How many days have you been under quarantine? Some of us are counting the days while others have lost count. Some of us can’t even tell one day from another anymore. Some feel like Bill Murray’s character "Phil" in the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Phil is a weatherman who feels stuck in the same place every day and thinks every day is the same no matter what he does.
Just last week, a friend of mine expressed her frustration in a Facebook post because she couldn’t get access to her church’s online service one morning. Finally, her husband pointed out that it was only Saturday; the church holds its services on Sundays. Her frustration quickly turned into laughter.
During this quarantine, some people have complained of boredom and feeling stuck. They're always seeking ways to entertain themselves and stay engaged mentally, physically, and emotionally. But, others have been working harder than ever to get through each day. In fact, some have been burning the candle at both ends. They're homeschooling children, working from home, and managing their households all at the same time. They say their workloads are heavier, days are longer, and life is harder.
We all have the same number of hours each day, the same number of days each month, and the same number of months each year. The questions are how are you spending your time and what is your focus. Is your focus on keeping your family safe and healthy? Is your focus on making money? Or, is your focus on rebuilding your life or reinventing yourself?
We must all do whatever we feel is necessary to survive and take care of our families. But, we may choose how we spend this time differently.
Social distancing has inspired some people to connect more. Some are using this time to strengthen family bonds and get to know each other better. They eat more meals together. They walk or bike their neighborhood together. And, they talk and cuddle more. They also check in with their friends and families more often using video chats and social media. And, some have joined exercise groups to stay motivated and create belonging.
The quarantine inspired some people to be more playful. Some are playing more family board games, camping indoors with their children, or watching movie marathons. From coloring driveways and crafting to baking cakes, cooking meals, and producing dance videos, parents have found new ways to engage with their children during this time.
Some people have chosen to focus on home improvement. From reorganizing home offices and crafting rooms to purging closets, gutting garages, or cleaning sheds, some people are using this time to declutter their living spaces. Others have finally found the time for house projects that they had been putting off, such as building new back decks and updating kitchens.
Some people tapped into their creativity. From podcasting, journaling, and blogging to launching videos on their own YouTube channels, people have sought creative outlets to channel their emotions and pass the time. Some have also used this time to read that New York Times best seller they’ve been putting off or to join an online book club.
For some people, improving their finances has been their focus. From exploring opportunities to refinance their home loans and save money to looking for new jobs, this pandemic has inspired people to reevaluate their current financial situation and prepare for the future.
Some are using this time to achieve their health goals. Without their days stuck in traffic from commuting to their jobs or chauffeuring children to extracurricular activities, some people have had more time to focus on their health. Some participate in online fitness classes, exercising outdoors alone or with their families, trying meditation, preparing healthy meals, and finally getting more sleep.
Some people are using this time to start over. From taking online courses and researching different job opportunities, this has been a great time to consider new careers or second acts. In fact, this pandemic has inspired many people who have lost their jobs to launch their own business or side hustle.
Some people have chosen to explore their spirituality during this time. They seek comfort and healing or desire a stronger connection to their higher power. This pandemic has also inspired some people to express more gratitude, forgive, or develop more tolerance and compassion for others. And, some turned inward to find new meaning in their lives.
Remember your “why.” Use this time to re-examine your life purpose or to discover a new one. Then, re-evaluate how you do things and how you spend your time. Do you want to spend it worrying, doubting, or being sad, angry, or afraid? Or, do you want to accomplish something you can be proud of with this time?
No matter how this pandemic has changed your life, consider ways to make the most of this time. If you work from home, find ways to manage your time better to improve productivity and make your day more enjoyable. If you report to work, look for ways to improve your work relationships and make your day more fulfilling. Also, find ways to streamline your work to improve efficiency and reduce stress.
Don’t count the days, my Pineapple; make the days count. Life is too precious to spend waiting for better moments to happen. Create them.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.