10 Skills You Can Develop in the Corona Crisis


Skills You Can Develop in the Corona Crisis


Many of us spend a lot of time at home right now. For most of us, this is an unfamiliar state of affairs that presents some with great difficulties: what to do with the long time when the kinds of distraction we are used to using suddenly disappear? Suddenly we are thrown back into a state that confronts us with our very existence and our vulnerability. It is slowly dawning on us that we cannot and could never control life.


There are now at least three ways to deal with the situation:


  • We pretend our lives are going on as before. (difficult to do these days)
  • We despair that our life is so different now and that we cannot go on living it as we planned. (not very attractive)
  • We find a way to be able to be with this very special time - yes, maybe even to make something of it. (not easy, but useful)

If you have decided on the third option, you will find a number of skills here that you can learn particularly well right now - in times of quarantine and home office. And the best thing about it is: you get it delivered free of charge and you don't have to do anything for it.


1. Cultivating the Beginner Mind



When every day is the same, there is little variety. You're always in the same apartment - with yourself or with the same people. During these times, the beginner's mind can be trained very well. It is an important element of mindfulness training: Instead of getting up in the morning and knowing how it will feel to spend another day in the apartment, the invitation is now to re-explore what it really is like in every moment: How does the coffee taste now? How does the bedding feel now? What do you see now when you look out the window? The changes we encounter are often only gradual, but they are there.


2. Experience flexibility and serenity






Empty shelves, where tinned food, pasta, and toilet paper used to be stacked, have become part of everyday life in these times. But what do we do now when there is no more spaghetti? The lack of outside makes us more creative and flexible. 

In the beginning, I also thought that this very specific tomato sauce that I love to eat would only taste so good with the pasta variant spaghetti. Where did this thought come from? In Italy, I learned that there is a specific, suitable pasta shape for every sauce. I have never adhered to these rules strictly, because of a taste habit I always used the same pasta shape for a few dishes.

After days of quarantine, I can say: I was wrong. I have become more flexible and have questioned my habits. I wouldn't have done it voluntarily. If you've never thought about the difference in taste between different types of pasta, now would be a good time to do so: Cultivate the beginner's mind.

But what do we do when the supply of pasta is used up at some point? We can rethink what we can do to meet our carbohydrate needs. Maybe it's couscous, burger, bread, and rolls or something completely different that I can't even think of yet. This also means cultivating the beginner's mind and practicing mindfulness: Always look at how it is now.


3. Develop good habits



When everyday life breaks down, our habits break away. Often times, it also affects our good habits, or at least what we thought was a good habit.

As Herman Hesse said that, there is magic in every beginning: If we can no longer follow our habits, we can develop new ones. Suddenly we all have a lot more of what we were so desperately looking for before: We have time. “I don't have time for that” can no longer be used as an excuse for not following your priorities. 

If we now have more time available, it can be an interesting field of research to find out with what we fill the extra time: Is it the people, activities, things that correspond to our priorities? What pattern are we following here?

Once we have recognized our patterns, we can consciously decide: What is really important to me? What do I want to take more space for in my life? What is preventing me from taking this space?

Now is the time to decide if we really want to develop new, good habits. No matter how we decide: it's in our hands. If we choose good habits, we can emerge stronger from the crisis. We take responsibility for ourselves and our lives. 

If we decide to “carry on as before”, we must also take responsibility for this decision. Especially in times when there are so few opportunities for distraction and distraction, that seems to me to be the harder way: We can no longer avoid ourselves.


4. Strengthen empathy and compassion



Most of us are very unfamiliar with the fact that we cannot meet in person. For people who are housed in closed facilities, massive contact restrictions are the norm. Astronauts are even further excluded from social contact. 

Will they receive psychological support during the expeditions? This is the first time I have asked myself this question. Perhaps the quarantine period is also a great way to develop empathy - and compassion. How does it feel to not be able to get in touch? 

We can develop compassion for people who are not as privileged as we are: We still have the option to move our contacts digital. We can also make good use of this attitude in the post-crisis period.


5. Use tools and techniques for digital communication



Officially ordered contact restrictions, assembly bans, social distancing. Our everyday life now looks completely different from what we are used to. Personal meetings are reduced to a minimum. In order to meet our need for social contact, we need to get creative. We can't get any further with the tools and techniques we have used up to now: 

We have to learn something new in order to be able to react appropriately to the changed conditions. In many areas of public life, contacts are now taking place digitally: teachers teach their students via online chat, meetings with colleagues are carried out as video calls, seminars and coaching take place as video conferences or online courses. 

Certainly, digital contact cannot completely replace a face-to-face encounter. But what should we do? Should we instead do without classes, meetings, further education, and social contact? I don't think that's a good way to go. 

Instead, we can learn a lot of new things in these times and develop at a rapid pace: Instead of waiting to take the time to deal with the new video conferencing technology at some point, now is the right time to do so. In this way, crises always become the engine for further development and personal growth.

And so I am amazed again and again these days when joint dinners now take place digitally via video call, there is more time for long phone calls, and what new opportunities arise through digital training and courses.


6. Develop creativity while cooking



Cooking has always been a very creative process for me. These days, my way of cooking has changed significantly: like many people, I have certain dishes that I keep cooking. But in these times not all the ingredients for my favorite dishes are available. 

