During quarantine people are getting restless about basic stuff like getting their hair cut, avoiding gray hair color, keeping fit, and hugging. But lots of people are also getting very creative. You can do physical therapy and full body exercise on line with a creative coach. You can watch you tubes about cutting your own hair and those of others in your household. Shopping fully masked and gloved at odd hours keeps distancing easier and everyone servicing people in stores are remarkably cheerful. I always want to tell people I’m smiling behind my mask to keep up a friendly spirit. I see them raise their eyebrows and know they’ve smiled back at me, too. It feels good!

It’s so important that we each think for ourselves. Some governors might try to open up their states a bit without following full guidelines. That doesn’t mean we have to shop! Our lives are more important. Instead if you are economically reasonably secure, send a check to your local small businesses to help their employees rather than risk lives. Use delivery services to keep people working but safe. Even car salespeople are helping people shop online and on the phone and delivering cars to your door step. Pharmacies have drive through pick ups for medications as well as deliveries and even come out to parking lots to give you products curbside without leaving your car. Each time you help someone else, it feels good.

If you’re a lucky person who hasn’t known someone getting sick and seeing how even after a psitive test followed by a negative test there can be a prolonged recovery, it’s easy to keep blinders on and avoid the news and get into a state of denial. Certainly keep your anxiety as minimal as possible, but lets not be foolish. We need to think of ourselves and how we affect others. Parents and grandparents need to set positive examples for their kids. We all have to be more tolerant of periodic irritability and anxiety in others. Write more emails. Even send real handwritten letters. Make more phone calls to people you haven’t seen for a while. If you keep up this kind of communication daily, it helps a great deal.

On the other hand, lots of us are introverts and don’t find time to ourselves too difficult. In fact, it’s more accepted. Great scientists and numerous creators are often introverts. Even Bill Gates. So while our culture seems to revere the extroverted leader, they are not the only productive people by far. So if you are enjoying your time alone, don’t hide it. It’s a good thing to enjoy time to yourself. Some people working at home claim they are actually working longer because they aren’t stifled by business hours and complete projects without interruption.

It’s a rare opportunity to learn more about ourselves not only because we are learning to weather a crisis but because we are enjoying new pursuits and stretching our brains. Yes, our brains. Brains have what’s called plasticity–meaning we can develop new neurons that expand our abilities and intelligence no matter how old you are. There’s more time now to read, listen to music, try out that invention you used to only dream about. It’s not about success, but the process of learning. That is, learning for it’s own sake. That’s what expands our brain power. Go for it. Try something new. Teach something new to others online or in your household.

Now is NOT the time to hold back on carrying out some daydreams that you didn’t have time for before. Start online businesses, sell your crafts on Etsy, practice writing with your left hand if you’re right handed or vice versa–that builds neurons and expands your brain’s potential as well as all these new enterprises. Play cards, pull out board games, write poetry and short stories. It’s amazing how much we’ve kept ourselves from doing and learning. This is OPPORTUNITY TIME to expand and grow in new ways.

If you have some good ideas surely leave comments to share with others. Let’s grow individually and together!

 

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