It’s no secret, as countless emails that have flooded your inbox this week already stated, blah blah uncertain and unprecedented blah blah we are there for you. But where does that leave you?

Simply put, you remain in self-quarantine looking to redefine your days and find your new normal.

How do you do that when the unemployment rate is climbing (the last figure I heard was 20%), the news is reporting new statistics of the pandemic, … and you’re out of toilet paper?

I relate, and the struggle is real for every one of us. Toilet paper is important. Hoarding it? Maybe not. (Not sure if you’ve got too much? Here’s a toilet paper calculator that can tell you)

It’s easy to get sucked into the hysteria and panic. We all face different challenges that we fight to overcome while doing our best to protect our local communities. These can be psychological, physical, financial… they carry weights we’re not used to weather daily.

But there are ways to make it more bearable, enjoyable and fuel your personal growth!

Don’t complain

Focusing on the negative comes with a wealth of negative side effects – and toilet paper can’t fix it.

When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

Instead, start a gratitude journal. It doesn’t need to fancy but find 5 minutes in your day to sit and reflect on the things you are truly grateful for. It can be as simple as your family and friends, or shelter, or food. Here are some more ideas about showing gratitude.

 Take Your Pulse

Just because we’re home-bound doesn’t mean that the world has come to a complete halt. Make sure you’re still keeping up with what’s out there.

It’s more important than ever to keep in touch with your local recruiter. As things change quickly, keeping your finger on the pulse of the market could be what sets you apart from other job-seekers. Should anything in your current situation change, it’ll make it easier for you to bounce back or find opportunities. Recruiters are valuable resources – don’t waste them.

Get social… on LinkedIn. Before you dive into the conversations, first make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and current. When you’re ready, check out what people are discussing in your industry, or in industries you’re interested in or passionate about. Be mindful how you interact with like-minded professionals and boost your presence. The more you interact, the more quality connections you make. Is this overwhelming? I can help you through it.

Once your LinkedIn profile is updated, dust off your resume. Is it up to date? Does it still look appealing? If you’re making a face right now, I know that face. I call it the “Resume Re-Innovation” face. Let’s sit down and make sure that your resume is your best marketing tool that will land you the next big opportunity.

Develop new skills

Learning new skills keeps your mind active and drives a life-long learning movement. An active mind and an active body is the ultimate recipe for health and success. New skills keep your neural pathways active, reduce stress and decrease our risk for dementia.

What are some new skills you can explore?

Learn a new language! There are plenty of free apps out there to help you.

You want to boost your work skills? Check out Coursera. They offer free courses in any discipline that interests you, led by credible institutions and organizations. Or, boost your mental health. I recently completed a course on The Science of Well-Being taught by Yale University on Coursera. It dives into what drives our happiness and satisfaction.

Don’t forget to add your new skills to your resume!

Reflect

The most successful people first swear by the power of gratitude, and then the power of reflection. Work through the negative feelings like fear and uncertainty, and uncover the positive ones of love, friendship and gratitude.

You can do this by engaging in meditation (check out your device’s app store for the best free apps), or taking up a yoga practice on YouTube.

Working from home? Now is the perfect time to start a new habit of reflection! Employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. Harvard Business Review walks you through how to do it. Spoiler alert: ask yourself the following questions and take 15 minutes to answer thoughtfully:

  • What are you avoiding?
  • How are you helping your colleagues achieve their goals?
  • How are you not helping or even hindering their progress?
  • How might you be contributing to your least enjoyable relationship at work?
  • How could you have been more effective in a recent meeting?

These are just some suggestions to get you thinking about your overall health during this time of social distancing and isolation. I feel grateful for the tools available to bring us closer to resources and each other every day. Truthfully, it keeps me sane.

How do you stay connected, engaged and healthy?

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