In the last few days, the world has changed dramatically. So much has happened so quickly. With many countries enforcing travel bans, mandatory quarantines, cancelling events, closing schools and companies requiring that employees work from home, the shift has been sudden and heavy. And we’re all trying to catch our breath.

Many people are reeling from the change and are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress. We’re worried about our loved ones and the vulnerable in society, are anxious about what this means for our livelihoods, while trying to adjust to the sweeping changes made to daily life. We’re used to being busy and social, running from one thing to the next. But the coronavirus pandemic means that we can’t live like that right now.

It’s forcing us to press ‘pause’ on our busy lives. To stay in. To slow down.

We’ve been given the gift of time.

Time is the greatest currency of all. Not money. We can always make more money but we can’t replenish the resource of time. Time is finite and none of us know how much of it we’ve actually got. That’s what makes it so precious. We’re always complaining that time passes by too quickly and that we just wish we had more of it.

Well, now is our chance.

Now is the perfect time to rest, to cook, to play and laugh (oh how we need to laugh!), to read, to learn, to plan your next move. Organise your home, take an online course, start that side hustle you’ve been dreaming of. Explore possibilities you’ve been pushing to the side because life always got in the way.

And when this thing passes (and it will), you’ll resurface with new skills, knowledge and energy for what’s next. This is the unexpected gift of coronavirus.

So while we’re practising good hygiene, minimising contact with others and following the health advice of medical experts, try and use this season to your advantage. Invest your time wisely – it’s up to us to make the most of it.

How do you plan to spend your extra time at home during the coronavirus outbreak?