I don't know if y'all have noticed, but the world seems to have gone crazy. We are all in this weird place where we're looking for answers and stability but the answers we get and the stability we get change by the day. Our lifestyles are totally different than they were two weeks ago...and to be honest, they'll more than likely stay different for several weeks into the future. No matter who you are, this is going to change you. Here are five tips to help you come out of COVID-10 better than when you went in.
1. Let Yourself Grieve
This isn't easy for anybody, no matter how you slice is. We've all had to cancel plans, move dates, change our daily routines. Some of us have had to close our businesses, some have postponed weddings, and some are working 12-hr hospital shifts to try to help those who are suffering. No matter where you're falling on that scale, let yourself feel what you're feeling. It's ok to feel scared, tired, worried, frustrated, lonely, disappointed. It's important to let yourself process this so you don't let negative feelings build and corrode you from the inside.
2. Be Intentional
Now that all or most of your obligations have been taken off your plate, now's a really good time to start being intentional with what you put back on. Don't want to do that side hustle anymore? Be done. Wishing you could just spend time reading or practicing guitar? Do it. It's ok and GOOD to say no to something so you can say yes to what you really want. And once you've done that, you can give more of yourself to the things that give you energy and life. One of my favorite books that really hits this home is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Check it out for a life changer!
3. Unpack Your Closet
Have you ever started to declutter a closet and when you start pulling everything out you realize it's a bigger mess than it was before? And you're also surprised at how much is actually in there? When I say "unpack your closet" I'm not talking about a physical closet (Although if you need a project during this quarantine and you have a closet that's been neglected, clean away, my friend!). I'm talking about your mental or emotional closet. How often to we stuff questions that make us uncomfortable, soul-searching, or feeling feelings to the back of our "closet" so we don't really have to deal with it? We feel like we can keep those things hidden and we'll just forget about them. But just like all those old shoes you've held onto or all those tupperware containers with no lids, you don't really forget about them. You know they're there. Take this time to do something about it.
4. Decide What You Want
So many of us get caught in the flow of the current we started rafting down and don't let ourselves stop to think if we're really headed where we want to. Do we even like rafting? Do I want you people in this boat? Who am I?? If you've lost site of why you're doing what you're doing, if you've put your dreams on hold so your spouse could accomplish their goals, now's a great time to start sorting through what you really want your life to look like. My favorite is starting with these questions from Adam Leipzig:
1. What do you do? (i.e. What do you love to do?)
2. For whom do you do these things?
3. What do these people want or need that they come to you?
4. How do they change or transform as a result of what you offer them?
5. That is your purpose.
*Pro-tip: If your answers to these are you saying how you're a mom who takes care of kids because they can't take care of themselves and they simply grow physically because you're taking care of their needs...keep working. You'll find it.
5. Do One Thing NOW
So now you're sitting in the mess of your unpacked closet and realizing where you are and where you want to be are NOT the same. I know that feeling. It's scary to realize how much work there is to be done. But that feeling is good and so is the discomfort that's coming due to the changes you're going to be making. But whatever you've decided you want, you may not be able to get there in one day or maybe the more you learn, the more that picture will change. So, in the middle of all this, choose one thing you can do now to start you on your journey. Want to go back to school? What's it going to take to get back in? Always wanted to be a photographer? Message some you admire and ask them for some advice. Fascinated by childhood development? Research some credible doctors and read their literature.
What if you don't know what you want to do? Start trying things. Find a paint class, watch some Youtube videos of things that sound interesting. Go to CreativeLive.com and try a class. Crowdsource. What do your friends like to do? What's brought them light and life? The most important thing is to give yourself the freedom to explore.
None of us saw this coming. Life can be like that. Granted, not to this extent, but it can definitely throw us for a loop and leave us wondering what just happened. But there are a few things that stay constant and one of those is our ability to choose what we do with the cards we're dealt.