Over the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically uprooted our lives. We were forced to trade in long commutes, daycare centers, brunch, and weekend travel for social distancing, grocery deliveries, homeschooling, and added anxiety for loved ones who are at high-risk.

For many of us, this sudden change in life has made us embrace disruption and begin to understand what a “new normal” means in this world. But let’s face it, it isn’t easy. There is still so much for us to figure out, while simultaneously trying to balance demands from our jobs, friends, families, and aspirations. To help you navigate through this new normal, here are a few things you can tackle today to reclaim some normalcy in your life.

Avoid Information Overload

Information overload is a real issue that many of us are facing at this time. It seems like everywhere you look, COVID-19 dominates the breaking news cycle.

To help avoid feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to only rely on a few, trusted news outlets to help keep you informed. The best recommendation is to choose a national, local, and governmental resource, like the Center for Disease Control, to understand the current situation and recommendations. Doing so will help you keep your sanity and focus efforts on other areas of life.

Create a work-from-home routine

For many, working from home is still a real challenge. As the novelty fades, it can be hard to maintain productivity in your space. However, the world is still turning, and there are tasks to conquer.

The key trait to help you stay on task is to establish and maintain a routine similar to what you had before the global disruption. For instance, if your pre-day ritual included listening to an audiobook during your commute, be disciplined and carve out thirty minutes to listen to a chapter or two before you start your day. This can also apply to your lunch habits, your dress code, or anti-distraction rules from your spouse or children.

If you need extra help to establish a strong work-from-home environment, check out these tips from an experienced remote employee.

Learn a new skill

As stay-at-home orders force many to stay inside, you may be wondering what to do with all the extra time at home. Although Netflix binging and social media scrolling may be an easy outlet, now is also the perfect time to get ahead and bolster your résumé by learning a new skill.

Because of the digital landscape, many organizations are holding webinars and large conferences – once reserved for in-person only experiences – for free. Additionally, many universities, including those from Ivy League schools, are offering free courses that range from business, computer science, and humanities studies.

Looking for a deeper dive? This may also be the time to pursue a certification for a specific skill or designation. By investing in yourself now to learn a new skill, you will ultimately become better at what you do and can even help you earn a raise, a promotion, or even take on a new role.

Manage your stress level

The current pandemic has most likely caused you to experience a range of emotions. Whether it’s dealing with at-risk family members or patients, a turbulent economy, trying to juggle work or find employment, keeping kids occupied or homeschooling while schools are closed, or simply adjusting to a new, unfamiliar situation, stress can easily pile up and negatively impact you — both physically and mentally.

Although it can be challenging, managing stress during this time is important to keep you sane and ready for whatever events may unfold. The most effective way to handle stress is to start or maintain healthy habits. Eating a well-balanced diet, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising regularly are all important during this time. If your gym is closed or if you don’t have any equipment at home, you can still get a good bodyweight only workout; YouTube channel The Body Coach TV is providing at-home routine for the entire family.

Additionally, it’s also important to use this time to reach out to others. Being isolated and alone can be challenging, but making outside contact can help you – and others – ease some of that burden.

In the end, it’s important to remember that things will continue to change, and it’ll often be out of your control. What is in control, though, is how you tackle your day. Not every day will be easy, but investing in yourself will pay dividends.

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Brandon Osgood is a strategic communications and digital marketing professional based out of Raleigh, NC. Beyond being a passionate storyteller, Brandon is an avid classical musician with dreams of one day playing at Carnegie Hall. Interested in connecting? Email him at brosgood@outlook.com.
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