Hello! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted for a few reasons, one of them feeling like I couldn’t post regular travel topics I had in mind because of the coronavirus.
I feel like a lot of my thoughts on COVID-19 are captured by a lot of what’s circulating the internet.
- People are overreacting in some cases and underreacting in others
- The world (including governments, businesses, and individuals) isn’t ready to handle such a widespread, infectious outbreak
- In-person socializing is a necessity for most people
- People are lost without purpose, whether that’s living to work or creating interactive galleries or whatever
- Domestic abusees, the homeless, and other vulnerable groups need to be a priority in finding solutions for them
- I have a very privileged position
- My new business in life coaching is a great one to have at this point
- My travel blog and tour guiding are very dependent on exterior factors
- I miss physical touch a lot (it’s one of my top love languages but can be satisfied in a platonic sense)
- I’m not sure how people were able to “predict” that there would be an economic downtown as bad or worse than 2008 in the range of 2019-2021 and they were right (I thought it was all conspiracy at that point)
- Is now the best time to invest?
- Working from home is possible for so many, yet we need people in certain sectors working person-to-person, like in grocery stores (until everything somehow gets automated), delivery people (until automatic driving becomes feasible), doctors and nurses in hospitals, etc.
- And so much more
This global pandemic continues to spread sickness, death, and fear amongst many, while some still remain ignorant. Here are just a few links to get started with educating yourself if you haven’t yet:
- The World Health Organization official information
- The CDC, a USA-based organization
- BBC’s overview posted April 1, 2020
- Articles such as Coronavirus: The Hammer and The Dance
- There are so many others, like official news channels. Try to spot and stay away from fake news by random articles and shares. Go to official websites.
What I think is important now is to stay sane while staying safe and physically quarantining from each other. This is hard for travelers without a home base, but many have displayed generosity in these times and it’s wonderful to see the humanity in a time when fear and selfishness have shown up.
How it’s affecting the world
If you’ve read the above and/or kept abreast of news, you know. For those who don’t:
- Huge death surges
- Layoffs and closing of businesses
- Economic downturn in most countries, to varying degrees
- Quick positive changes in the environment (Venice’s canals have cleared but no, there aren’t dolphins)
- Both the worst and best of humanity showing through
- People are starting to learn about themselves
- (Most) people need some level of in-person socializing
Of course, there are a ton more things that are happening. Go read up a bit, not like you don’t have the time!
How it’s affecting my life
Personally, I’m not feeling nearly as many effects as others in the world (yup, already acknowledged my privilege above). But here are some of the ways that I am:
- I miss cuddles, dammit
- Spending all the time in the same space with my parents can be suffocating
- I can’t travel, I can’t tour guide in Japan (April) and Mongolia (July) with the startup company I joined, with.
- Making me think a LOT more about, well, a lot. Like how I’m still not launched in my life coaching biz despite having had the same amount of hours in a day before the quarantine. Like how I was thinking I wanted certain things in my life like how errands and taking time to meet people took up much of my time and effort before. How inefficient I was at working on my own biz.
- Even if I quarantine, my parents don’t (mom gets groceries, dad goes to work at a hospital on weekends), so I might catch it anyway
- Giving me a good reason to finally launch my biz – everyone’s looking for something to do (see below!), many are re-evaluating their lives after losing their regular work lives, and everyone’s online
Some negatives, some positives, some neutral.
What you can do while quarantined
This little blog post is to remind readers and myself that so much is possible while quarantined. Transformations are at the heart of my coaching business and I’m looking at the positives to make the most of the situation.
Here are some great starting points:
- First, educate yourself on what’s going on. Please. Know the basics, know how to clean and disinfect the proper way so the coronavirus doesn’t infect you or those you’re living with.
- Then shut off your phone and TV and computer. Disconnect for even 5 minutes. I’m sure all that news was a bit overwhelming.
- Take some deep breaths, ideally outside in the fresh air if that’s available to you (I’m thinking balcony, backyard, front yard, fully open window without a screen).
- Remind yourself that you’ll be ok and get through this.
