Covid-19 has been scary, cruel, and storming. But what are some upside we can count? How do we attempt to make sense of this global emergency and still maintain our basic daily living activities. How do we smile in the face of adversity and real fear?The survival tips listed below are as a result of reflection on these upsides.

Before we dive into survival tips, it’s important to reflect on the WHAT IF:

  1. So they say stay home; don’t go out, and you say “Okay Netflix, here I come!” What if there is no internet service? The people who lived in the era of great depression didn’t have the internet.
  2. There’s a stay home order, and now you’ve got to engage your spouse and children round the clock. All was good the first 7 days, but now you wish there’s some ‘Happy Hour’ escape. What if you have nobody around?
  3. You are single and alone in the house. So far you’ve survived staying home with your digital toys, but now you are bored to death. You wish you can go over to friends or ask friends to come over. What if you are sitting in jail right now facing a crime that only you know for sure 100 percent that you aren’t guilty of?
  4. Churches are closed.  Imams say stay home. The doors to your synagogues and temples are locked, and now you are worried about your faith in God. Some people somehow are even worried about God! What if there’s no God? What if you are the god – how will you bring peace to the chaos of the world at this time?

With deep reflection, the list of ‘what if’ can go on and on, and should force us to appreciate this life – our lives – more.

Now let’s jump into the survival tips you can use while you stay home practicing social distancing, and/or self quarantine:

1. Value-Reflection

Let’s break this down. As we reflect, our minds take us to the past (memory) and often scold us again and again in the present for what we’ve done wrong in the past. Reflection on values means snapping out of that “double jeopardy” scheme of the mind, and instead focusing on what you’ve learned or could learn from past mistakes. As you do this, you’ll see the good even in the bad. The popular Sage of Isha Foundation Sadhguru says don’t let your intelligence turn against you

2. Deep Breathing – 

Not sure you notice this around yet, but everyone is feeling what this ‘stay at home’ moment really is – isolation. Teenagers, even those that don’t quite enjoy schools are now frustrated and can’t wait to go back to school. Toddlers who normally will sit with their toys undisturbed are fuzzy at the sight of their most favorite. And couples? Let’s not go there. This is the moment that romance and sex will need a different kind of energy to keep the flame going. Conscious deep breathing offers you the instant escape the body needs but that you can’t somehow get at this time. 

3. Family Gym Corner-

Turn an area in your house to a make-shift gym. This is particularly important if you have teenagers in the house. They’ve got to burn those energy, or they’ll release them somehow. Tuck your feet slightly under your couch to get some sit-up. Stretch on the carpet in your living room to get some push-up going. Rearrange those ancient boxes of books you stored in your attics to get some weight lifting exercise ready, and keep 2 boxes around for a daily routine of squat as well as upper body workout.

4. Set up a Jump-in Routine

A routine is self-explanatory. It’s a series of tasks, activities, or actions that you set up and you follow regularly. A jump-in routine, on the other hand, is the one you created for everyone in the house, but you aren’t  forcing it on them. If you are a parent, you can use your influence to urge others to consider it, but please and please make sure you’ve engaged with this routine yourself, and that it works for you. It’s until then you can convince others. Be prepared to lead first by example. Try not to force anything down the throat of others- head of the household, parent or other status regardless.

5. Activate the Release of Dopamine by Learning New Things-

With a stay home order comes the liberty or the burden to manage our time. If you are a parent, congrats, as you are now a part of the “homeschooling” network! Teachers have set up the online learning systems which means you must assist your kids to log in, join the class, and learn. Some parents also now have to “make” the kids do the assignments. By doing all these, you are learning yourself. For those that aren’t parents, grab a cookbook or visit the AfroGist Media Food and Recipes space to learn cooking tips and recipes. There are scores of ethnic foods in there. You don’t enjoy cooking? Fine. Go to Youtube and search for something of interest you can learn. Your brain enjoys learning new things.

6. Stay Home Vs. House Arrest-

Know that at the end of the day, your stay home order isn’t a house arrest. There isn’t an electronic monitoring system tied on your feet to tag your location and report to the office of some Governor General. This means that with proper precautions like gloves, mask, etc, you and family can take a walk outside in your yard, and on your street. Stretch and enjoy fresh air. When you do, promptly return home and observe the hand washing protocols. It is advised that someone is designated as“chaperon” to cater specifically to the kids and/or grandmas and grandpas.

In conclusion, as the saying goes – no condition is permanent. Like many other phases of life, this time too shall pass. Instead of seeing the worst in this situation, reflect on how worse it could have been. As your mind engages in the threat and sadness brought on by Covid-19, bring it back to create a balance by reflecting on the opportunities that can be tapped because of covid-19. Be creative – no solution is ever created without the emergence of a problem. Let history remember you for how you deal with Covid-19 despite the odds. 

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