Strange Times Call for ‘Stranger Things’ — 5 Tips for Stability in Work and Life

Guest Blog By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life

The coronavirus pandemic has created bizarre and uncertain times. People around the world are feeling displaced and disoriented, not knowing what tomorrow’s news might bring, and that uncertainty is part of what makes life feel surreal these days.

If you think this unsettling situation sounds reminiscent of a certain popular sci-fi hit of recent years, you’re not alone. When the events of “Stranger Things” occurred in their town in the 1980s, the fictional people of Hawkins, Indiana, might have felt the same way we do right now.

Much like them, we don’t know how we’re going to finish our battle, but we do know we all have to do our part collectively — and separately, in isolation. Fostering a degree of stability in our personal and professional lives will make it easier for everyone to get through to the other side of this crisis. Consider taking a page out of the Hawkins playbook with these tips to help add stability and normalcy to life as we know it now.

1. Establish an Exercise Regimen

During a time of quarantine and isolation, it’s easy to get caught up spending too much time on TV shows, surfing the web, or watching nonstop news about COVID-19. All of this can add stress to your physical and mental well-being and put you in a depressed state of mind.

To combat this, make sure you take the time to get outdoors (using social distancing practices, of course) and get some exercise. Or pull up YouTube or pop in a DVD and do some yoga. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing some sort of exercise

Will Byers and his friends didn’t have all the tech options we do; they were always out riding bikes or running to escape from terrifying government agents and monsters. While we’re facing a different but still frightening reality, getting exercise can help clear our minds a bit and release some of that stress.

2. Declutter Your Home

If you’ve got any cleaning or home improvement projects you’ve wanted to accomplish (but never seemed to find the time or energy for), now is definitely the time. Decluttering your living space can go a long way toward bringing you peace of mind. 

If you’re really ready to get into it, check dumpster prices and consider renting one to help you rid your house of the excess items that might be getting in the way of a peaceful and organized lifestyle. Don’t wait for an unearthly tragedy to put your home into ruins. 

Just ask poor Joyce Byers about the value of an orderly home. Her house ended up a total wreck once monsters invaded her family’s life. Or, on the other hand, take Jim Hopper: His rustic, remote cabin didn’t have a lot of clutter, but it was functional and held the basics of what he and Eleven needed to survive. Sometimes less really is more.

3. Learn A New Skill

The kids of Hawkins had to gain many new skills to battle scary monsters and figure out the puzzling circumstances they faced. In many ways, these kids grew up quickly, learning the real-life skills they needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from danger. You can follow this example and pick up some new competencies, yourself. 

For example, emergency responders and medical workers currently are overloaded and overworked. In an emergency situation, help may not arrive as quickly as it’s needed. Now is a good time to learn first aid, as well as get some basic safety and CPR training. Knowing these skills can give you the peace of mind that you’re able to handle an emergency if you need to.

4. Wake Up Your Inner Geek

Technology, even back in the Midwestern 1980s, was our friend. If not for the innovative approach Dustin, Will, Mike, Lucas, Mad Max, and Eleven took throughout the first few seasons, these geeks might not have survived. Dustin’s “super-Cerebro” ham radio played a huge role in saving everyone in Season 3.

Right now, technology is not only our friend; it’s absolutely essential. In a public health crisis requiring self-isolation and quarantine, the internet (and the electricity that powers it) is one main element that’s keeping us functioning as a society and a planet. It keeps us in touch with loved ones, giving us the incredible option of seeing their faces and hearing their voices from almost anywhere. 

The internet is keeping many of us employed, too, as thousands of workplaces transition to a remote, work-from-home basis. Video conferences and online chats allow teams to continue working on projects outside the office. Cloud storage allows businesses to stay up and running by making sure important documents, photos, and other files are safe, secure, and accessible to all who need them. Make sure your tech capabilities are up to date so you can stay functional. 

5. Phone In Your Real Connections

That being said, there’s another tech option that can be strangely forgotten: the voice-to-voice phone call. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to hit a “Like” on someone’s post or repost something they’ve said — which is technically keeping in touch, although it’s not true communication. As we power through the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we maintain or even strengthen our personal connections. 

Circa 1980s Hawkins didn’t have social media or texting. Heck, they didn’t even have the internet! Yet they found ways to truly connect through the use of walkie talkies and good old-fashioned telephones (when monsters weren’t causing electric shocks through them).  Studies suggest people are happier when interacting with others. So use your phone to call someone and truly connect, not just to scroll through social media. This can help alleviate some of the loneliness or boredom you might be feeling while in isolation.

When it boils down to it, the citizens of 1980s Hawkins, Indiana, didn’t always achieve a perfect balance when it came to life and stress. It’s understandable. They were facing desperate times, not unlike the ones our global community is facing in 2020. But practicing healthy habits and using their creativity to survive and overcome, these beloved characters were able to beat the Mind Flayer, Demodogs, and other dangers they encountered.

In the end, strength, resourcefulness, and connection can help everyone survive this current crisis. Hopefully, before we know it, we’ll all be back to our workplaces and able to return to our normal lives.