How Your Response to Coronavirus Can Make You a Better Person

The Coronavirus has changed all our lives. Whether this means canceling a trip, traveling less, working from home, or not visiting family members, its effect is profound and wide-ranging. I’m writing this from Spain, where we are on lockdown.

Being Positive

A positive mental attitude is vital at this
time. Here are some of the ways that I like to think these days:

  • By staying at
    home and not traveling, I am not only protecting myself, but I am protecting
    other people.
  • I am grateful for
    my health.
  • Spending a lot of
    time at home is a change but gives me time to do things I always wanted.

That last point – doing things that you don’t
normally have time for – is really worth thinking about. When you turn a
negative into a positive, then you take control. Rather than be a victim of
some misfortune, you can find ways to make some part of this a good thing.

What’s Worked for Me

I am in Spain at the moment and the lockdown
means that we can leave the house to buy groceries, go to the pharmacy, or get
medical care. We can also walk the dog but are encouraged to keep that to a

The army patrol the streets and if you are
walking with someone, they will ask you to stay one meter apart. The rest of
the time, we are inside. Here’s what has worked for me during that time:

Doing Exercise at the Same Time Each Day

Any type of movement, even a few stretches,
counts toward exercise. But when there is a set time to move, then I actually
do what I have planned. Afterwards, I always feel a little better.

Making Mealtimes the Center of the Day

I often eat to fit my day, but now I really
look forward to preparing food, sitting with the people in my house, and
stretching out the experience. Think how the French treat meals – that’s what
I’m going for.

Spending at Least 30 Minutes a Day on Self-Improvement

I speak French but, sharing a house with
French people, I have a great chance to improve my language, so I study my
French grammar and vocabulary for at least 30 minutes a day. I also play guitar
and have some pieces I’m working hard to learn.

Why Self-Improvement Can Be Vital

Most of us, retired or not, have worked in a
job where we are run off our feet – and the day passes so quickly. Some might
have worked in a job where there wasn’t much to do – for example, a shop with
few customers – and the day took forever to pass.

Obviously, if we are to be stuck indoors, we
would like our days to pass quickly. Therefore, we need to be active, we need
to be disciplined, and we would ideally spend some time learning something or
working on something we wish to improve.

I am a guitar teacher, and when I connect via
Skype to give lessons these days, my students are delighted to have their
lesson. When I speak to them now, I finish the call by setting them a “mission”
for next week. Something that would be truly satisfying to master – yet quite a

I know that after the call if you were to say
to one of these students, “Hey, you’re going to be playing a lot of guitar this
week because of the lockdown,” they would probably reply with, “Yeah, and I
can’t wait.”

Think About Other People

I get a great feeling when we end our lesson
calls with a mission for the week ahead. I think it’s important for each of us that
we help frame the upcoming months as a challenge to improve each and every day.

Maybe there is someone you know who would bury
themselves in a project if you gave them a little inspiration and encouragement.

We all have something we put off “until we
have more time.” This could be learning a musical instrument, getting fit, reading a certain book, or
learning a language. Wisely using your time to improve yourself or learn something
new is now more important than ever.

How do you stay positive in the current
situation? Have planning and schedules worked to improve your daily routine?
What activities or projects have you picked up that you don’t normally have
time for? Please share your experiences with our community.