This is probably the first time in history when we can save the human race by staying home, watching TV.
Even so, most people are screwing this up.
Because they make it seem like it’s worse than it is.
The truth is that we must learn to cope with the side-effects of isolation, of having to spend a lot of time indoors, and the truth is how we react during these times tells us who we truly are.
To some, it feels like a chance to change habits, to reset their minds, to focus on different things, while to others it feels like prison.
Heaven or Hell. The same situation, two different reactions.
Maybe it’s because Heaven and Hell aren’t place one gets sent to, but rather something we carry within us?
There are lots of aspects of this pandemic that I can’t help you with. But if you’re going crazy because you have to spend insane amounts of time confined by the four walls of your house, then I’ve got a few suggestions that you might find useful.
1. Accept your feelings.
We often make matters worse because we don’t want to accept our feelings.
Yes, this situation is less than ideal.
Yes, we are all going through times that are tough, confusing, sad, frustrating. And it’s natural to feel off-balanced, but there’s also a great deal of power to be had if you just accept your feelings.
2. Adapt. Overcome. Improvise.
All the gyms are closed? Go for a run around your house, if you’re allowed to do that where you’re at. Or work out at home. Do some push-ups. Use a door to do pull-ups.
A few years back I was so poor that I was doing biceps curls with a bunch of foldable chairs. I’m not even kidding.
Can’t go out and socialize with your friends? Call them, FaceTime them, Skype them.
Turn adversity into an advantage.
You were laid off? Freelance. Work on your blog. Learn new skills. Create and sell an online course. Write a book.
Remember, there’s a way around any obstacle. Always.
3. Focus on What You Can Control
These are crazy times, and most of what is going on is outside our control. You might be in a city or country in total lockdown, which is pretty much like being under house arrest.
But you can’t fight it, so you might as well focus on what you can control: the way you think about this situation.
Reframe it to your advantage.
As a child, Alexander The Great was forced to bathe in a cold river each and every single morning. Of course, he hated it. Until, one morning, he decided to wake up before his tutor and go take the bath by himself.
He made the most out of a situation that he could not escape from, acting as if it were one he had chosen.
You most play the cards you’re dealt as if they’re the cards you’ve always wanted.
4. Don’t just go through it. Grow through it.
Most folks are choosing to go through it. They’re Netflixing and chilling their lives away, getting fat, losing mental fortitude, discipline, and patience with each passing day.
The truth is that times of crisis often mean an opportunity for growth. They are far from desirable, but when they happen, we must choose to do our best to grow, to develop our skills, to become the kind of person who can withstand the storm.
5. Spend this time to figure out who you are.
Put your ego aside, with all its wants, desires, cravings, aversions, and frustrations, and choose to spend this time figuring out who you are.
Introspection is a hell of a tool if put to good use.
Who are you when you’re not among others? When you’re deprived of your freedom? What does it feel like to simply be you? Do you like what you see staring back at you in the mirror? If not, can you change it? How?
6. Act, don’t daydream.
A friend of mine was complaining the other day that he got fat. Because all the gyms are closed. And then he kept talking about all the things he was going to do when all this is over: go to the club, travel, open a new business…
The truth is that most of us are spending this time to indulge in all sorts of fantasies about all that we’re going to do when all this is over.
But the side-effect of this is that we don’t do anything at all.
Right here. Right now. That’s what life is all about. The present moment. And if we waste it, what else do we have?
The biggest risk we face as humans is when we decide to forfeit the present for the promise of a better future.
Don’t do that.
Do the best you can with what you have. No matter what. Even if it feels like crawling, when you were used to flying. It does not matter. Keep going. Keep working on your dreams.
7. Take care of yourself.
Exercise, eat well, sleep well. Feed your brain. Dress up once in a while, just to stare at yourself and remind yourself that you’re still human.
The principle of “HALT” still applies, you know.
Most people are going crazy because they are either hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or all four.
Take care of yourself.
You’d be surprised how much your mood improves after a hot shower and a good meal.
Finally, I’d like to tell you this is not the end of the world.
Nothing lasts forever, not even our troubles.
Try to keep that in mind.
Focus on the good that is around you, on the opportunities, and make the best out of your situation.
After all, it’s better than to sit around and complain all day long.