The title of this blog is “Turning Adversity to Advantage”, and we are now living in a time with more acute adversity than most of us have ever experienced in our generation. And yet, there are many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to embrace major enhancements in our lives.
“Investment” is basically about foregoing current consumption to provide the resources to enable even greater consumption in the future. Well, COVID19 is involuntarily imposing all sorts of restrictions on consumption, so the possibilities for investment in yourself, your well-being, and even your economic potential are numerous.
The now escalated self-isolation can be seen as a universal sabbatical. The gift of a bootcamp segregation that everyone can use however they like (within confines) to pursue whatever they like. I appreciate that for too many, these time mean most energy and focus going into figuring out how to pay the bills and provide for basic needs, but I hope that the government steps up to some degree to help in these areas.
A number of silver lining pieces have been penned like BBC’s “Coronavirus: Creativity, kindness and canals offer hope amid outbreak”. Such activity keeps you sane, enables you to sustain the isolation measures more thoroughly for a monger period of time (every day counts), and provide the collateral benefit of building you into a stronger and more capable person.
Here are a few of my own suggestions for turning the COVID19 adversity to advantage:
- Explore – Explore parts of the web you are less familiar with. Sites and apps you have heard about, but never bothered or had the time to check out. Don’t just glance at them, but have a right old play around with them.
- Educate – Check out a number of online education sites like Coursera, Khan Academy and universities like Harvard who have posted their lectures online.
- Exercise – Yes, we have less access to equipment and groups for sport, but often the biggest obstacle to not exercising more is now abundant – time an energy. Countless YouTube videos provide lots of creative options and instruction for productive and fun activities in the confines of your home. And even the strict lock-down imposed by the UK government yesterday allows people to go outside to exercise (practicing social distancing).
- Clear – No more excuses for not doing those backburner projects – eg. cleaning out the garage/attic, scrapbooking your photos (or digitizing them), organizing “that drawer”.
- Volunteer – Help others, get out of the house, develop new friends, connections, and experiences. A range of initiatives are calling out for volunteers to help with various aspects of the crisis like delivering supplies to the vulnerable and helping with a range of research projects on the virus.
- Deepen – We live in a TL;DR world. Now is the time to read that novel, examine the citations in that article, or immerse yourself in some long form material.
- Create – Time to get the pleasure and satisfaction and even cost savings of making it yourself. Everything from candles (from old bits), soap (also from old bits), to baked goods and as far as your creativity can take you.
- Bond – You may be locked in for a very long time so best to get as happy together as possible. One of my favourite techniques is “sharing appreciations”. You sit down and tell the other person something you appreciate about them. Start your sentence with the words “Something I appreciate about you is how you…” (thanks Sally).
- Relax – There’s nothing wrong with just chilling out. A lot. In our hectic, 24×7 world, we don’t get many chances to sit back and smell the roses (in our own yard). Now’s the chance.