March 13, 2020

Surviving social distancing

The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, and we are all being advised to practice “Social Distancing”—the most effective way (at this point in time) to keep the coronavirus epidemic at bay, while giving the virus less chances of spreading.

But this doesn’t mean we have to retreat in fear.

Instead, we can see this as an opportunity to slow down and reconnect with what’s most important, so that we can move forward with greater clarity and intention.

Here are some constructive things you can do during this time...

Get a more nuanced perspective on COVID-19

With infinite information at our fingertips, it’s challenging not only to know what is accurate, but also to understand how it all fits together. Without this understanding, we’re left wondering, “How serious is this, really?” and “What should I be doing?”

This article is a great place to start, as it is well-written and researched. It’s also practical, and is being updated frequently.

I’ve also been hearing more stories about people throughout the world working tirelessly to provide support, create new methods of testing and even possible vaccinations. I think it’s tremendously important that we acknowledge and share these positive advancements, as much as we do with the unfortunate realities, such as death rates.

Clean your room

This is a small project that can have a huge impact on your own mental clarity. Marie Kondo might inspire you to make this feel like less of a chore.

I’m always amazed by how I feel after cleaning and organizing my living space. It also provides me with a disproportionate amount of energy in return, which can be used for some of the other things on this list.

Make a budget

A lot of us will be affected financially by all of this. Our entire family, for example, was supposed to meet in Paris and run the marathon on April 5th. The race has already been cancelled, and we are still unsure how much money we may have to forfeit on flights, trains and AirBNB.

That being said, I’m using this as an opportunity to accept and let go of my attachments to money. It’s also a great time to reflect on our priorities, to make a simple budget if you don’t have one, and notice how your happiness and sense of self-worth don't have to be dictated by money.

Read a book

We all have books that we wish we had more time for. Two days ago I pulled out "Creating the Impossible" by Michael Neill, which has sparked a whole host of awesome ideas and conversations.

If you don’t have a booklist of your own, or would like some inspiration, check out the Open Dialogue Library.

Relax and recover

A lot of us have been living life at warp speed—"growth at all costs." You can use this time to relax and recover in your own unique way. Personally, I love taking a hot bath and listening to calm music, among other things.

It’s also a great time to work on your sleep. Sandie and I listened to this 10-day online sleep course last month, and have started to apply what we learned to improve this aspect of our life.

Connect virtually with loved ones

We are tremendously fortunate for the technologies that allow us to stay connected at a distance. Ask yourself who you’d like to speak to, reach out, and if you’re able to coordinate a call, silence your notifications and allow yourself to be fully present with others.

Practice generous listening. We’re all in the same boat, and no one is immune to the uncertainty we are experiencing.

Go into nature

Spending time in nature is grounding. There is also a lot more room for us to play and connect with others, with a lot less risk of coughing and sneezing on each other!

Create and strategize

You might be worried about your business or the economy. Can you use this time to tap into the evolutionary purpose of any projects or organizations that are important to you?

Where do you want to focus your energy when we emerge from all of this? What can you let go of that you no longer need?

Take a deep breath

Go ahead. Do it now. Make this a practice. You can even leave sticky notes around your home or set alarms to remind you to breathe throughout the day.

These are just a few self-directed approaches we can all take to survive (and maybe even thrive) with Social Distancing.

You’re not alone, though. If you’re looking for support, or if you see this as the perfect time to do inner work and personal development, here are two things I can offer you:

  1. The Open Dialogue A.I.—try it for free here
  2. Coaching—if you’d like to explore my coaching, you can request a free session here (all session are virtual, for the time-being)
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