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  • Writer's pictureUzoma Ogbonna

The 5 Ways to Stay Sane in the Coronavirus Outbreak

We all know that we’re supposed to stay inside during the outbreak, but a lot of us are not used to being in our homes for so long without family, friends and outings to keep us company. Now that you’re alone in the house, it’s time to focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family in these crazy times we live in.

To that effort, Always Law has a list of actions to help you make it to the other end of this outbreak:

1. Engage in Self-Care

People are often suggesting this vague term as a fix-all but with no solid direction of what this includes. This is because it’s up to you to figure out what makes you feel good. It’s true that a lot of the services we’re used to engaging in for self-care are no longer available, like golfing with friends or a spa day. However, this just means you need to be a little more creative in doing self-care by yourself. If the golf course is closed, try your backyard. If you don’t have a backyard, think of the incredible obstacle course that is your living room. For your spa day, turn on some music, find some old candles (even birthday ones) and turn off the lights, and convince a loved one to give you a massage. If there’s no loved ones available, set up a warm bath for yourself with the candles and music and enjoy. You can also find your old nail polish bottles and paint those nails.

2. Avoid Spending Money Online on Non-Essential Items

Many of us are worried about how we’re going to get through the next few months when we have been laid off, or are on reduced work hours and some of us are getting paid regularly but know that our companies are not doing well. There is a lot of uncertainty right now about where the next paycheck will come from. Because of this uncertainty, it’s important to watch where your money is going. If it’s not helping you to meet your basic needs, take a couple of hours to figure out whether spending your limited funds on that thing will benefit you in the long run.

3. Try a Hobby

You know that answer you give everytime someone asks you what your hobby is? That activity you respond with, even though life has gotten so busy that you rarely have time to take part in it? Well, in the midst of this crisis you’ve just been rewarded with time to enjoy that activity. Time to try it out. If you don’t have a hobby, now is the time to search online and discover what possibilities suit your fancy. If you have to buy materials online, buy the least expensive materials and use those materials until you’ve determined this is the hobby for you. It’s okay if you don’t have an instructor to show you, search online for tutorials on sites like YouTube and follow along.

4. If At All Possible, Avoid Using Banking/ Mortgage Programs Related to Covid

Government services are available; use those before you turn to a bank! Banks and mortgage companies have taken to advertising that they’ll ‘pause’ your mortgage. When you ‘pause’ a show or movie, you expect to pick up where you left off but that’s not what you get from these banking and mortgage programs. Sure, they are letting you avoid paying your mortgage for a couple of months. However, if you had lost your job at any other time you wouldn’t be able to pay your mortgage then either. In those times, the bank would send you threatening letters, take the amount you owe for the month and add it back to your principal then charge you interest on the entire thing so that you owe more money the next month than the month you couldn’t pay. They’d also start maintaining documentation of your delinquency so they can encourage you to pay by destroying your credit history and if that doesn’t work, they’ll take your home. The difference now is that while they’re waiting a few months before attacking your credit history and taking your house, they are STILL taking the unpaid amount and adding it to your principal then charging you interest on the entire thing so that you owe more money next month than you do now. Stick with government services if you can.

5. Make a Will and Power of Attorney (POA)

Many of us worry about what will become of our families if we get the virus, and worse yet, if the Coronavirus was to take our lives. We have to take every effort to protect from catching the virus by maintaining a safe distance from others when we go outside; refraining from going outside unless absolutely necessary; and washing our hands. We should also prepare for the worse by making a plan for how to take care of our families if we get the Coronavirus. That means having a Power of Attorney for Healthcare so that a loved one has the opportunity to make the best decision for your health if you’re in the hospital. It is also important to have a Power of Attorney for Finances so that whomever is left in charge of your children or your home can make sure that your children are fed and your bills are paid. Most importantly make sure you have a will. A will gives you a chance to plan for what the lives of your loved ones look like if you were to die. It gives you the opportunity to figure out how to use your remaining funds to take care of your loved ones, and to determine who will get your prized possessions to cherish them as much as you have.

If you decide you would like a Power of Attorney or a Will in these trying times, Always Law can help you make that happen. We have online video conference meetings available to talk with you and ensure that the will we draft accurately meets those needs. In addition, we can ensure that the signing meets Ontario’s Will Requirements without you having to expose yourself to the possibility of catching the Coronavirus. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you, so contact us.

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