It’s 6 AM.

You get out of bed. You make your coffee. You take a shower and dress up.

This is your normal routine during workdays. Well, this is still your normal routine nowadays.

The difference is that you dress up with your favorite pajamas or yoga pants and not your favorite business wear.

This is your new normal now – working from home.

On some days, you find yourself extra productive with all the creative and valuable ideas overflowing. But, there are days when your mind just doesn’t want to cooperate and all you can think of is either what’s for lunch or the next Netflix series you want to watch.

On days like this, here’s a secret formula to help you make it through this time. It’s called: C-R-E-A-T-E.

Creative pursuits. This is the best time to finally start on that passion project you’ve always wanted. Now that you’re not on the go all the time, it allows you to review that long-forgotten draft for your first book or to start researching for renovation ideas for the home makeover you have been putting off. Remember, the project doesn’t have to be big. The most important thing is that it brings you joy, and it gives your mind the time to breathe from the heavy aura of the world outside.

Read, read, read. Reading is a great way to shift your attention away from the anxiety and worries that this pandemic brings. Being informed about the new and updates on the Corona virus is necessary, but don’t let it consume you. Feed your mind with positivity instead. Read an adventure, sci-fi, or feel good book that will allow you to take a break from it all – one page at a time.

Exercise. We can all use a regular dose of serotonin these days. A 15-minute workout is better than no work out at all. Aside from the health benefits, it has been scientifically proven that being active and getting a sweat enables you to be more creative and productive.

Appreciate the flexibility of time you have. Think of it as an opportunity rather than a punishment. It’s so easy to fixate on the idea that you’re stuck inside but this does not help you at all. It will cause you to feel stressed about the fact that you’re unable to do the things you want to do. Instead, focus on the things you get a chance to do now that you are inside like eat breakfast later and unhurried, not sitting in a long traffic commute, and not eating takeout every night as you transport your kids to their games.

Take this time to learn something new. It’s a great to develop a new hobby or skill. Take time to maybe learn a new language, a new recipe or a new skill. Look forward to the time when you’re able to put them in use to motivate you more.

Engage and interact online. Social distancing doesn’t mean you should entirely isolate yourself and become lonely. It’s normal to miss the type of social interaction we get when we’re at work or on a coffee shop chatting with friends. But, you can use alternative online methods to stay engaged with other people. Schedule a regular meeting with colleagues, video call sessions with friends and catch up with your relatives every now and then on Zoom. Now more than ever is the best time to stay connected with the people who matter to us.

So, as you try hard to embrace this new normal, use these tips and strategies to not only survive but be productive and creative.

Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.

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