The coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives as we know it. It is a time of great disruption, uncertainty, and loss. To cope, we must learn how to adapt. To thrive, we must use this as an opportunity. Don’t let this lockdown be a time to just let yourself go. Otherwise you will come out of it depressed, fat, broke, and regretful that you didn’t do more to better yourself. Here’s how to make the most of it:
Don’t Pig Out / Do Clean Up Your Diet and Learn How To Cook
It’s way too easy to overeat when you’re at home all day. But in the midst of a deadly virus, maintaining good health is essential. Resist the temptation to snack mindlessly and instead bring increased awareness to everything you are putting into your body. In fact, it’s a great time to develop excellent eating habits since you don’t have the excuse of your social life to disrupt your diet.
You don’t need a nutritionist, the latest diet book, or a fancy juicer to start eating clean. Preparation can quickly become procrastination, so keep it simple and start today. Implement this basic meal plan, and you’re already halfway there.
Eat eggs for breakfast.
Have a salad with protein for lunch.
Blend a fruit smoothie with protein powder for a snack.
Cook meat and vegetables for dinner.
Once you have a clean meal plan going, you can fine tune your diet by eliminating foods that you might be intolerant to and adding healthy foods that you’ve been missing from your diet. Try improving your cooking skills so you can try more challenging recipes and master the flavors you love.
Here are some cooking resources:
Don’t Be Lazy / Do Get In Better Shape
There is no better motivator to get healthy than a pandemic. Obviously, there are some health issues that are out of your control, but anyone can significantly improve their health by exercising, eating right, and quitting smoking.
I know it’s not easy to work out without a gym, but there are still a lot of exercises you can do at home. And if you have the means and space, I strongly encourage you to build a gym in your garage. Here are some resources:
Take Online Yoga Classes with Glo
Do HIIT Cardio On A Peloton Bike or Do Sprints Down Your Street
Use Your Bodyweight To Build Muscle With Isometrics
Don’t Binge Watch TV / Do Read Books
Some TV shows are on the level of literature, but most aren’t. Binge-watching Netflix is like eating a whole bag of cheetos in one sitting. It’s junk. And I know there are people who are doing both of those things at the same time, so gross.
If you must watch TV, check out my personal list of best TV shows of all time:
- The Sopranos
- The Wire
- Party Down
- Arrested Development
- Breaking Bad and/or Better Call Saul
- Louie (for men) or Better Things (for women)
- Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, or Simpsons
- Veep or The Thick Of It
- Mad Men
- Ricky Gervais’ Shows (The Office, Life’s Too Short, Extras)
Or go through these lists of the best films of all time.
Ultimately, I recommend ditching the screens and picking up a good old fashioned book. At least try to limit your screen time on the weekends.
Here are some lists of the best books of all time.
Don’t Obsess Over The News / Do Be Curious
Mainstream journalism lacks integrity and is often depressing.
The only news site I read is the Wall Street Journal, because it is slightly more neutral than the other media sites. There are no longer any neutral mainstream news sites. So try to limit your time reading the news and approach every headline with a healthy dose of skepticism.
If you want to understand what is really going on in the world, you’re not going to find the truth in the mainstream media. To see the world clearly you are going to have to liberate your mind, think critically, and fine tune your bullshit detector.
Here are a few resources to get you started:
Don’t Overdo It With Social Media / Do Stay Connected
By now, I’m sure you know that social media is harmful to your mental health. It’s also addictive and a lockdown is the perfect time to get sucked into a bad social media habit. There is no replacement for in-person connections, but since we can’t do that, the next best thing are phone calls and video calls. Let me fill you in on a little secret that Gen Xers already know: talking on the phone is fun! As teens we used to do it for hours in one session. So take your emoji game to the next level and try out a real human conversation. Also don’t forget to call the loved ones you’ve been neglecting like your grandparents or high school buddies.
Don’t Date Online / Do Increase Your Dating Market Value
I am not a proponent of online dating. The information you can intuit when connecting with someone in person cannot be replicated online. Remember pheromones are an important indicator of attraction. And if you are sensitive to energy, you know you can get a sense of someone very quickly in person.
I also think that online dating has caused people to lose the interpersonal skills essential to sparking a courtship, and it gives users an impression of infinite options. If the ice cream shop offers free tastings on hundreds of flavors then you’re never going to make it out of the store. Remember you are searching for the one, not trying to get fat.
However, love in the time of coronavirus is complicated. For now it seems like it’s too risky to be dating in person, so I think this is a good time to take a break from romance and focus on improving your attractiveness. Start by calculating your dating market value, and then work on the areas where you have room for improvement.
Don’t Dwell On The Negative / Do Prepare For The Worst
While the thought of getting coronavirus is scary, it is highly unlikely you will die from it if you are young and healthy. Regardless, this pandemic is a wake up call. Life is short, death is messy, and you never know when your time is up. If you have a positive net worth, then getting your estate in order is the best gift you can give your loved ones. A will, trust, and power of attorney will ensure that your assets get passed down the way you want them to and protects your estate from going through probate. A Medical Directive will give you the opportunity to leave this world with dignity and without burdening your grieving survivors. While it’s always best to hire a lawyer to get these documents in order, there are several online software options to get you started.
If you don’t have a positive net worth, real estate, a wife or children, you may want to use this time to improve your finances and learn more about growing your net worth. Here’s a personal finance blog I like:
Don’t Hoard Things / Do Some Spring Cleaning
It’s unfortunate that in a crisis, some people panic and resort to hoarding. This is not helping anyone. Instead of stockpiling stuff, this is a great time to let go of things. We are heading into a recession and your approach should be to scale back on spending, paying down your highest interest debts, and trying to live within your means. If you have any extra cash flow, prioritize investing in the stock market or real estate when the economy hits rock bottom. Also, use all this extra time at home to clean out your junk and donate the stuff you no longer need. Maybe even considering downsizing and living more minimally.
Don’t Plan Too Far Ahead / Do Reevaluate Your Entire Life
This is a time of great uncertainty, so making concrete plans in the near future doesn’t make sense. However, this is an excellent time to think about your 5 year plan. Take some time to reassess your life. Do you still feel passionate about your career? Are you happy with your relationships? Do you like where you live or do you want to start over somewhere else? Decide what your values are and what you desire and then come up with a long-term plan to help you get there. Maybe you can even leverage this time to pivot your career, set up your job to be remote, or relocate to a more affordable city.
Need help honing in on your desires, talents, personality, and limitations? Try these tests:
Don’t Be Selfish / Do Be Kind, Grateful, and Loving
I love that Americans have an independent spirit, but now is the time to think of the greater good. If you’ve been asked to shelter in place, wear a mask, and stay socially distant, then do it. Only buy as many supplies as you need, and if you have extra supplies, share them. Check in on your elderly neighbors to see if they need help. Call your friends who are stuck at home alone and cheer them up. If you have the means, find a place to donate money.
You don’t have to do something heroic to make a positive contribution in a time of crisis. It can be as simple as a smile to a stranger, a call to your grandparents, or helping out more around the house. A great way to get into a positive mindset is to focus on all the things you’re grateful for like how lucky you are to be alive. We need good vibes right now, and every kind gesture makes a difference.