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  • 4/20/2020

    Investing in Ourselves While Sheltered at Home

    Like almost everyone around the globe, we in Fairview, Texas are feeling the concern, frustration and restlessness that have come with COVID-19’s forced isolation from the workplace and society. It sounds like we might be getting closer to the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s still a great deal of uncertainty, so this might be the perfect time to re-evaluate the way we are managing (or not) our time these days.
     
    Our current situation lends itself to the temptations of sleeping in and indulging in Netflix marathons and comfort foods — or even worse, feelings of worry, fear, aimlessness and even depression. Many of us are likely to experience all of the above at some point. But what if, rather than allowing our unstructured schedule and comfy surroundings to call the shots, we look for ways to take control of this unfamiliar territory so that we emerge better and stronger on the other side of it?
     
    Prepare Now for Getting Back to Businessnot-now-when-image.jpg
    Whether we are frantically juggling family and job demands from home or we have more time on our hands than we know what to do with, nobody is likely to regret replacing time-wasting and health-crushing traps with choices that will better prepare us for getting back to business when the time comes. Despite the way it might feel today, this situation is not going to last forever. We can squander this time and neglect our minds and bodies, or we can invest in OURSELVES now — never a bad bet! — and be ready when it’s time to return to the real world.
     
    First things first: At the risk of sounding preachy, it’s pretty obvious that maintaining healthy eating habits and getting some exercise and fresh air are going to leave us feeling much better than doing the opposite.
     
    Next, here’s an easy one: How about reading some of those books already on the shelf that are gathering dust but are filled with ways to improve ourselves, our skill sets, our knowledge base or our mindset? For instance, reading about how to improve our response to stress or chaos management in times like these will pay dividends in the future, in both our personal and professional lives.
     
    Get better at something or learn a brand new skill, especially one that will bring benefits in the workplace. Online courses are available at no or minimal cost in all kinds of communication, technology and business skills. Wouldn’t it be great to become your team’s go-to expert in a valued skill when it’s time to return to work? What a bargain, on so many levels!
     
    If family and other demands limit personal development time to shorter snippets, this could be a prime opportunity to catch up on those articles, publications and podcasts that keep us in the loop and expand our knowledge and horizons. Our new Getting Neighborly podcast is an inspiring introduction to Fairview, Texas residents whose work and talents are making a difference locally and beyond. Check out an episode when you have about 20 minutes.
     
    Business owners can use this time to explore and apply for the programs and services available to help them weather this economic storm. The Fairview Economic Development Corporation’s COVID-19 Business Resources page is a great place to start, with links to emergency business resources, OSHA and CDC workplace guidance, and much more.
     
    Make It Personal
    On a more personal level, perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to meditate or practice yoga. Maybe you’ve always wished you had a hobby but haven’t had the opportunity to pursue one. Now’s the time!
     
    Many of these suggestions can be adapted to include family members, and not all of them require massive time commitments. The options are truly endless, as are the potential rewards.
     
    Bottom line: The real estate between our ears is the most important we will ever invest in. When we change the mapping of our minds, we create new neural pathways. Our cognitive processing and ability to focus improve. This is one reason the arts are so vital; they engage specific areas of the brain and literally boost its function.
     
    If we can improve our mental capacity by even a small amount through reading or listening to new material or engaging in a new habit, hobby, skill or artistic endeavor, we will have made the most of this unprecedented challenging time in our history and gained assets that will continue to benefit us well into our future.

     

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