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Have I become conditioned to lockdown life? 

Five weeks in, and lockdown life is officially the new normal for me — and millions of people around Italy and the world. I’ve not only accepted it, but I’ve become conditioned to this weird way of living. 

Just the other day, I said to my partner: “Oh, I could do with a few more weeks of full-on lockdown because I finally have the time to go through my to-do list.”

For those of you who don’t know, I spend most of winter living in a tiny little village perched on the Northern Italian mountain of Alpe di Mera.  When I say it’s remote, I mean it (check out the pic above). When the snow hits, the only way in or out is via a snowmobile or chairlift!

My family escaped to the mountain when my daughter’s childcare center closed seven weeks ago. We haven’t left since, and the biggest thing I’m feeling is gratitude.

I’m very lucky to be quarantined here. We have lots of space, and since it’s so remote, we can roam around outside — though it’s been -5 the past few days so that hasn’t been high on our list of activities!

I’m grateful to be spending so much time with my partner and daughter, Isabel, and I can actually say I’m pleased to be living with my in-laws! My mother-in-law is a fabulous cook, so I’m eating incredibly well. (Side note: I’m terrible in the kitchen and will never be a traditional Italian mamma!) Not only that, but she’s more than happy to entertain Isabel so I can jump online to work and connect with my community. 

I’m also empathetic for my friends and family who are living on their own, or in foreign countries and unable to find a way home. If you’re in that situation, I know things aren’t easy right now and it’s hard to get motivated to do anything.

Many of us are working our day jobs from the couch, so the very thought of a job search or career change can seem daunting. But if you need help navigating your career during this time, please reach out to me. I’m here, and I want to help as much as I can.

How to take back control

The coronavirus has changed the world, and like many people, the fact that I have no control over the future freaks me out. It’s a scary, uncertain time.  It’s f***ing surreal. But I keep reminding myself that this will pass — we just have to get through it, and try to stay as sane as possible. 

I’m choosing to treat this time as a short phase in the scheme of my life. By doing this, I can manage it in my mind.

To keep myself busy and stop my mind from wandering, I’ve been focusing on what I can control. And having a checklist of things to do has really helped me to feel like I’m in charge of my own life.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the steps are. I’ve found that taking ACTION eases my anxiety, and it helps me feel like I’m making the most of this time at home. 

So, ask yourself: What have you been putting off? How can you be productive during this time? What can you do to move forward in your personal and professional life?

My lockdown to-do list

Here are a few things I’ve been working towards while in lockdown. I’m hoping it will inspire you to make your own list and take back some control!

  • Cleaning out my closet. It’s amazing how good it feels to sift through all your clothes and throw out or donate anything you no longer wear or need. It’s a win-win.
  • Tidying up my paperwork. I’m pretty organised, but I’m guilty of letting paperwork pile up to the point where I can’t even bear to look at. So, I’m putting this on the list to keep myself accountable because I haven’t quite ticked it off yet!
  • Establishing goals for the future. This might seem strange, but we’re not going to be in lockdown forever so I’ve been thinking about a few exciting things to do when we’re “free.” Try it! You could plan a dream holiday or sign up for a challenge. For example, a friend of mine registered to climb Kilimanjaro, so she’s training for one hour a day while she’s in quarantine. 
  • Doing some career planning. I’m always looking for ways to advance myself, and the learning never stops. Right now, I’m trying to master the art of blog writing and improve my social media management (so it doesn’t manage me!). I’m also learning about how certain personalities fit into company cultures, so I’ve signed up for a few courses in those fields. Depending on where you're at in your career, you could spend some time polishing your LinkedIn profile, updating your resume, or doing a big career assessment. You could even sign up for an online course and emerge from this lockdown with a few new skills under your belt!  If you’re interested in leveraging LinkedIn, check out my course: The LinkedIn Launchpad.
  • Creating a free Facebook group for my community. I have a burning desire to use my experience as a career coach for good during this time. A lot of people are facing a career crisis right now, and I want this group to be a safe space for them to ask questions, share career challenges, and get expert advice. Come join us!
  • Setting up my profile on Medium. And publishing my very first post — that was a proud moment!
  • Finishing those books by my bed. I’m slowly but surely getting through a stack of books I bought ages ago, which includes Success Principles by Jack Canfield, Thrive by Ariana Huffington, and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Sensing a pattern? I love a good personal development book! Plus, I’m a sucker for beautiful covers. Are there any books you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t had the time? 
  • Vision boarding! When I’m feeling creative, I love collecting photos, quotes and magazine clippings and designing a vision board. It’s a fun thing to do with your friends, family or partner, too.

What’s on your lockdown list? Drop me a line letting me know, or head over to my FREE Facebook group for inspo and to hear what other people around the world are doing!

Remember, we’re all in this together, so let’s embrace this time and focus on what we can do — not what we can’t.

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