A year ago, no one would have ever imagined our nation would be on “lock down,” with many working from home, and millions unemployed. When the “stay at home order” was put into effect by government officials in mid-March, the end date was slated as March 30th. Now approximately seven weeks later, the majority of the country is still quarantined with an end that seems to be indeterminate.
Choices and decisions made over the next few weeks, will determine how many of us walk out of this quarantine. The industry I work in, was one of the first to be shut down, and while part of me grapples with being unemployed and the many struggles that go along with it, mostly, I see this as an opportunity of a lifetime. It is an opportunity for progress.; to emerge a better version of myself. I know this situation, God willing, is temporary. It’s almost as if time has paused, and this fleeting moment is the chance to set things right.
“Progress is not inevitable, it’s up to us to create it.” So create your progress by forming a plan of action. Here is my plan:
A. Stay busy – Staying busy is very important, because it creates a sense of purpose. When we have a purpose, we are less likely to fall into depression and self medication. A few great ways to stay busy – Read, job search, take an online class, breath life back into old interests, something you were good at, but for whatever reason, left along the wayside. Forge new paths, look into changing careers, start walking in the direction you want your life to go. Work on your weaknesses and nurture your strengths.
B. Set a schedule – Studies show humans are creatures of habit. We function best in routines that are familiar and comfortable to us; thus making us more productive. So, set a schedule for bedtime and wake up, meals, and workouts, then stick to it. This will hold you accountable, put you back into a routine, and prevent unnecessary weight gain.
C. Get plenty of sunlight – When natural sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the production of vitamin D. Crucial to our overall health, vitamin D also decreases inflammation in the body, lowers high blood pressure, improves brain function, and may protect against cancers. Sunlight can also improve your mood. If sun is not an option, then take a vitamin D3 supplement.
D. Stay hydrated – Dehydration can diminish blood volume and lymphatic fluids that are imperative to healthy immune system responses. Coupled with inflammation, this can lead to autoimmune diseases. Many who live in buildings with dry air should drink plenty of water and invest in a humidifier. Constant inhalation of dry air, can lead to respiratory problems like: asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and nosebleeds.
E. Maintain a strong immune system – The immune system protects the body against infection and maintains overall health. It consists of a “network” of cells, tissues, organs, and proteins that can be compromised by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, not all bacteria is harmful to the body, some are beneficial and help to strengthen our immune systems. Diets high in fruits and vegetables, ginger, garlic, and tumeric will also boost your immune system, along with proper amounts of sleep, and exercise.
F. Prayer – For peace of mind, shelter from this storm and direction through it.
I once heard a lecturer say, “if you consistently do a half dozen things each day towards your goal, you will accomplish it.” His logic was, a half dozen, or six things done daily, is doable without being overwhelming. Many of the things that you put into practice are interchangeable, so make your list and work your plan. Don’t get bogged down with all that you see that’s wrong, most of it you can’t control. Focus on the thing that you can- your plan.