Image via Pexels

Image via Pexels

As the pandemic continues to affect people’s lives across the country, many of us are dealing with major life changes as a result of the illness and lockdown. With many businesses closed and the risk of transmission causing people to spend more time at home, there are plenty of challenges—and some benefits—that have come about in the pandemic era. If you’re at home with more time on your hands, find the subtle benefits to having additional downtime and rediscover your hobbies, or discover new ones.

Navigating difficult changes

For many, the widespread lockdown due to COVID-19 meant lost income. If you were furloughed indefinitely or lost your job altogether, Harvard Business Review notes this might be a good time to reevaluate your career.

If you worked in an industry that was reliant on people gathering—restaurants, bars, and travel for example—you’re likely to face challenges for some time to come. Even though some areas are allowing bars and restaurants to reopen, many are doing so with a reduced workforce. Rather than waiting for your industry to reopen, it’s a good idea to explore other work options.

With so many people opting to stay home and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, remote work is gaining popularity. Fortunately, there are plenty of career options that can be done remotely, such as web design, writing, accounting, and sales. Before you search for a full-time role, you can try out different types of work by freelancing. Online job boards are great for finding projects, and can help you start earning money right away.

If you feel stuck in your career options, consider consulting a career coach like OAK Agility LTD to help you explore new paths. Coaching helps people think about goals and desired trajectory of their careers, and can assist with improving resumes, portfolios, and cover letters. It’s a great option for people who need a dose of inspiration, or who need assistance applying for new jobs.

Silver linings

It can be hard to find the silver linings when so many people are experiencing hardships during the pandemic. While you might be feeling devastated by the loss of a job, Insider suggests using the extra time to rediscover your hobbies and embark on new projects.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a backyard or front lawn, think about starting a garden. Not only will you reap the rewards of growing tasty vegetables or colorful flowers, you’ll also get exercise, fresh air, and feel productive.

Some people—especially those who live alone—are battling feelings of loneliness due to the stay-home orders and social distancing. One way to combat this is by adopting a pet. Animals are proven to help relieve stress, with the added benefits of helping you get exercise and fresh air.

As disappointing as it may be to lose access to hairdressers and barbers, this is a great time to learn how to cut your own hair. It’s not rocket science, but it does require some tools and tutorials: consider buying a pair of shearing scissors online, and check out instructional videos before you start snipping. And you might want to pick up a mirror that will help you see your head from various angles, thus avoiding uneven cuts and unsightly mistakes.

While the pandemic has thrown a wrench into virtually everyone’s plans, there are some upsides to the changes we’re all experiencing. Rethink your career, your hobbies, and even your companionship if you don’t already have a furry family member. Adjusting to the new normal is a challenge, but thankfully, we’re all proving to be pretty adaptable.

Blog by Jennifer Scott

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