus on fields that are showing demand and growth.
4. Network 2.Hobbies & leisure activities
Once you’ve compiled a list of jobs, companies, and sectors of interest, network with people working in the field or at those companies. Request an informational interview. Use LinkedIn to reconnect with past co-workers and ask for referrals to their network.
5. Hobbies & leisure activities
Tired of the internet or your favourite streaming app? Why not embrace an old hobby or try new one? Focus on hands-on, practical activities to give yourself a break from digital devices.
6. Physical activity
Staying inside for extended periods can lead to boredom and inactivity. A half hour of physical activity can help shake feelings of fatigue or “brain fog” and release dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitter.
7. Embrace a routine
Government restrictions or job loss may leave you with more time than you’re used to. Setting a weekly schedule can fill the gaps and provide something to look forward to. Plan your job search activities – review internet job postings and prepare your resume in the morning and take an online course in the afternoon.
8. Beware doom scrolling!
Social media and many websites utilize infinite scrolling, filling in content as you scroll down. Before you know it, hours have passed! Set alarms or reminders to turn off the TV or close the internet browser.
9. Connect with family and friends
Using digital tools, the phone or even writing letters can help reduce the impact of isolation. Board games like Pictionary or Monopoly can be played online.
10. Avoid news binging
The 24-hour news cycle can be exhausting to follow. Try to limit your intake or reduce your scope (local news, provincial news).
11. Take care of your mental health
The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. Consult your doctor or health care practitioner if you, or those close to you, notice a significant change in your mood. The activities above may help to find balance and support your mental health.