Right now, we are all in a state of confusion and uncertainty. Some are working to balance new responsibilities, as schools have closed and our kids have become our coworkers. Many are reeling from the unexpected financial strain from furloughs and layoffs.
With the situation changing by the hour, its normal to feel lost and wondering what is going to come next. We are right there with you.
We also know that you are resilient, and that you have incredible power within you to weather this storm and come out stronger.
If you are ready to begin envisioning your life post-COVID-19, here are some actions that you can take right now so that you have a running start once this difficult period has passed.
Health and self-care
Pick one or two habits to build during quarantine that will help your life now and later. For example, teach your kids to wash dishes or make folding laundry part of their daily routine. Try to train your pet to break that annoying habit. Start stretching every morning. Pick something that gives you a sense of daily control, doesn’t feel overwhelming, and will help life go more smoothly in the future. Think of it as a gift to your current and future self.
Start a daily COVID-19 journal (great for kids, too). Spend 15 minutes each day writing about how things are going for you during this strange time. Expressing feelings daily can help our brains make sense of a world that seems to be constantly changing. It can also be a great place to write down ideas for the future, when the current crisis passes, and things evolve into the next new normal.
Move for 10 minutes a day in your home or backyard. Pick one cardio move such as jumping jacks or running in place or stepping or jumping side to side, and do it for 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off, 10 times. Be sure to warm up before and stretch as well. Then when COVID is behind us, you know that you can exercise briefly at home when you are busy. This small change will burn calories, condition your heart, and reduce stress.
Take the time now to connect with family and friends. Use FaceTime or video chats to reach out to people who you have wanted to connect on a deeper level and maybe haven’t had the time. Not only will this added downtime help us all reconnect with loved ones, once COVID is over, we can use the video capabilities and these strengthened relationships to bring us smiles in future days.
Get Clear. Take the time now to research companies and jobs that you would love and that you feel qualified for. Knowing what you are looking for is important for the next step. No one can refer you if you can’t tell them what you’re looking for.
Talk to People. Reach out to people who you’ve already built trust with and share the type of work or positions you are looking for and ask them if they know anyone you should talk to or that they can introduce you to that can help in your job hunt.
Update your LinkedIn page. It may have been a while since you have had a chance to work on your LinkedIn profile. According to one survey, 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. Take some time to refresh your page now. You can find some good tips here. And while you are at it, leave a few endorsements for people in your network. It’s a good time to spread some positivity and appreciation.
Communication is key. If you feel you may be late on a bill, call your creditor. If you can only partially pay rent, call your landlord. There are many programs funded in light of COVID-19, and may are not available unless you ask.
Start by paying your obligations, first. What bills report to your credit report? What bills can you not live without? These are first priority. Many creditors are able to defer 2-3 months payments, so call and ask.
With additional time home, talk with your family about your finances and spending plan. Many of us have high aspirations for our budget. However, things fall apart when it comes to fruition. Many times, this is because our family wasn’t part of the conversation. Remember – a 10-year-old understands more than we give them credit for. A joint goal is more powerful than a singular one.
Leslie Gill is executive director of Rung for Women. This article was written with Rung for Women staff and co-designers, The Fit and Food Connection, Family Care Health Centers, Prosperity Connection and Rodney Mueller, executive coach.