Who would’ve thought we would see a virus disrupt the world like it has. It’s 2020 after all, right?!

I’m sure a lot has been going through your mind over the past several days. There is much uncertainty right now regarding the impact of this virus and the timeline until we regain our “freedom” and get back to normal.

Families are having to deal with kids being home full-time instead of at school long before summer break begins.

Businesses are having to adjust on the fly as a variety of government mandates and restrictions are coming out.

Nothing is “normal” or “as usual” anymore.

So, how do we handle times like these when we’re in uncharted territory?

Consider the five following positive, productive actions that have come to my mind:

1) Do all you can to remain calm.

While this certainly isn’t easy if you’re watching the news and absorbed on social media, it is critical. As a leadership coach, I often talk about how followers respond or react based on what they see in their leaders much like kids behave based on what they see in their parents. We all feel some sort of angst and unsettled emotions right now. That’s normal. However, the more we slow down to breathe and work to remain calm will help those around us do the same.

2) Be sensible.

No one likes feeling trapped or as if their freedom has been taken away. I truly believe our government officials are trying to make the best decisions they can with the information they have (which seems to change by the hour). While it’s easy to believe that politicians are only making decisions based on how they will benefit, I believe there is healthy collaboration going on for the good of our nation and world. Let’s believe the best about our leaders right now who are tasked with something none of us would want to deal with. Let’s honor the restrictions so we do our part to keep everyone around us safe.

3) Pray.

I’m a person of deep faith, so prayer is a fixture in my daily life. That may not be the same for you. However, here’s what I know. Prayer does change things. I see it daily in my life in a variety of ways. When I’m anxious, prayer calms me down. When I’m confused, prayer leads me to clarity. When I’m scared, prayer leads me to walk by faith and not just by sight. God wants to hear from you. Even if you’re skeptical about God or prayer, try it. Ask God to eliminate this virus and provide in unmistakable ways all around the world. If you need help taking this step, please let me know as I’d love to support you.

4) Maximize the time margin you now have.

I know that some people are busy working as usual, but I’m also highly aware that our lives outside of our work has been drastically freed up. For our family, there are no sports practices or games to go to. There are no school activities to attend. Going shopping just to “kill time” or run mundane errands are no longer wise choices. Instead, we find ourselves at home for hours on end when we would typically be out and about. It’s different for everyone, but let’s embrace the margin and become better personally and professionally. Let’s not simply binge watch our lives away or get lost in hours of scrolling through social media feeds. Read/listen to a book, take an online course, listen to podcasts, etc. Expand your mind. Study a topic you’ve been putting off. Make personal growth a priority so you’ll have more to contribute at work or to society when this pandemic passes.

5) Embrace technology, create, and innovate.

One silver lining is that we have the technology available to us to connect for personal and professional purposes. While life feels completely disrupted, embrace technology to keep relationships with family, friends, and clients strong. Think of things you can create and innovate to make your life and those around you better. Some of the greatest inventions our world has every seen have come because of obstacles. In fact, most of what we enjoy today is because someone saw a problem to solve or an opportunity to make something better. YOU are capable of creating and innovating as much as the next person if you set your mind to it.

Yes, this is a very inconvenient, disruptive time for us. It’s scary for those who fear they will be directly affected. We’ve seen some crazy behavior (binge-buying toilet paper anyone???), but let’s do our part to help society stabilize amidst it all. Let’s rally together and come out on the other side stronger personally and collectively.

We can do this.

YOU can do this.

Make each and every day GREAT by guarding your mind and taking positive, productive action.

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