The vacation is over. The long, arduous days and weeks ahead will be no picnic.
Welcome to your temporary new normal.
The first days and weeks of the coronavirus exile were a casual adjustment, and most people enjoyed the time away from work and the hectic day-to-day of real-life situations. But the transition began in earnest this week when the president and several governors extended the stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations.
Now what? You’ve sorted your sock drawer, cleaned up the garage, reorganized the pantry, you need a haircut and haven’t seen civilized people other than on Facebook (and sometimes that’s not civilized).
First, it’s time to move on from denial and anger. You can’t advance until you do. Here are some cold, hard truths.
- Coronavirus is real, it’s not a conspiracy from Trump or Hillary or Obama or the government.
- The media has gone nuts, so find a source where you can get the real info on what’s happening. In other words, turn off Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Facebook and go to the CDC or other sources.
- Social distancing — not socializing on the beach, the church or the park — is part of the cure.
- Face it. If you’re off work, you’re probably not going back next week. Or the next.
- Your governor is taking this seriously. You should probably join him.
Life has changed. The new April 30 stay-at-home/social distancing orders have probably come at you like a load of bricks. And, who said April will come in like a lamb?
So now what?
You can choose to sit home, be bored, go crazy and develop the destructive coronavirus cabin fever. Or you can actually make something of your life for the next 30 days or longer.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”John Maxwell.
It’s just a fact friends. If you want to make it through this season of your life emotionally and mentally — and maintain your sanity, health and soul — you’re going to have to make some changes. Changes that will require you stepping out of your comfort zone. Changes that will force you to try something you may not have tried before.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.Maya Angelou.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to change the world, your neighbor or your friends. You just have to change you!
Here are a few thoughts to help you step out of that comfort zone:
- Read the Bible. There is comfort and peace there. Don’t have a Bible. There are plenty of versions online. Download the You Version app and start in Matthew. If you need a regular, hard copy of the Bible email us, we’ll make sure you get one!
- Exercise. I know that’s a nasty word to some, but hey, you don’t have to run a marathon or climb a mountain, just move! Walk around the block, ride your bike, stretch, jog in place, work in the yard. Just get the endorphins flowing.
- It’s a great time to figure out who you are and what you want to do in life. No, it’s not too late for that! Discover what makes you come alive and do that!
- Do that thing you want most. What is it that you want people to do for you right now? Do that for someone else. In other words, sow goodness, sow love, sow kindness, sow thoughtfulness. Call someone. Send a card. Order something for a friend from Amazon.
- Set goals. Yes, even for the next 30-60 days. Don’t just sit around, but make a list of things you need to do, want to do, can do.
- Learn something! Yes, if it doesn’t have a Don’t-Try-This-At-Home label, maybe you should try it out. Learn to cook a new dish, plant a garden or fix something you’ve never fixed before. Google can help you do almost anything these days.
- Finally, just take a deep breath and take it in. Meditate, ruminate, contemplate. No matter where you live, there’s God’s great green earth. Nature. Sit outside and listen to the birds, watch the squirrels, look at the distant landscape and that scenery that’s right under your nose. Even look at how the trees and bushes are “built”. You’ll find unique things you’ve never seen or heard before.
- Journal. There are LOTS of thoughts going through your head. Write them down, let them incubate in your mind and heart. It’ll help you understand the times better and remind you years from now about this unusual and life-changing era.
“Change isn’t easy… changing the way you live means changing what you believe about life. That’s hard… When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change because the misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.”Dean Koontz.
Write down your plans, the changes you want to see and the experiences of your life. Frankly, if you don’t write it down, it’s not real. You’ll forget it tomorrow and you’ll be back at Square 1, lost and confused.
Friends, the vacation is over. But you can turn your new, temporary normal into a marvelous, permanent future. Let your itchiness, restlessness, nervousness and anxiety drive you to positive change and success.