by Jody Bruner

Like most of you practicing self-isolation and social distancing, I’m getting lonely and stressed out. I miss seeing my family and friends and getting out to yoga classes. Most of the media is alarming, and it looks like self-isolation, or cocooning, is the new normal for a while.   

About 12 years ago, I had a slow summer. I remember reading a blog by Seth Godin, written to students with a summer off and no job. He gave great advice: use this time to take on a project and accomplish something you can add to your resume. Train for a marathon, learn a new language, learn to code. I was inspired and decided to build a website. It was a great way to turn what could have been stressful and boring (a quiet summer) into something satisfying, even fun!  

The Globe and Mail recently published How to Survive the Cocoon of Self-Isolation, and it reminded me of the Seth Godin blog. As many of us begin to work from home, have less to do as work slows down, and miss our normal routines, we need to find new structure and inspiring projectsIt’s a great time to sharpen your saw, so when things rebound, you’ll have an advantage. Here are some ideas to help you survive, even thrive, while we cocoon: 

  • Maintain a sense of routine. Get out of bed and get dressed every day. Create a workspace and stick to a schedule. 
  • Limit the amount of time you spend googling Coronavirus. Being informed is great, but obsessing isn’t going to help. 
  • Meet up with your people virtually. Have a beer or cup of tea together on a video call. We are lucky to have technology that keeps us connected. 
  • Feeling stressed? Learn how to practice mindfulness. Find online yoga classes, journal, or download a meditation app like Headspace. 
  • Use your new-found time productively. Gain a new skill. Maybe you can learn to speak a new language so when travel becomes an option again, you’ll have an edge. Learn how to play chess or bridge. Finish that knitting project. 
  • Train yourself and your team. If you run a business or manage a team, it’s a great time to sharpen your saw. If you’ve been thinking about improving your team’s communication skills, let us help virtually. 
  • Get ready for the rebound. It will come! In the meantime, update your website, your boilerplate letters and your canned presentations. Need help? We can teach you how or do it for you. 

Personally, I’m going to learn how to play chess. What about you?