I personally am sick and tired of seeing COVID-19 articles. I can’t even stand the word ‘coronavirus’ anymore because it’s been abused by every media source and news outlet, so I was really hoping I could find something else to write about this week. But, I noticed that all of these other stories have created a stressful hysteria for people. No one is even trying to find a bright side. So, as we all sit around and twiddle our thumbs complaining about how boring life is, I want to offer you some new perspective. Nobody ever damaged their eyesight looking at the bright side. It’s always present in every scenario, I promise.
This has been a whirlwind for me as a student-athlete. Last Wednesday we lost 9-8 against #24 ranked Notre Dame, and as soon as the game ended we found out all of our classes had been moved to online… by Friday night our season was cancelled… by Sunday night I was home. Talk about a stressful five days, especially for seniors.
The sports world being on stand still is incredibly strange. Sports don’t even stop for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, New Year’s, or the Fourth of July. Sports are what people look to in times like these to get their mind off of what’s going on in the world. But, it’s a time for athletes to refocus their lives. See, C.J. McCollum:
For me personally, the schedule of the baseball season made me more out of touch with my family and friends than I would’ve liked to be. I’d wake up, go to class, practice, dinner and study hall, then finally settle in at 11pm and realize I didn’t call my grandmother… and that it’s too late at that point. Everyone has those times. Everyone wishes there was more time in the day than their schedule allows. Even weirder, this is my first March with no baseball for eight years or so.
So, now we have the time to do whatever our hearts desire. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. With that being said, here are my 8 suggestions on how to spend this tough time and how to find the bright side:
1 – Spend the down time with your family. Especially college students, because your family misses you whether they tell you or not. This is a special time for families, believe it or not. You’ll always remember these weeks of being locked down together in 2020, so make those memories fond. Get out the Monopoly board or watch all of the Oscar nominated movies you tell yourself you want to see but still haven’t seen yet.
2 – Exercise. It’s hard to either stay in shape or get in shape when you feel like a couch potato all day. But try to have fun with getting active. Your house is the perfect ‘judgement free zone’ for trying whatever exercise you want. You don’t need any equipment to do bodyweight exercises. Heck, even invent an exercise for the fun of it.
3 – Pray or meditate. It’s so easy to get worked up and stressed out about countless little things right now. Try to take your mind to a different place.
4 – Work to perfect something. Take something you’ve always wanted to do and try to perfect it. That could be anything… cooking, guitar playing, accounting, whatever you want. There’s so much time to learn a new skill. I’m personally taking this time to explore how to amplify this blog to new audiences through marketing and other developments. There’s room for trial and error, and your eventual success will be so satisfying.
5 – Invest. Disclaimer: I am not a stock advisor. However, with the stock market’s downward trends, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in on some shares soon. Buy low, sell high. Look into how you can make yourself some money.
6 – Help your local businesses. The chains and the big dogs of the retail world are going to survive. It’s the small businesses and local restaurants that may be in trouble. For example, you can visit https://rallyforrestaurants.com/ to find a local restaurant and buy a gift card. This way, the restaurant is still making money and you have the credit to eat there at a future date. Jobs and businesses are on the line.
7 – Put the phone down. I know that’s probably the most ironic thing ever written, especially considering that you are likely reading this from your phone. But honestly, social media spreads information so quickly to us all… and right now the majority of that information is not good. Mindlessly refreshing your Twitter feed out of boredom is not the best strategy for making the day go by. Occupy yourself with meaningful work.
8 – Be selfless. Stay home. Chill out. All of our lives we worry about doing the next thing. We are always on the go, complaining about needing a break or a day off. Well, here it is wrapped up in an unfortunate circumstance. Plus, if the smartest people in the world are telling us to stay home, then it’s probably a good idea.
This too shall pass. Again, let this time remind us of the little things in life that we take for granted. Our athletic seasons, our friendships, our jobs, everything that has been put on hold for these next few weeks. We’ll get to appreciate them even more when they return.
For now, enjoy what is in front of you… and that is your time and your family. The media has presented us with stories saying that the world is ending or that it’ll all be okay, and everything in between. The truth is that nobody knows how long our lives will be this way, and there’s no sense in guessing. Just take it all day by day and make the most of your time.
Until next week, wash those hands,