Covid III: Antifragile Life during a Black Swan Event

The biggest Black Swan of the century has occurred. Bigger than the GFC. Bigger than 9-11. Bad Black Swan events cause the Fragile crumble and the Resilient snap. To be Antifragile is to be wounded by these events but to strengthen from the wound.

How can we encourage our own antifragility when everything is uncertain and in flux?

Lower your Expectations

Don’t burden yourself by expecting you will remain resilient. How can your lifestyle be resilient under the current circumstances? Being resilient means retaining the existing form even after stress. Is there any chance of us bending back to shape quickly and easily under the Coronavirus regime?

Locked away from work, away from friends. Entire industries shut down. Job lost. Borders shut. And the scary part? This is just the beginning. Who knows what else you’ll be asked to adjust to in the next 6 months?

Lower your expectations. Give up the idea of being your old self. Your old lifestyle was good for your old circumstance. Things are different now. Different times lead to different strategies.

Create some slack

We are now asked to do more with less. Working from home: doing a teacher’s job as well as your normal job. Old coping mechanisms built into your day-to-day ripped away. Your biggest enemy this year will be burnout. You need some time. You need some space.

There is no way to cope with all this change unless we create some slack. As part of the expectation-lowering process, work out what commitments you can drop for the time being. Work out how much (paid) work you need to do. How much money you can live on for the time being?

With Covid, we are in a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to now have breathing space. Take time in your week for self-care. This will do you well in the long run.

Now you’ve lowered your expectations and created some slack, sadly your old goals will not be achieved. Put your goals in hibernation. There will be time later.

Place your Attention on what you can control

“How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives” Sam Harris

When things are out of control, find small things you can control and focus on them. Where your attention falls, your reality will be.

Get in the garden. Plant a seed. Read more books. Spend more time on the phone with friends and family members. Practice a musical instrument. Do some exercise. Learn a new skill. Dedicate some time to charity.

Steer your attention toward the pleasant and controllable, a pleasant and comfortable life awaits!

Make a routine and get disciplined

Last of all, create a healthy routine. As a biological organism, as a Homo Sapiens, you have needs. These needs are: sleep, exercise, healthy food, social interaction, achievement and relaxation.

Netflix, social media and gaming might satisfy your needs for relaxation, but when overused they lead to poor health and unhappiness.

Remember your needs. Write a routine list that honours and satisfies these needs. Stay disciplined.

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