As we approach almost a year of quarantine and isolation required by the COVID-19 pandemic, you are likely feeling the frustration of the lingering rules and regulations. The social isolation has become an unfortunate way of life and the novelty of online happy hours and home projects has long worn off. You likely feel antsy or a growing energy or desire for something new, that you can’t easily act on.
While you may feel too worn down and exhausted by the pandemic, and struggle to find the energy within yourself to do something more positive with your frustration, it’s a great time to focus on what is possible and not what is lacking. This means keeping a growth mindset. Those with a growth mindset sincerely believe that anything is possible with hard-work and commitment, and believe that they are responsible for their own happiness, despite challenges or obstacles in their way.
In this post, we explore four ways to channel your coronavirus frustration into things that may support your long-term happiness and help you pass the time in a positive way.
Support a Cause
You likely have extra time on your hands, and you also might be seeking greater meaning in your life after struggling through this pandemic, which gave everyone an opportunity to think more about the purpose of their life. With the extra time you have without a full social calendar, it could be an opportune time to think about a cause you may feel passionate about supporting. Whether that be an animal shelter or an organization that ensures that people have clean water internationally, consider what you feel inspired to change. There are ways to get involved remotely, including volunteer coordination positions or even contributing by helping with outreach and funding efforts. Local shelters need dog walkers as much as local food shelters need people who will deliver to those in need. Consider how you might be able to help, and fill your time with a good cause, while staying safe.
Explore a Hobby
It’s a special time in your life, despite it being a difficult one, because for once, there is enough time to do anything you are interested in pursuing. Consider what hobbies intrigued you throughout your life, especially the ones you may have put on the back burner in favor of other responsibilities. From online photography lessons to gourmet cooking to getting an advanced certification for work, consider how you might be able to pass the time in a constructive way, and with a great story to tell in post-pandemic times.
While you may feel isolated and disconnected from others, consider how you could get to know your closest friends even better during this time. Play a game of “Never Have I Ever” together and find out more about one another’s risk tolerance, or have a phone call and ask each other 20 random questions about one another’s past experiences and future dreams. Be silly, be real, and choose to connect authentically during this time.
Plan for the Future
While you might feel stuck and uninspired, you have more time than ever to talk about and think through the future. Consider changes you might want to make, contemplating everything from your career to your spending patterns to relationships to trips you plan to take in the future. Now is the time to dream big and put plans to paper. Not only does a bucket list brainstorm give you something to look forward to, it helps you have hope that life after COVID can be a time of joyful new beginnings.
Keeping a growth mindset and positive outlook during this time is the only way to get through it. Don’t view this as pressure you are putting on yourself to get things done when you may already feel depleted, but rather think of it as a way to identify ways to make lemonade out of lemons and take advantage of a rare and quiet opportunity to channel frustrating and antsy energy into something that you can feel proud of. Our team at Center for Shared Insight in Denver Colorado is here to support your journey.