By Abby Swalga, communications manager, PA Women Work
COVID-19 has impacted each of us differently. For some, their days have changed from commuting into the office to walking from their bedrooms to their newly created in-home workspaces. But for others who are unable to do their full-time jobs from home, their days are filled with whatever they are choosing to fill them with.
What Netflix show can I binge today? How many rolls of toilet paper do I have left? Is 7 p.m. too early to go to bed? These thoughts can drive us all crazy.
We suggest looking at this time at home differently. Let’s make the most out of this situation by being productive, learning new things, exercising, growing personally and professionally, and offering a helping hand when we can.
Below is a list of suggested resources and ways for you to stay busy during your self-quarantine and most of all, make this time meaningful.
1. Participate in a free class or training: Universities across the country are offering hundreds of free courses you can take right now in things like computer science, business, humanities, education and more. And if your self-quarantine is getting a little gloomy, consider taking Yale University’s highly esteemed online course on happiness which was released for free last week.
2. Think outside the box for you and your kids’ schoolwork: Many sites are offering free resources to help you make your children’s daily lessons fun and productive – and keep you sane. You can find assistance with reading exercises, STEAM activities, mathematics projects and more. Some of the activities might even be helpful for adults.
3. Test the limits in your kitchen: If you bought a new cookbook last year that’s been collecting dust in your cupboard, it’s time to break it out. There are so many resources to find recipes, such as Pinterest or even just a quick Google search. The New York Times offered some suggestions for easy recipes you can try with limited ingredients during your quarantine – give one a go!
4. Be good to yourself: Getting out of the house every day for a 20-minute walk or some yardwork will really help break up your days and offer a reprieve from sitting in your house. Beyond that, exercise, yoga and meditation can really help curb anxiety and stress. Check out these sites and apps that are offering free self-care exercises during this situation.
5. Build your professional toolkit: Whether you’re working from home or your job situation has been impacted significantly, this is a great time to expand your professional skills. Work on updating your resume, create or update your LinkedIn (check out our past blog post for tips), search for free webinars in topics that interest you, watch TedTalks, and practice writing cover letters. Need more ideas? We’re here to help you grow as a professional and get your job-search on track.
6. Help whenever and however you can: While we’re all at a loss for what exactly to do during this time, it always feels good to help another human when we can. As the dust settles, and we dream about a day when we will be in recovery mode from this crisis, we know that thousands of people will be looking for jobs. Invest in our region’s economic recovery by reaching out to us about volunteering or giving to PA Women Work today.
What else are you doing to keep busy during your self-quarantine? We’d love to hear from you and share your suggestions and ideas. And most of all, we are sending well wishes of safety and good health to all of you.
By Linda Dickerson, long-time supporter and volunteer of Pennsylvania Women Work
It’s a new year, and I’m sure all of you have your resolutions in full swing. As we move through the year, I urge you all to keep the momentum going and consider setting a goal for yourself to give back to your community. Remember…when you give to your community, your community gives to you!
Here are five reasons why you should give back to your community:
Impact your well-being
It feels good to help others! When you’re making an impact in your community, it will ultimately impact your own well-being. With everything that we all have going on in our lives, volunteering your time or making a donation can make you feel good.
Learn new skills
When you volunteer, you expand your horizons. You learn new things, and that ultimately translates to skillsets on your resume. These new skills can often transform into new employment or professional development opportunities. Employers seek personnel with useful, versatile and applicable skills. Any chance to augment your skillset expands your chances to obtain a job and move your career forward.
Expand your network
When you get involved with a local organization or cause, you will meet new people with different backgrounds and experiences. You become inextricably bound by a commonality of purpose and perspectives, and longstanding friendships will often develop among volunteers. No one doubts the value of genuine friends. Whether you are in need or simply want to have some enrichment, new friends expand your curiosity and knowledge. They are a support system upon whom you can rely. They spark your interest in new experiences that you are likely to enjoy and value.
Not only that, expanding your network in this way broadens your opportunities. Fellow volunteers will become connections when you need them and expand your circle throughout your life.
If you volunteer, you gain a sense of accomplishment that will help build your self-esteem. When you have an appreciation of your value, you exude confidence. Every employer seeks confident employees eager to confront challenges that always proliferate in workspaces. A healthy and realistic sense of self is a precursor to challenging and rewarding employment.
Make a difference
When you volunteer, you change your community and the lives around you. You immediately add value to a community about which you care, and that in and of itself is the most important reason of all to give back.
You will not regret the decision to give back to your community. Should you choose to do so with PA Women Work, contact Kristin Ioannou at email@example.com or make a donation at www.pawomenwork.org/give.
By Dana Whatley Smith,