Are you a cabbage? Yes, are you vegetating at home? Do you spend most of your time snuggled on that couch all day? If yes, then you are precisely the cabbage I am looking to shred by the end of this op-ed.

You are probably thinking about this current world pandemic, COVID-19, and how the numbers of cases and deaths keep on ballooning each day. You are maybe already tired of seeing that government official’s face daily that keeps giving the updates on COVID-19.

This has left you feeling lost, dejected, and maybe hopeless. That sorry state of affairs has disrupted your routine. You had become accustomed to having classes back in school, or waking up early to catch that early morning Super Metro bus to town, on your attachment, internship, or even a good job. In a matter of weeks, all that has changed, albeit drastically, and now you’re getting used to phrases like ‘Stay At Home,’ ‘Quarantine,’ ‘Self-isolation,’ and so forth, which essentially mean, go nowhere.

As a society, we have spent much of our lives running away from our homes and our houses. Now, our homes are where we find safety from a pandemic that is killing people in their thousands, but that is not really the issue. A much bigger problem has been created by all this. We do not know how to stay at home and remain productive, active, and helpful during this period. Scenario models foresee the situation getting worse, and we might even be forced to adopt much stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It is, therefore, imperative that we develop mechanisms to help us remain active and useful. So, how? We can adopt many healthy activities, routines, and schedules that can create better lifestyles to ensure that we stay strong during and even after this pandemic. You are probably wondering what the first step would be, but here are a few steps to help you develop a daily working routine:

  1. Write down your life purpose. This is what propels you as a person, man, or woman. It is what drives you. It is where you channel your life energy every day to achieve a certain goal. How then do you know your life-purpose, you may ask. Here is how:

  • Define yourself.
  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • Are you creating value by what you are doing?
  • What skill or talent do you have?
  • Are you able to add or create value using your ability? 

2. List down your daily activities. These are those tasks that you find yourself doing every day. It could be house chores, reading, chatting, calling friends, going to the market, or even taking a walk. List them down and take a keen note on the amount of time spent on each.

3. Take note of the time you wake up, sleep, and take meals. Be strict with your time. It is your value. A man or woman of value is defined by how he/she spends his/her time.

4. Finally, develop a timeline. Every activity should correspond with its period. This becomes your schedule. Be selfish here. Make sure you prioritize and align most of your actions towards achieving your life purpose.

This is free time given to you as a gift to God. Be creative. Create something. If you ask me, what you do during this period will define much of the person you shall become after the defeat of COVID-19. Right now, the world economy, and indeed that of our country, has experienced a nose-dive. It will take much time and effort to recover from the effects of this pandemic. It will require a different kind of labor market. Many of my friends who were already working in stable jobs were retrenched. Others were sent on compulsory leave.

A need will arise for a more dynamic and cognizant labor force. This is the time to improve and work on yourself. Learn something new, build that website you have always wanted, take a short online course, and write blogs, or a book or a journal, finish your college assignment or research project, or you could just read that good book you have always wanted to read.

Sleep is another critical aspect that we must take care of if we are to lead an active life. How many hours do you sleep? Experts put it at 8 hours. It’s is a third of your day. See how much value is placed on good sleep? Make sure that you have a deep sleep. Deep sleep is achieved when you have an active day. A good sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It also ensures we have an impeccable sense of emotional strength, stronger immunity, hormonal balance, appetite control, and cardiovascular health.

Set time aside also to do some physical exercises, and learn to walk in the sun for at least half an hour. You can also engage in endurance exercises like press-ups, frog jumps, sit-ups, or even morning and runs. While doing these, listen to your heartbeat. Listen to your breathing pattern. Doing that helps you master your body and stamina. You will be aware of the extent your body can endure. There are many books on how to perform this well. You can also seek experts to help you do these.

For those of you in romantic relationships, do not lose focus. Plan your time well. Do not spend a lot of your time communicating. Yes, communication is healthy for a friendship to thrive, but overdoing it has its perils too. Be intentional in deciding the amount of time you spend communicating to your boyfriend or Patootie. Men, I can never get tired of emphasizing this, do not spend all your time in her inbox or calling her. She will despise you for being too idle and careless with your time. Hate me, but it is a fact. She will be looking for that strength in you—that spirit of management and calmness in times of crisis.

Great men, I like to call them Kings, are revealed and thrive during crises. It is natural for women to be scared at this time, and that is okay. For men, this is the time to show leadership and direction. A man must always exude hope and strength at such times. It is also essential for the man to know that it is okay to fail. It happens; I have failed many times. Actually, in the worst possible ways, but like David, we are not to despair. We are to get up, recognize our defects and deficits, and rise again, like a phoenix. Become a phoenix.