9 ways to look at the coronavirus pandemic in a positive light

The good news is state and national governments are taking the matter seriously and for many individuals, this is a wake up call to start taking their health and personal sanitation seriously.

That aside, how can we look at something that — by default — instills a degree of fear in so many of us?

1. We’ll get through this, and it won’t be forever

COVID-19 won’t be around forever. In fact, just this week in China, Wuhan doctors celebrated the closure of the last temporary hospital due to a massive decline in coronavirus cases.[1]

Of course you are welcome to focus on the dark side of things:

But you can also choose to look at the bright side:

Along those lines, think about the tremendous opportunity this could be for you and your family. It could be the spark of something great in your life.

The following suggestions are just some of the ways you can look at this as a chance for growth and gratitude rather than destruction and depression.

2. Think of this as an opportunity to refocus on your personal health

If you find yourself cooped up at home for days, weeks, or months, what can you do that promotes health and happiness?

  1. Jump start that exercise routine you’ve put aside
  2. Take up a meditation practice
  3. Add a daily yoga practice to your routine
  4. Experiment with intermittent fasting, or longer forms of fasting
  5. Try a cold shower in the morning
  6. Make your own personal care products: toothpaste, deodorant, hair conditioner, face cleanser, or mouthwash

If you’ve been curious about starting a bodyweight exercise routine, now is a great time to start

Pushups, sit-ups, and plank, are just a few bodyweight exercises you can do right now — wherever you are.

Or pull out that old Insanity or P90X DVD that’s collecting dust on your shelf.

Bottom line: remember to keep moving

Whatever you do, don’t sit around all day.

It’s important to keep moving, and get outside if you can (while still practicing social distancing).

3. Start a new business

This could be the time where you revisit that business idea you have, but have been too busy to start.

With more time indoors, comes a chance for reflection, focus, and opportunity to provide value to others.

If you have an idea that can add value to people’s lives, why wouldn’t you build it and start now? It’s the perfect time.

4. Feed your creative side

Now that you have some more time to look inward, it’s the perfect opportunity to let your creative side out.

Personally, I plan to do a lot more writing during these times, but I’m also going to be mindful of my New Year’s Resolutions, which have been the same for the last 2 years:

5. Feed your brain

Pick up that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for a while, or re-read your favorite book.

Learn a new card game, or even make up your own card (or board) game.

Watch a documentary or listen to a podcast you wouldn’t have normally have watched or listened to.

6. Start your spring cleaning early

This is a big one for me.

What a great time to go through your old junk, and start marking items for future donation, for sale, or simply come up with a new way to organize your things?

The Kon Marie method could be a fantastic practice for you to try. It can be great if you haven’t done a deep clean before (especially if you have an inordinate amount of junk, or your a class-A hoarder.

7. More quality time with your family

There’s never been a better excuse to reconnect with a distant relative or old friend, or even finding new ways to spend quality time with those living with you. Take this as a chance to give that friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while a call, even a simple “I just wanted to check-in to make sure you’re doing OK.”

Hard times remind us of what’s really important, so you can be grateful for that.

8. You can get more steps in

Walking outside is something that you can still do, just as long as you are cautious and keep your social distance (see Do The Five below).

Take your bike instead of public transit

NYC has seen a big spike in bike usage, because people have been discouraged from taking the subway systems.

You can do the same!

Go ahead and take that bike out of storage early, and start logging those miles.

9. You and your country will be better prepared if something like this were to ever happen again

A bright way of look at the current pandemic is that a person or country that was woefully prepared for COVID-19 will now have an excuse to be prepared for a potentially new outbreak in the future.

Preventative measures, personal preparedness, and just a familiarity with basic practices like Do The Five can make a big difference in the event something like this happens again (at a smaller or larger scale).

As a reminder, this was Do The Five: a public service announcement made on March 15, 2020 by the World Health Organization and Google:[3]

Do The Five

  1. HANDS Wash them often
  2. ELBOW Cough into it
  3. FACE Don’t touch it
  4. FEET Stay more than 3ft apart
  5. FEEL sick? Stay home

Have any other suggestions?

Please drop me a line at halegenic1(at)gmail.com

References

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coronavirus-wuhan-masks-video-doctors-nurses-hospital-a9402631.html
  2. Effects of Expressive Writing on Psychological and Physical Health: The Moderating Role of Emotional Expressivity Niles AN, Haltom KE, Mulvenna CM, Lieberman MD, Stanton AL. Randomized controlled trial of expressive writing for psychological and physical health: the moderating role of emotional expressivity [published correction appears in Anxiety Stress Coping. 2014 Jan;27(1):I]. Anxiety Stress Coping. 2014;27(1):1–17. doi:10.108010615806.2013.802308

  3. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

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