What to do? Now you can get annoyed about it and check all food delivery services every minute for the current availability - or you can accept the lack on the outside and develop a way to deal with it.

After the frustration of the first few days, I have now had many ideas for new dishes. Instead of cooking according to my preferences and getting annoyed when that doesn't work, I now cook according to the options that are available to me. 

In fact, I've always done it this way - just not so consciously and radically. I often went to the supermarket without a long shopping list and was happy to be inspired by the daily range of fruit and vegetables. Only the things that were really missing were on my shopping list. 

I got the ideas for the dishes of the week on the way. What I write reads like a mindfulness training lesson: Be in the moment and see what is possible now - instead of following your own rigid (and therefore always inadequate) plan. In fact, for me, it is an aspect of practicing mindfulness.

During these days - precisely because not everything was available - I have discovered many new combinations of foods that - contrary to my ideas - were often extremely tasty. There was baked red cabbage (very tasty), Indian curry made from chickpeas, leftover vegetables and a homemade curry paste (the usual curry paste had already been used up) and pumpkin gnocchi (made from an old pumpkin from the garden in October and a few very last potatoes). 

It is well known that necessity makes inventive. During these days we can experience the truth of this wisdom for ourselves. The importance of canned food, preserves, and turnips can also be experienced these days. 

The look into the depths of the pantry becomes part of everyday life: this tin of sprouts from Riga, the boiled down Prague ham, the glass of liver sausage. These times are the great hour of all those things for which we have not found use in our lives so far. 

In our pantry, there are still three glasses of this pasta sauce that we made last year from excess zucchini the size of a thigh. At that time we were annoyed that we did not harvest the zucchini earlier when they were still tender. 

Now we are happy. It is often difficult to say whether something is good or bad. If you want to discover the secret recipes from your favorite restaurants and want to cook them at the home then you can Check Here


7. Gratitude, contentment, frugality



Times of perceived scarcity and deficiency also offer a great opportunity to develop gratitude and appreciation for the supposedly small and inconspicuous things. How delicious does this half apple taste, lovingly divided into fine wedges? 

What is the aroma of the five strawberries for breakfast? How deliciously creamy is the self-stirred yogurt quark dessert? How well does the sage tea taste with the dried leaves from last year? How beneficial can herbal tea be that we make from a mixture of dried herbs from the pantry? We become frugal. 

Instead of cooking in abundance, we now prepare a small fresh salad over and over again. Then the head of lettuce is enough for several days. Leftovers are saved and warmed up at a later date or combined with a few fresh ingredients to create a new dish. 

We haven't thrown away food for a long time. During these times, we take extra care that we eat things on time. Vegetable scraps, fruit trimmings, coffee grounds, and eggshells end up on the compost. Perhaps, in retrospect, the quarantine period will also be a time in which we all have internalized the need to be careful with the resources that are available to us.


8. Live to deepen instead of a variety



At the turn of the year, I decided to take a year of specialization. The subject couldn't be more topical now. Since the libraries closed, I've spent a lot of time looking at the books in my home. Instead of attending further training courses, I use the knowledge that has long been in me. 

Instead of looking for variety and diversion outside, I use the things that are already available to me. To be more instead of wanting more. Instead of accumulating (having) more superficial knowledge, the intensive examination creates a real embodiment of the content (being). We switch from having mode to being mode (Erich Fromm).

How many books are there on your bookshelf that you haven't read yet? What have you always wanted to learn when you finally have free time? Now is the time to take all of the things out of your closets and shelves to bring them back to life. A book in storage has less value than a book that is read.


9. Get to know your own neighbors




In many apartment buildings in Berlin, you only get to know each other when you move out. The furniture and things that had been in the neighboring apartment for years are now stacked in boxes in the stairwell. 

The path has become narrower, people are getting closer. In normal times you were too busy to meet your neighbors. That has changed: you now greet each other, get to know each other - even if from a distance. 

A new, real community can emerge in the houses, neighborhoods, and neighborhoods. A short chat from the balcony to balcony, from terrace to terrace. Retreating into your own four walls certainly does not lead to an unlimited expansion of contacts. 

However, existing contacts can be deepened or you can get to know people you would not have met before. Why not cultivate contact with the people who are physically close to me instead of clinging to your own likes and dislikes here too? Now is the time to find out which contact we are missing (- and which not). We make contact with people we haven't spoken to in a long time.


10. DIY - make and repair things yourself




Some time ago I discovered the satisfaction I get from creating or repairing things with my hands. This can be an activity in the garden, the self-made piece of furniture, or the repair of a chest of drawers. 

Even if my parents were a role model for me for many years, it didn't help: I ​​had to make my own experience to really experience it. In these times, all of these skills are very helpful in getting through the weeks. 

The crate of wood scraps has already provided material for one or the other project or made it possible to implement it. If there is no liquid soap, we make it ourselves. The missing household cleaner is replaced with a few ingredients from the utility room. 

We bake bread and rolls from sourdough. When the temperatures outside get warmer, the first lettuce will soon be on the windowsill. 

We can cook and prepare nutritious dishes with a few ingredients. Now that most of the restaurants are closed, the hobby has become a vital skill. Fortunately, it's easy to learn. Necessity makes you inventive.

photos credit: Unsplash

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