You’ve heard of the Freshman 15? Well, in hindsight, they’ll likely call it the Covid-20. That’s the amount of weight many locked-down persons will put onto their frames before this mess subsides. Unfortunately, it won’t be muscle weight; it’ll be fat fueled by the insatiable appetites for fast food and stacks of potato chips. For those who don’t succumb to the Covid-20, Covid-50 – as in 50 proof alcohol – may be the devil in 2-ounce servings. And then there’s Covid-0, as in zero productivity throughout the crisis. Pick your poison.
I’m not trying to be smug… People are sick, the virus is devastating, and for a host of reasons far beyond our control, economies and life-as-usual are in the tank until further notice. The news isn’t good. That said, we have substantial control over the one commodity that’s in great supply during this season of scarcity: time. I, me, we have plenty of time. The operative question? How are we choosing to use the time? Hopefully the novelty of binge-watching Netflix series (um hello Tiger King!) while gorging on Cheetos is wearing thin. If so, maybe it’s time to focus on the little things you can control right now that will pay robust dividends this fall.
For starters, use the time to take care of body, mind, and soul. No, you can’t walk to the neighbourhood gym to hit the weights for an hour each day; you can, however, take advantage all those steps in your complex, the empty roads in your neighborhood, and an internet treasure-trove of exercises you can do without equipment. The key is to keep moving. Use this time to wage war on the pudge you accumulated over the winter or develop some new exercise intentions that you can take with you beyond the crisis. I’ve spent a few bucks on Amazon acquiring equipment for my own stay-at-home exercise routine. Do the same if it will get you off the couch. #NoExcuses
Now is also a good time to keep the brain and the professional portfolio looking sharp by honing your current skills, learning something new, and updating your resume or your LinkedIn profile, etc. Use this time to your competitive advantage. Inevitably, the job market will look vastly different when we return to our offices. What can you do right now to ensure that you’re viewed as “essential” when the cuts really begin? Alternatively, use this time to develop “Plan B.” If you need it, you won’t regret the minutes you spent preparing it. #NoExcuses
Do your soul a favor by staying connected with the people in your circle. Cherish the extra time with a partner, children, and/or extended family. Check on the people you love, and never neglect an opportunity to tell the people who are positive influences in your life just how much they are appreciated. #NoExcuses
Finally, ask yourself if this unexpected normal can become a new normal for you. What would your world be like if much more of your work could be done remotely on YOUR schedule? Doesn’t your quality of life improve? If so, now is a good time to take some steps that could make this situation your permanent new normal. Develop a plan, have someone you trust provide feedback, and make it happen. If you come out of all of this healthier and happier, than it makes sense to keep it going. #NoExcuses