A Special Self-quarantine Post From the AFEUSA President:

Here are my top ten suggestions for both entrepreneurs and all others who may find themselves having to deal with either a disruption in their schedules or the schedules of those in their household:

1). Establish and maintain a regular sleep schedule.

All too often, it becomes too easy to sleep in late, hit the snooze alarm too many times and waste away the greater part of any morning. If you usually would rise at 6am, continue that cycle. Each breakfast, exercise (as discussed below), shower, shave and get dressed in daytime clothes. Your body is used to a regular cycle, and its easier to maintain that cycle than establish a new one, and then having to revert back to the old one.

2). Set time aside each day or certain days for regular exercise

With public gyms closed, you don’t need a lot of machines, tread mills or weights for an adequate exercise. Dust off that old bike in the garage or go for a strenuous hike to raise your heartrate and exercise your lungs. Resistance bands and self-instruction yoga classes are ideal for a variety of muscle toning exercises as are squats and/or lunges. Still need a more structured workout routine? There are also plenty of online exercise options. Burnalong is a great example and is discounted to AFEUSA members.

3). Prepare healthy meals and avoid between meal snacks

Nutrition (as are regular sleep and exercise) is vital to help maintain your immune system to ward off colds, flu and other viruses. Low carb, high protein diets with fresh fruits and vegetables will help you maintain your fitness and reduce excess body weight. Between meal snacks should be healthy choices such as fruit, nuts, jerky, etc. There are many home delivery options that provide all the fixings for a healthy meal. Just combine the ingredients and cook according to the instructions. HomeChef is an excellent choice with savings of $35 off your first order. Deliveries are weekly and can be altered, skipped or stopped at any time.

4). Identify time with family, spouse and for self

With the entire family staying home, time management skills will be vital for everyone’s patience and well-being. If you normally work from home, be sure to control your environment during working hours. Your family will need to respect your continued work responsibilities. Activities planned during the day/week should involve the entire family in ADVANCE. Be sure to set time aside for your spouse, away from the kids to continue to value your personal relationship. If you need time to rekindle that relationship, the Empowered Couples University is an excellent option. Their online classes through video conferencing will help any relationship.

5). Avoid watching non-educational television during the day

It’s too easy to wake up, turn on the TV and end up binge watching a variety of past seasons series. Music during the day can provide white noise without interrupting your thoughts should you be working from home. Planning is still the key to your viewing successes. Record shows from History Channel or other selections and then maybe watch the programs as an entire family before settling down for bed. Two hours max viewing per day seems to be a reasonable time allotment.

6). Limit time watching news on TV

Regular news on network and cable outlets can be downright depressing. Don’t fall victim to their personal opinions since it seems the media has lost its objective position in today’s newsworthy events. Take the position that if its REALLY important, you will learn about it through other exposures to social media, news articles from work and conversations with friends. Put the politics and talk shows disguised as news aside. Instead, educate yourself by reading articles or books on the subjects that interest you.

7). Avoid impulse purchases

Finances are going to be stretched. Now is not the time to participate in what I call “retail therapy” to help you feel good. Work slow-downs will affect everyone and remember that your first responsibilities are to your spouse and your family. Know the difference between buying what you need and what you want. Everyone is different in this category. But don’t complain that you can’t afford to repair the family automobile because you decided to buy that boat you’ve always wanted. I used to tell people to live on 80% of their income (beneath their means) and invest the balance. If work slows down, you can continue to live comfortably just delay the investment portion. When the economy returns to normal, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your added income.

8). Use time to rearrange your closet, garage or workspace

How many times have you said, I wish I had time to (fill in the blank). Well, now you have the time. Schedule a certain amount of time on a specific day to attack a particular task. Cleaning out closets and getting rid of unneeded clothing and other items also helps clear the mind of clutter. Removing junk from the garage allows you to park in the garage again. Use this time to be productive and accomplish the activities you have talked about for years. Many of the charities offer pickup services. Churches also donate clothing to those in need. If you tackle this NOW, you’ll be glad it’s done when you return to a normal schedule. Don’t put off until tomorrow, that which you can do today.

9). Consider learning a hobby or expand on a lost interest

Ever consider learning how to play a musical instrument or take time to paint a landscape? Without the normal scheduling of business meetings and deadlines, NOW is an excellent time to learn something new. Expand your mind, your creativity and feel good about achieving a new talent. I used to ask people what they would do all day if they didn’t have to work. So many individuals nearing retirement had absolutely no idea and could not answer the question. Take this opportunity to create an interest or hobby outside of work. Too often we get absorbed into the day-to-day grind and when employment ends, we don’t know how to fulfill our day. You can’t play golf every day. So take the time to consider options and give a few a try!

10). Communicate with others via phone, text, video chat, or even from a short distance

The one underlying challenge when dealing with self isolation, is self isolation! We are all social creatures at heart and need to maintain some element of socialization. Many individuals after retiring, return to work solely for the purposes of communicating with others. This period of time that requires us to maintain personal space doesn’t mean we all lock our doors. We may not be able to hold dinner parties or have friends over for a backyard party but we can certainly talk/text with others and communicate using Facetime, Skype, or other methods of video communication. The elderly are especially susceptible to loneliness and boredom. If we all practice just a bit of friendliness to those who pass through our lives, we can all learn empathy and self-respect. If you communicate on one of the many social media outlets, refrain from confrontational remarks and focus on more positive comments and outlooks. Feel free to block others who do not share in your positive attitude and set a good example for others in your family.

Whether this Covid-19 virus scare is authentic or media hype, the fact is self quarantines are in place and businesses have temporarily closed. How we spend our time over the next few weeks will help shape the attitudes and outlook on life as we all return to our normal lives. Use this time wisely to be positive and productive, rather than wasting away time that will never return.

by: Charles Jackson,
AFEUSA President

Charles Jackson President AFEUSA