WASHINGTON – Many people’s lives have been turned upside down as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The way we all generally structure our workdays and weeks has suddenly disappeared. In fact, you and I don’t know when the old normal structures will return, or even if they will ever return. That’s why it’s so important to do what you can to reclaim your life from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
A the various shutdown and quarantine rules ebb and flow, the impact on our lives can create endless variations on the chaos that has replaced familiar structures. Problems increase.
Being constantly at home with your spouse, kids and pets, combined with a lack of outside social interaction can add up to that familiar upside-down feeling.
Moreover, for working parents who are now teleworking, dealing with childcare can create additional problems. If your child is used to you working out of the house, and now, all of a sudden, you are working from home, setting new, if temporary boundaries can prove very helpful and reassuring.
In short, until the coronavirus threat begins visibly to recede – which it will – putting more structure back into your life now might help you push some of the current chaos back. In doing so, you can increase your efficiency and lighten your mood. You can reclaim your life from the coronavirus.
Create new, and perhaps virtual, boundaries and limits
I was a single parent in the early 1990s. At that time, when working remotely was not even in the cards for most Americans, I routinely worked from my home. My girls knew not to disturb me during my office hours unless it was absolutely necessary.
Fast forward to 2020. Think about what boundaries and limits you can create that are age appropriate for your kids. Ask yourself, What boundaries can I set up? Again, it’s all a matter of structure. Resetting boundaries can help you reclaim your life from the quarantine regime.
Zoom away! Time to learn or relearn the brave new world of virtual and video conferencing
Another potential issue to handle is the emergence of a significant new format for communicating with others – video calls. Skype is one technology that’s been around for a while. But today, most people are, or have become familiar with Zoom since the coronavirus suddenly made this technology a vital tool for conducting lives and work remotely. Now, it seems, we are rapidly becoming familiar with how to hold productive meetings through the use of application. It’s a whole new way to structure life and business without traveling or commuting.
Unsurprisingly, several of my clients now go from virtual meeting to virtual meeting with increasing ease. I’ve observed that several meetings I’ve attended start up to 5-7 minutes late for various reasons, the least of which is allowing time for new conferees to get used to this technologies. Further, these meetings tend to just go on and on. They can take up much more time than anticipated, which is something else we all need to plan for.
My suggestion in such situations – one I have found successful: Try to schedule your meetings by scheduling 15-minute breaks in between. That way, you are fresh and present for each successive call. Take a look at your current schedule. How far apart are your virtual meetings? Can you space them out on your calendar? If you can arrange to do so, things should go easier for you.
Cabin fever, 21st Century style
Being home so much more than before can grate on your patience. Notice how you and your family are doing, particularly with regard to over all mood and level of energy. Make course corrections as required as part of your effort to reclaim your life both at home and in business.
The lack of accustomed social interactions and familiar structure can also make you feel lonely. That’s especially true for extroverts. So keep up with your relationships. But do so online. FaceTime is great for this. Celebrate those special events like birthdays. Set up a virtual party for extended family and friends.
And do what you can to keep up your physical appearance. It can help
How we look and what we wear are absolutely factors in how we feel each day. So get dressed and do the best you can in that regard, even if you haven’t been able to get your hair cut and / or styled for weeks or months. Also make sure to exercise, eat healthy, and get a good night’s sleep.
In short, make the best of this situation, and re-establish structure where you can. I know that a continuous cascade of “what ifs” can unnerve many people. So take life one day at a time. In reality, that’s what we all have to do.
One way to look at this: View your own current situation as a retreat instead of a quarantine. I am not being a “Pollyanna” here. With or without the coronavirus crisis, there are clearly things we have no control over. So in an extreme situation like this one, why not try to make the best of it? Put structure back into your day. If you do, you will feel better! And you will reclaim your life from the coronavirus crisis.
To learn more about this and other topics, here is a link to my book:
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Professional Certified Coach, Facilitator, Trainer & Author
Business, Life, Leadership & Career Coaching
Positive Self-Talk/Confidence Strategies, Resilience Techniques & Transition Work
Former ICF Metro DC President
Enhanced C-IQ Coach
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039
Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.