Tips for a Socially Distant Life
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, Ohio will be under a Stay-at-Home Order that restricts non-essential travel, activities, and businesses. With so many Shelter-in-Place Orders already in action throughout the U.S., we were expecting this. Gov. DeWine and Dr. Acton have led the United States in how to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Luckily, we humans are nothing if not adaptable, and the past few weeks have proven that point as we’ve made the switch to a socially distant society.
So, what shall we do with all our time at home? If you live in a place like Ohio, where the weather hasn’t been cooperating, you might end up watching TV or staring at the rain from your window. (Which is totally fine, by the way!) Or you might be bored, panicky, or just plain worried. I know I am.
Writing has always helped me calm down, escape boredom, and connect with others, so I figured I’d share some ways we can make it through this pandemic with the power of a pen – or keyboard as the case may be.
1. Be a Pandemic Pen Pal
As you know, social distancing is not a synonym for “stop communicating.” Sure, Facebook posts, texts, and phone calls are quicker than writing a good old-fashioned letter, but wouldn’t it be great to get something other than a bill in the mail? Especially if you’re out of work?
Make someone’s trip to the mailbox more exciting with a handwritten note. If you have kids, have them help you make cards or add their own messages. You can even write letters to those in your house! Pass a note. It’s fun.
2. Brainstorm and Map Your Great Ideas
These uncertain times may prevent you from having the energy or emotional fortitude to execute on all the things you probably “should” be doing right now. I’ve seen tons of posts encouraging businesses to take this time to do everything from revamping their policies to converting all their processes for a virtual workforce.
That’s a lot of pressure to do a lot of big things.
Free up your head space by jotting your ideas on paper or a whiteboard, or get even more creative with mind maps. Who knows? You might stumble upon a new revenue idea or create an easily actionable plan to execute a complex change you’ve been putting off. The point is to get it out of your head so you can consider new angles.
3. Journal without Judgment
I’ve kept a diary since I first learned how to write. I definitely don’t do it every day, but I do make it a point not to judge what ends up on paper or how I word anything. (Even if I think there may be a snoop in the house who might read it!) The result of non-judgment is, for me, usually a profound sense of calm.
Your journal can be as simple as a report of your day-to-day pandemic lifestyle for posterity’s sake, or it can be a place to work through your toughest emotions. It’s entirely up to you; the important thing is to ease your mental burden by letting your mind flow through your fingers and onto the page.
4. Capture Pandemic Life from Another P.O.V.
When you’re suddenly unable to go to restaurants, sporting events, or even to hang out with friends, it’s absurdly easy to get all wrapped up in your thoughts and turn into a panicky pessimist. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to communicate this feeling to others or even open yourself up to your own journal.
If this happens, jump into someone else’s shoes. That someone could be your dog/cat, an infant, even a houseplant or your TV. (Sometimes, the more absurd, the better!) What modifications would they notice? How has their day-to-day changed? How do they feel about what’s happening around them? Your dog might be happy for the extra snuggles, but your Netflix account – maybe it’s demanding hazard pay.
5. Shoot Your Shot
Lastly, once you’ve cleared the mental and emotional space, it’s time to DO something with your writing. Since face-to-face networking, meetings, and events are no longer an option, you have to rely more on written communication to get from where you are to where you want to be. It’s time to develop your written voice and go for it.
As someone who has been running a nearly 100% virtual business for almost 10 years, I can tell you that emails, online networking, and content marketing are just as valuable as a phone call or business lunch. Update your resume, write a killer cover letter, start a blog, or craft social media campaigns that provide value to your target audience.
Not sure where to start? Or need a second set of eyes? We can help. Schedule a no-sales 45-minute Content Consult.
What else are you doing to get through the days at home? Tell us in the comments!
CEO | Lead Writer