Coping with COVID-19 — Knowing How to Deal with Difficult Times is a Vital Life Skill
With the COVID-19 situation picking up speed, things are quite difficult right now. Many people are worried about their health, their jobs, their livelihoods, and their futures. There are also heated debates in the business and finance fields over the long-term economic implications of the nationwide shutdowns happening in most countries. And, to top it all off, we’re also entirely unused to the whole notion of staying alone at home.
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog. With today’s article, I’d like to talk a bit about the COVID-19 situation that we’re all facing, and tell you why I believe that knowing how to handle difficulties is a crucial skill in life.
Over the last few days, I’ve seen hundreds of posts on social media where people share their difficulties of coping with self-isolation and social distancing due to COVID-19. So yes, I am well aware that things are looking grim. But please trust me when I say that the best thing you can do in a difficult situation is to:
Keep Calm during COVID-19
Yes, that’s the first and most important thing that you can do to immediately make the situation more bearable for yourself and your loved ones. The more worried you are, the more prone to rash decisions you become. And, as you all know, rash decisions are rarely good for you in the long run. I’ve seen people panic-buying items at the grocery stores before things even started picking up speed. I’ve seen businesspeople, investors and experts rushing to sell stocks and assets. I’ve seen owners trying to get rid of their properties. Do you think that once everything calms down, they’ll be happy with what they did? Highly unlikely.
And while we’re still talking about business, here’s an interesting titbit for you — did you know that some of the most successful companies today were founded during the last financial recession? I’m talking about big names, like Uber, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Pinterest and Slack. Sure, they started small — they were just like every other ambitious startup. But their leaders had something that others didn’t. They had the drive, passion and persistence required to succeed.
Furthermore, you need to think about health. And not just your health, but the health of your loved ones, and that of the general public as well. Everyone is already under a large amount of stress. By giving in to the panic, you are only making the COVID-19 situation worse — both for yourself and for everyone else.
Of course, social isolation during the COVID-19 emergency is less-than-ideal especially since we don’t know exactly when it’s going to be over. Of course, your regular routine is disrupted, and you’re upset by the fact that you can’t go to your favourite destination and spend time with your friends or colleagues. But you know what the “benefit” of this whole ordeal is? You can use this time to do the things that you’ve always been too preoccupied to do. Those books that you’ve always wanted to read, those documentaries that you’ve wanted to watch, or those skills that you’ve wanted to learn, but somehow never managed to find the time? Now’s your chance to dive right in! I’ve written an entire post, specifically focused on productivity during isolation, and you can find it in the resource section down below.
What’s that? All of this isn’t enough, you say? You’re still very worried about COVID-19? Well, let me tell you something else — the world isn’t going to end. Sure, things might be a bit rocky even after the COVID-19 situation calms down, but this is by no means the “end of humanity as we know it”, or any other nonsense like that. For some of you, this might be the first “extraordinary” situation that you’ve encountered. Maybe you’ve never been through a particularly difficult period in your life. But these things happen. In reality, there’s a whole lot more to the world than the small portion of things that we experience in our day-to-day lives.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — knowing how to deal with difficult situations, and how to come out relatively unscathed, is a crucial life skill. And if you don’t think you can really get anything positive out of this unfortunate COVID-19 situation, then you could at least treat it as a learning experience.
Personally, I’ve been through a lot of difficult moments. I wasn’t “born into success” (whatever this might mean), nor did I inherit any of my wealth. Everything that I’ve gotten, I’ve earned through hard work and dedication. And, before I got to the point where I had my own business, things were very different for me. I’ve gone into some details about my life in previous articles, and I’ll use them here to illustrate my point better.
My first year as a student at my local university was rather uneventful, but during that second year, I got to experience one of the first drastic changes in my life. At the time, I had already met the man who would become the father of my daughter, and we were deeply in love. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, my parents were not supportive at all. Quite the contrary — they had a severe disliking for my partner. Naturally, we chose the most logical course of action — we decided to run away together. We made our way to Germany, and it was an entire month before I decided to let my parents know where I was.
So there we were — young, in love and … completely broke. The only thing that we thought to bring along on our trip were the bare necessities and some spare clothes. We spent some time living in a hostel together with a couple of some other Bulgarians that we knew from back home. It was weeks before we managed to secure jobs for ourselves. Suffice to say, we were really strapped for cash. I had to juggle two part-time positions, and even that was barely enough to make ends meet. It was around that time that we found I was pregnant, and we decided to head back home — we wanted our daughter to be born in Bulgaria.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and I found myself in yet another miserable situation. Things in Bulgaria weren’t going well at all. The country was just starting to recover from its communism-to-democracy transformation, and the economy was in a horrible state. Jobs were difficult to land, the pay was mediocre at best, and we were more or less raising our daughter on what we had earned back in Germany. For a time, we had to live on a budget of £60 per month.
Not long after graduation, I divorced Dayana’s father. We had gone through a lot together, but he was always making the wrong choices, and our daughter and I would always suffer for it. Adjusting to living as a single mum wasn’t easy, and neither was taking care of my daughter on an even tighter budget. But again, I didn’t give up. Life was tough, I struggled to keep up with the bills, and I wasn’t exactly happy with how things turned out, but I had to keep going. I owed it to my daughter. I spend some time working at a local salami processing facility, before realising that a chance for a better life wouldn’t just drop into my lap. I’d have to work for it, and I’d have to work for it hard. And so came my decision to seek my fortune abroad.
My current job in Bulgaria was barely enough to make ends meet, and I knew that I had to try something else. But even getting enough money to fund my initial trip to the UK would prove to be a challenge. And, if it weren’t for my boss at the time, I probably wouldn’t have managed to even get here.
When I first decided to go to London, I didn’t have any grand aspirations about pursuing a wildly successful career, becoming a business leader, or anything of the sort. I just wanted to try and give my daughter a better shot at life. I came here with just the clothes on my back and barely £500 to my name. I didn’t know a word of English, I had no connections, and I had no idea what type of job I could get. All I knew was that I have to try and do something positive for my daughter’s future. It was years before I managed to get my first business going. Long years, during which I had to work two jobs and learn English in my spare time. I was all alone, my daughter was all the way back in Bulgaria, and I had to adjust to the way of life in the UK.
Almost everything that I know about business, I had to learn on my own — I never had a dedicated teacher or a mentor figure. And yes, it was all very confusing, and even a bit scary. But you know what? I didn’t give up. I didn’t let the fact that my life was difficult at the time to prevent me from working on my goals. I didn’t spend my time worrying about what-ifs, and most importantly — I didn’t allow my fear to take over. Looking back at it, there were so many things which could’ve gone wrong had I hesitated. But I didn’t. I pulled through. And, if I could do it, then so can you!
So, buckle up, put together a list of productive things that will keep you occupied, and get to it! This is no time to feel sad, lonely or regretful. It is a time to work on yourself.
Hopefully, this article managed to help you in some way. If not by subduing your fears and worries, then at least by giving you some ideas on how to use your time in isolation better. Remember — you are not alone — we are all in it together. And we’ll beat it together!
As always, I’ll ask you to like this article on social media and share it with your friends if you’ve enjoyed it. If you have any questions or experiences that you’d like to share with me or my other readers, then please do so in the comments down below — I always love hearing from you!
Thank you all for reading, and until next time:
Stay green and motivated!
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