Yes, life is tough at the moment.
This COVID-19 Pandemic is bad. There’s no hiding that. It’s already had a huge impact on our lives and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.
The economic damage, social distancing, fear and uncertainty mean that for many of us, this could be the most challenging event we experience in our lifetimes.
If ever there was a time to be Stoic, then now is that time.
Here are three stoic principles that can serve us well during a crisis such as this.
1. Focus on what you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t control
So much of what is happening at the moment is outside our control. And worrying about it is not going to change it. So if watching the news is making you depressed, then stop watching the news!
Rather than getting stressed about things you can’t control, try to focus your energy on the things you can control.
Wash your hands, practise social distancing and do whatever you can to help prevent the spread of the virus within the community. We all have a part to play.
Phone a friend to check how they are, send food to someone in need or offer a roll of toilet paper to a neighbour! These small gestures can make a big difference.
And make sure you take care of yourself as well. Even when you are stuck at home there are plenty of things you can do to stay fit and manage your mental health.
So, focus on these things and try to stay positive.
2. Every problem presents an opportunity
Even during a crisis like this, there are lots of examples of people being creative and creating new opportunities.
And whilst being locked-down at home with the family presents many challenges, it also offers a rare opportunity to focus on these relationships without the usual external constraints. You can use this as an opportunity to build stronger bonds during a time of adversity.
With many of our previous commitments cancelled, you may find yourself with spare time on your hands. This is a chance to do something you’ve been wanting to do, like tidying the spare room, reading a book, or doing an online course. It also presents an opportunity to stop, reflect and reset your priorities in life.
From a business perspective, the next year is going to be tough. Many businesses are not going to survive. This is really sad. But there will also be opportunities that arise and new businesses that spring up. So if you are looking for an entrepreneurial idea, now could be a time to find a problem that people are facing and figure out how to solve it.
There are many examples of successful businesses that were created during difficult times.
3. See the bigger picture
Yes, the current crisis is pretty dire. Many people are going to die, many more will lose their jobs and the economy will take a big hit. We are in for some difficult times ahead.
Whilst this current pandemic will be remembered for a long time, my guess is that it will pale into insignificance compared to many of these other events.
So no matter how bad things may seem right now, remember – we are going to get through this. We always do!
Stay strong. Look after your loved ones. And be stoic!