Ok, now for the good fun stuff to keep you busy, engaged, interested, and entertained while you hole up (mostly for free because we’re on a budget!):
- Get in some exercise – do jumping jacks, stretches, take up pilates, whatever! There are so many online resources, from apps to full-on video courses, for FREE and without any equipment so there’s no excuse not to start your journey of a healthier lifestyle
- Recall your new year’s resolutions – have you worked on them? Now’s a good time to get back into that habit or working on that goal, since you have the time
- List out all the hobbies and interests you want to explore. Figure out which ones you have access to while quarantined. Choose one and do it for just 5 minutes. Yup, just 5 minutes. That’s what’ll get the ball rolling and soon enough, you’ll do it for an hour or two because you enjoy it. Didn’t love the one you chose? Then just pick another! It’s a great time to explore interests and hobbies and build a life outside of work.
- Video call with people you like. It’s physical distancing, not social distancing, after all! Have a group chat with friends or call your elderly grandma or visit your pet back home. Whatever it is, keep those connections alive. It’ll keep you sane.
- Listen to some upbeat music (and dance around)
- Uplevel your skills or knowledge in an interest by taking an online course! There are tons of free ones found on Coursera, Udemy, edX, Open University, and so many more! LinkedIn Learning is free through your public library card (at least, in North America), and there are other resources online that can teach you things (makeup, cooking, etc.)
- Set goals for yourself and reach them. Need to do laundry? Make that a goal due by Friday. Feel awesome once completed (especially if you get to scratch that off a to-do list!) Want to lose 2 lbs? Consume healthy food, cut out junk, and exercise.
- Do errands. Darn that hole, clean your room, organize your external hard drive, get rid of stuff you don’t use, whatever you need to do, do it!
- Watch a bit of TV – yeah, do this if you have that one show you’ve been putting off because you’ve been so busy at work. Try to break it up into 1-2 episodes per day, if you can. I’m not a big fan of TV but will use it when I really need to turn off my brain from overthinking.
- Better yet, get into reading. Libraries are closed in most places but you might have a book on your shelf you’ve been meaning to read. Otherwise, there are a ton of free books online! Some libraries have digital books, there are free ones on Amazon and Google Books, etc. Bookbub and project Gutenberg also have specific collections. Audiobooks have also risen in popularity and can help with multitasking while doing a non-brain-intensive activity (example: washing dishes while “reading”).
- Do arts and crafts! Draw, paint, sketch, sew, design, mould, build, whatever you’ve got! You can do little croquis sketches (1-minute sketches), paint with watercolours, create handmade cards, sew felt toys to donate, whatever you fancy.
Think, grow, transform
- My favourite thing to do while quarantined: reflect on your life and, if you like, journal your thoughts. Think about what you were doing before shit hit the fan. Were you happy? Were there things you wanted to do instead? Did you like your group of friends, job, routine? What are some negative and limiting beliefs you have about yourself and the world? What are the things you want to change in your life? What’s your ideal for each aspect of your life? How can you implement the first baby steps now and build up to bigger change as time goes on? What can you do to make a big change right now? What are some negative things that you can change into positive ones?
- Work on your mindset. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Think about how you can change some of your negative self-talk. Talk to online counselors and support. Catch your pessimistic thoughts and ask yourself if that’s really true. Don’t let the quarantine get the better of you. Instead, become a better person from it.
- Discover your life philosophies. Read up or watch intros on Stoicism, Marxism, Buddhism, etc. and find what resonates with you. What are values you figure out from this? Knowing your stand on certain life aspects will make it easier for you to make decisions in the future.
There are so many things you can do with your time, this is really the tip of the iceberg.
Take inspiration from this list, reach out if you need help or support, and get yourself doing stuff!
What I hope things will be like after
The future is uncertain, strange, and full of change. There are patterns that will be repeated and modernity that’s never seen before. Economies will fluctuate, jobs will be filled and lost, tyrants and heroes will come and go.
To keep it general, I can only hope for progression towards the better. I want people to be happier by choosing to push themselves to be the best versions of themselves and do the best they can for the world. I want governments to become more sustainably friendly in terms of economics, infrastructure, and environment. I want the world to be a better place and for people to consciously create that.
What I can do now towards that is create, be visible, and touch as many people as I can to plant the seeds of hope and change. And after this time fades, I hope to continue impacting as many as possible in a positive way.
Oh, and get back to traveling, of course!
Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy.