Tips to survive and thrive during COVID-19

First published in The Border Mail as “Tips to survive and thrive during COVID-19” on 6-04-20

We are now in a phase where the governments around the world have adopted draconian measures of lockdown. While some of us agree with this utter necessity in the current COVID-19 circumstances, others criticise it based on the plunging world economy. Complains and criticism will not get us anywhere. We are all under a lock down and suffering through its consequences, whether we like it or not. It’s time to start considering ways to make the most out of this situation. To think ahead and involve in activities that would help get us back on our feet when we walk out of that door again. Let’s use this free time productively. Remember, we are in physical isolation - not in professional isolation.

It’s time to count the blessings of technology. The remote accessibility to do anything from anywhere. Those of us who lack the tech skills can use this time to hone them. Many educational institutions have chipped in these difficult times by introducing free courses. There is a plethora of free resources available online to upskill. Some of them have existed all along but we never had the time to use them. Now that we have ample time on our hands we can learn and improve.

We hear stories of families with children at home as schools have either shut down or resorted to Google classroom. Parents and carers are struggling to cope with working from home while attending to the needs of their little ones. Engaging our youth in productive activities like puzzles, scrabble and online educational games will help keep them busy while you deliver your deadlines. Upper primary and high school students can be benefited from some streamlined self-directed learning. You can use khanacademy.com and edx.org to keep them engaged. For the little ones, Amazon has free audio books.

Make a schedule and follow it. We need to keep ourselves physically active for the sake of our health.  Go out for a walk or a bike ride or follow a youtube video for strength training or pilates at home. Keep your children active too. For those who were involved in sports, various sports clubs have organised online training programs with weekly challenges for its young athletes to follow.

Allocate some family time during the day to sit and discuss your progress. If your family is away, you can facetime or chat over the phone. Stay connected with your professional network through LinkedIn. Dive into unchartered territory. Explore careers or work options that intrigued you, but you never had the time to research. Read that book that you heard about but could never pick up.

Make a list of things that you want to learn and do. Start planning. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Log in your work. File your papers. Create a website for your business. Redesign your business card.  Write! Write your thoughts. Write your ideas. Make presentations.

Teach your children what you know. Help them with numeracy and literacy. Teach them how to shoot a basketball, kick the footy or play table tennis. Paint, colour and cook with them. Built something in the shed. Tend to those fixing jobs around the house that have been pending for months. Clean out those closets that have been crying out loud to you. There is plenty to do in order to keep moving forward. It will give you a sense of achievement. 

Scheduling is the key in achieving your goals. Wake up early. Start your day like a normal workday. Allocate workspace in your house. Make timelines for your children to follow. Write them a to-do-list with deadlines. You will be able to follow your routine once they have theirs to follow.  This is a golden opportunity to develop some great work habits and time management skills. You will come out of this as a self-motivated multitasker. If you also use this time to enrol in an online course, then you will be more qualified and accomplished at the end of this catastrophe. In every disaster there is a blessing. If you find your blessings in this one, you will not only have your sanity intact but will elate. It’s all about the right perception and the right approach towards what the world throws at us. If we make the right choices it will all end well. Idealistic as it may sound, it is doable. After all nothing is impossible, and persistence can take you places you never dreamed visiting.


About the writer... 

Ayesha is a Career Development Consultant who has two gifted children. She is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA). She has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, Graduate Certificate in Careers Education and Development (RMIT) and Certificate of Gifted Education (UNSW). She also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Certificate of Fashion Illustration. 

She worked for a multinational engineering manufacturing industry before switching to career counselling, writing, teaching and case management.  She has worked in the British and American schooling systems and is now working with the Victorian Selected Entry and Regional Schools. Her diverse experience of working around the globe in the education and corporate sector and strong academic background enables her to see the bigger picture.