In our quest to not contract the Coronavirus, we instead got the stomach flu.

It’s been one hell of a week. The stomach flu went from my son to me, and then to my husband. As an introvert, I’m exceptionally skilled at overthinking, which means that the moment I found out that digestive issues are the first of Corona, I started freaking out.

The other night, while waiting for the white house press conference, I started having this intense pain in my chest. And of course, because I’m monitoring every symptom I have, I instantly thought that I was at the “breathing issues” milestone of the virus. While I wasn’t short of breath, it felt like a baseball bat hit me straight in the chest, I couldn’t stand up.

Yep. Panic attack.

So, suffice it to say, I’m literally in survival mode. Not just because of being sick, isolated, full of anxiety, all while handling a toddler full-time, but because I don’t have a clear vision of what’s to come. Both for my family personally and for the world. Which just adds more stress of course, but that’s where I am.

After I sent you my newsletter last week, I was inspired by a reader to make it into a blog post, which in turn ended up being published on introvert dearThat inspired me to write another helpful post for you.

For those of you that are in survival mode like I am, I feel you, and we are in this together, if nothing else. This new blog post isn’t meant for you because I know how little headspace you have left to give. Save it.

This post is for those of you that have some time on your hands, that might not have work, and that are seriously thinking about the next steps.

I wanted to share the 5 opportunities there are to grab during this time. 

This has nothing to do with being productive, as that might be a futile exercise, but everything to do with managing your present and future wellbeing. Again, what we’re going through shall pass, and when it does, those of us who put in some time to think about how to recoup will be ways ahead.

1. Learn a new skill

Let’s start with skills because this is where I get the most excited. I’m always on the lookout for what new skills I can add to my repertoire, or LinkedIn to be more precise. Skills that make me more marketable, knowledgeable, and confident. No ONE can take a skill away from you. If you can learn a new one, it makes it easier to learn another one. In times like these, people that have the foresight to see where the future steers towards will be rewarded handsomely. Remember, you’ll always wish you had started sooner, so let that SOONER be NOW.

Skills I think you should focus on

2. Focus on your home

I don’t know about you, but I can’t bear to walk into a disorganized, dirty house. It gives me so much anxiety that I start snapping at everyone around me. Then I get into a cleaning frenzy, cursing at the fact that I just cleaned days before. Now is the perfect time to finally declutter (permission to watch Marie Kondo on Netflix) and clear your home of all that junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Your mind will thank you. Not only will you minimize the amount of stuff you need to put away, but you’ll have more space for the things that truly matter to you and your family.

Two resources that can help you with this

3. Assess your finances

This is a biggie. It’s on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so because it feels like the whole world is collapsing. People are losing their jobs. Companies are asking to be bailed out. We don’t know what the eventual economic fallout will look like once we’re out in the clear. Or if there will be one, which is why we’re all nervous. When I say assess your finances, it’s much more than just looking at your budget right now and cutting out unnecessary expenditures. It’s about gaining the knowledge of what you can do to be financially stable should this occur again in the future. Because there’s nothing more terrifying than glancing at your bank account where you’re not financially stable.

Find out what I’m personally doing now

4. Invest in your relationships

Whether you’re stuck inside with your family, or you teleconnect with them, now’s the perfect time to open up the communication lines. Talk about your fears, anxieties, hopes, dreams. If you have children that you can rationally speak to, see what they have to say. And not just about this situation. Communication can happen directly through questions of course, but indirectly as well, while playing a game together or watching a movie that prompts a conversation.

This game works wonders for conversations

5. Personal Growth

This can mean a lot of different things. Personal growth could be taking up knitting and challenging yourself to knit a whole sweater. It could also mean sitting down with your significant other and open up about what you’re truly going through. If you’ve been meaning to work on some weaknesses, or even strengths, look up some books or courses that can help you. For example, if you know you have a hard time with conflict management (hi!), see if you can pick up some new techniques and practice by yourself out loud. It’s the perfect time to do so!

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to honor your feelings.

I’m just here to motivate or inspire you to make that first step if that’s where your mind is, because this is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and time we never would have had. I hope I’ve given you some ideas or some things to focus on, as always I’d love to hear how you’re coping with this whole social distancing phenomenon.