I’ve always looked at life from a different angle. It has been one of my stronger attributes throughout my career, allowing me to think outside of the box. With COVID-19, a lot of people seem to be optimistic for the future after this thing is over. But I want to take this a step further and suggest some things that could help you improve your life after COVID-19 is over and prepare you for the future.
I am a firm believer in that we must learn from history to achieve a brighter future. These days, when I talk to a majority of my friends, COVID-19 is brought up and they are always ranting about money or their jobs. The biggest thing we can take away from this pandemic is to save more and have better money management. There is a lot of power in saving money. Financial management is something I am extremely passionate about.
I had the privilege of studying finance for one year at Yale School Of Management in New Haven, Connecticut. I remember one day in class, my professor discussed wealth verses savings in America. A chart showed many different age groups and income. The next chart showed the same age groups and incomes but also had amounts subtracted from their take-home pay for things like mortgage payments, car loans and school loans. At the end of the slide was the national savings average per individual. This blew my mind. Over 70% of Americans did not have an emergency fund of one thousand dollars they could pull together in case of emergency.
It is recommended you have at least three months of savings available in case of an emergency or pandemic like COVID-19. There are a lot of free apps and money management software that will help you set a budget. If there is one thing that can be started while you are stuck in your house, I would highly recommend starting a budget and tracking your finances to set yourself up with a financial cushion.
Now, let’s shift to the mental side. I think we have learned to be thankful and appreciative of experiences and time with friends and family. I have always been close with my friends and family. Due to COVID-19, I am unable to visit with anyone. This has been a challenge. Instead of focusing on the negative, I try to take this time to remain focused and be thankful for all the good times with my friends and family. I know when this pandemic is over, I will cherish family moments even more. I really hope that when the pandemic is over, people spend more time with the people they love and don’t take any of the time and moments for granted.
From the physical standpoint, this experience of forced social distancing has been a reminder to stay active. Isolation and solitude can become habit forming if you’re not careful. I have an arm exercise bike. Before COVID-19 hit. I would only use my arm bike once or twice a week. Since the pandemic started, I have been using my arm bike every day, helping to keep my body in top shape. I have also been more conscious about what I am eating during this time. I’m eating a lot more vegetables. I’m also preparing all of my meals myself. In the past, I would usually eat out with friends at least twice a week. I have noticed by cutting out the restaurants and fast food, I feel more alert and my transfers from my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair to my lift chair have been easier. It’s also nice been nice to save a little more money by not eating out all the time. My plan is to continue these eating habits when all of this COVID-19 stuff blows over. I am thankful for all these opportunities COVID-19 has given me to be a better version of myself.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.