We’re living in an uncertain time right now in our world. There is mass hysteria over the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and we honestly have no idea what the long-term impact will be to our society, economy, or way of life. Schools are shut down, businesses are closed, groceries are limited, and many people are being let go from their jobs. The virus itself doesn’t frighten me, but the repercussions from the social distancing and shutdowns give me a bit of anxiety.
However, I’ve been forcing myself to look at this from a different perspective, one that sees the goodness that can come from something like this. After all, remember how united our country was on September 12, 2001, one day after the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists? We can be good people, good neighbors, people who put others before ourselves, help out as much as possible – I know it’s possible, and I hope that’s what happens.
I think good things can, and will, come from the COVID-19 outbreak, because we are a resilient society. I’ve made a list of good habits that we can create during this crisis.
GOOD HABITS TO CREATE DURING CRISIS
HABIT #1: BECOME MORE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
People are losing their jobs, which means income is being affected. Yet, we still have to be able to buy groceries for our families. If we have to limit how much we’re able to spend, and be careful about what we spend it on, perhaps we’ll learn how to be more financially responsible even after the crisis has been averted.
If we learn to live without certain things, or reduce our expenses for a limited amount of time, perhaps we can make this a new way of life. When our income returns, but our bills and expenses remain the same, we can end up saving more money in the long-run.
HABIT #2: MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES
I’ve noticed that people are buying more produce during this time. Fruits and vegetables are so much healthier than processed foods. Perhaps we’ll adjust to eating more fruits and vegetables on the regular!
I’ve also noticed people are getting outside more often, taking every opportunity to breathe the fresh air and soak up some sunshine, rather than sitting inside in front of the TV or computer. It’s funny – when someone tells us we can’t do something, it makes us want to do that very thing even more. For most of us, we’re not told we can’t go outside, but we are being told to limit our time outside, or stay in our own home areas.
Maybe we’ll learn to make this a regular part of our days – one or two 30-minute walks around the neighborhood each day would definitely be beneficial to our overall health!
HABIT #3: FOCUS ON FAMILY TIME
While the idea of forced family time may not sound super appealing to a lot of us (hello, teenagers!), it can help us get to know our own family members better. Life gets busy, and demands of the day cause us to spend a lot of time apart. And the time we do spend together is spent working or doing homework or taking care of the house.
Once those things are out of the way, and you just have to be together, you might learn more about each other, become better communicators, and find out that you really do like each other (not just love each other because you have to!).
HABIT #4: WASTE LESS
This one ties into the financial responsibility thing. If we have limited income, and limited resources, we are forced to learn how to use what we have without wasting anything. How cool would it be if this became a daily lifestyle?
What if we use all of our groceries before they go bad? What if we actually eat all of the produce in the house before we buy more? What if we wear our clothes longer, instead of getting rid of them when we grow tired of the style? What if we make do with what we have instead of rushing out to buy the next coolest thing?
I’ve even found myself grabbing microfiber cloths to wipe down countertops, instead of paper towels. I can just throw them in the wash and reuse them instead of wasting paper! Maybe I’m dreaming, but perhaps we’ll learn how to make the most of what’s available and learn to create less waste.
HABIT #5: LEARN TO REST
If you can’t go to work or go to school, you’ll quickly figure out that you have a lot of time on your hands. Our culture is one that glorifies the hustle, but in times like these, there isn’t a hustle. You can’t be busy when you have nothing to do.
Instead, rest. Learn to love a quiet afternoon spent reading a book, or taking a nap, or playing board games with your family. Learn to just sit still and breathe, maybe pray or meditate or read scripture.
When rest becomes a habit, you long for it when life gets crazy.
HABIT #6: ENJOY A HOBBY
Once upon a time, you had a hobby or two that you loved to pursue when you had this magical thing called free time. Somewhere along the way, you became busy with work and kids and life, and those hobbies took a backseat.
Well guess what, my friend?! You now have free time again! It’s time to figure out what those hobbies were that you loved so much, or find new ones, and give them a go!
Hobbies should be part of our routine. They help our brains stay healthy by focusing on something different. If those hobbies involve learning a skill, you’re sharpening your mental fortitude while also entertaining yourself. It’s a win-win!
OTHER GOOD HABITS:
- Be more creative. Did you know boredom forces us to be creative? Watch a little kid get bored. They do some amazing things!
- Learn to meal plan and prep. Seriously. It’s a skill that is easily mastered, and now might be your chance to master that skill!
- Gain a stronger appreciation for our community. When you need help and can’t leave the house, count on your friends. And they’ll count on you.
- Enjoy people more. When you can only communicate with the people in your household, it makes you appreciate and enjoy conversations with people outside of your home when you’re allowed to hang out again!
- Create healthy routines. Maybe you’ve wanted to start a morning routine that includes Bible study. Now’s the perfect time to try that out!
Your turn: What positive things are you seeing from this pandemic?