Well, just when we thought things were starting to feel normal for a change… psyche! Here we go again.
The government has reinstated some heavy new restrictions that reduce our ability to do a whole lot of the things we love—in the middle of a cold Toronto winter, no less.
And for all of us who felt like the new year brought with it a sense of optimism—one that has now been stripped away—we’d offer one piece of advice:
Don’t let the pandemic dictate your happiness this year. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, make it to focus on the things you can control.
Here are a few things that come to mind.
1. Be Present in Your Relationships with Friends and Family
Some of the best things in life are free. And, thanks to technology, they’re easily accessible, even in extenuating circumstances.
This includes being present in your relationships with friends and family. It costs you nothing. It makes you feel great. And, in a time where everyone’s going through it in a real way, it’s probably one of the most vital things for both them and yourself.
Make a little extra time to hit up your loved ones with a FaceTime or a phone call, just to catch up.
These small efforts make a big difference, and they last for the long run.
2. Invest in Your Professional Development
The way we see it, you’ve got two options: you can let these lockdowns be a waste of time, or you can take that time where you can’t be out at restaurants, bars, and gyms to learn something new and develop your skills.
Remember in the last point when we mentioned the benefits of technology for staying in touch?
It also lets you learn almost anything, either inexpensively or for free.
Not sure where to start? Check out this article we wrote: Low-Cost Ways For Entrepreneurs to Learn Almost Anything.
3. Show Up in Your Work
It sucks that we can’t go to restaurants or work out. It’s demoralizing and demotivating.
But think of it this way: if you’re still in business or you’ve still got a job, you’re doing a lot better than a lot of other people.
Take this time to go all-in on your work. Dedicate time to catch up on tasks that had fallen by the wayside or to take on that daunting but exciting project you always said you never had the bandwidth for.
You decide how the outcome of this lockdown. Are you going to stay stagnant or are you going to come out ahead?
4. Look After Your Mental and Physical Wellbeing
This pandemic has been tough on us mentally and emotionally.
And losing the ability to exercise is going to be pretty tolling on a lot of people too.
In the absence of traditional options, think about other ways to keep yourself feeling strong and healthy:
- Focus on eating well
- Do some at-home workouts, whether with small weights (if you can find them) or bodyweight
- If the weather permits, get outdoors, whether for a run, a bike ride, or simply just some good old-fashioned fresh air and vitamin D
- Test out apps for meditation, like the Calm app (trust us, it’s really, really nice)
- Make more time for deeper sleep (the Calm app also has sleep stories, like the dude from Game of Thrones talking you through a tour of New Zealand—it’s majestic)
Times are tough enough on their own. Don’t let them take away your well-being.
5. Enjoy the Intangibles
You know, we once heard someone say that, when they became self-employed, they reevaluated their priorities.
Specifically, they realized being entirely independent in their work, no matter how successful they got, meant there was always the risk that the wheels could fall off.
They could lose it all.
So, rather than focusing on what they could buy—whether it was clothes or cars or jewelry or dinners or drinks or trips—they would proactively seek enjoyment in the intangible things.
After all, if you tethered your enjoyment of life to those things and then lost your ability to have them, you’d be left feeling pretty bummed out.
So, focusing on the intangibles helps solve that problem.
What these intangibles are to you is personal: it could be getting out at walking your dog along the lakeshore, sitting outside with the sun on your face, or talking to your family on the phone.
Whatever it might be, the point is this: focus on the things that you’d still have if you lost all your money. Or, in this case, the little joys you can still get in life, even as restrictions take away some of your favourite pastimes.
The restrictions are mandatory. Being miserable isn’t.
6. Surround Yourself with a Professional Community
As lockdowns loom and cases surge, loneliness and seclusion become real risks again.
That’s why it’s vital to take every opportunity to surround yourself with people who inspire you and fill your days with a little extra levity.
And it’s for that exact reason that we get so much joy out of coming into work at Project Spaces each day and being surrounded by amazing work friends.
If you’re feeling the loneliness, our doors are open and you’re always welcome here.
7. Take It Easy on Yourself
One of the most important things in this article is simple in theory, harder in practice, and more vital now than ever:
Give yourself a break.
We’re in the midst of unprecedented times, and it’s no doubt taking a toll on us all.
So, give yourself some wiggle room when it comes to expecting perfection. Allow yourself to just live.
Life’s going hard on you these days. So take it easy on yourself.
At Project Spaces, we used the time afforded by the previous round of lockdowns to improve our membership experience in so many ways. And while there's nothing exciting about the new restrictions, constantly improving is something we are always excited about - expect more of that from us.
And if you’re feeling beat down by this latest wave of uncertainty, come join us in focusing on the things we can control, surrounding ourselves with great work friends, and making life a whole lot better together.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more