The pandemic has been a tragedy that has uprooted many peoples’ lives. However, because it has been unprecedented in our lifetimes, perhaps we can look for a silver lining in our new ways of living.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways we can use this time to better ourselves and those around us.
More time for self-reflection
Change, before anything else, requires some introspection. But when life is running at its normal rate, it is hard to find the time to look inside yourself and think about what needs to change.
The lockdown has given us a unique time to sit back and reflect. Sometimes introspection happens involuntarily, since life isn’t as busy, or maybe you need to block out a time. Maybe some honest introspection will lead you to set some goals, personal or career based. Lasting changes can be formed following a time of self-reflection.
Do that thing you’ve always wanted!
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t, either because of work overload or plain procrastination?
Maybe you’ve wanted to start journaling. Or meditation. Perhaps you’ve wanted to get on an exercise plan or grow a garden. Have a book idea? What better time to start writing than now?
Reconnect with nature
The Japanese have a term for this, Shinrin-yoku, meaning forest bathing. For instance, during quarantine my family picked a different park to visit for several consecutive Saturdays. Now that the lockdown has eased, I think it will be important for us to keep getting back in nature. It’s important to step away from the screens and air-conditioned rooms!
At AUS we are a bunch of people that love being outdoors so we have tried to embrace that love even more so over the last few months.
Connect with our spiritual side
By improving your spiritual health, you can improve your emotional health and productivity. I’d suggest that it’s vital to connect with your spiritual side during a time like this, when the pandemic has spiked the rates of anxiety and depression in Americans. There are a plethora of spiritual books out there, readily available on Amazon. Meditation could be another way to connect to your spiritual side. Even having a meaningful conversation can influence your spiritual health.
Embrace your entrepreneurial spirit
As a family run business, we understand the uncertainty during these times. As a company we see this as a time to be bold with our decision making for the future. A disproportionate number of companies were founded during economic turbulence.
- Disney was founded in 1929, the start of the Great Depression
- HP, founded in 1939, the start of World War II
- Mailchimp, the dominant marketing automation tool, was founded in 2001, the year of the dot com bust
- AirBnB was founded in 2008, when the housing bubble collapsed. Similarly, Uber and Venmo (among several other tech companies) were founded in 2009
As we experience our own struggles with the economy, it may be a good time to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and make something great!
Take a lesson from Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist who experienced the worst that life and history has had to offer. He was deported to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp, in 1942, and later he would write a book titled A Psychologist Experiences Auschwitz. Later his book was renamed Man’s Search for Meaning and today it consistently appears among the top 100 books one should read in a lifetime.
There is a principle in Frankl’s writing that remains true across all circumstances, although it is particularly poignant in turbulent ones. It is that we always have the freedom to choose. In his own words, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
As an extension from his belief that we can always choose how we respond to our circumstances, Frankl once wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” So, in the midst of this pandemic and economic turbulence, let’s focus on choosing how we respond to it, rather than the problems of COVID itself, so that we can improve ourselves and help those around us.