Belgian offers tips to stay positive and productive during coronavirus outbreak

Writer: Bruno Schuyten  |  Editor: Vincent Lin  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-02-16

Bruno Schuyten from Belgium, 33, is a Shenzhener living in Zhaoshang Subdistrict in Nanshan District, also a multifaceted expert holding certificates in nutrition, culinary arts, aromatherapy and life coaching.

As we’re staying at home in support of the nation’s ongoing battle against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), many of us may feel bored, dreadful or even depressed.

Despite the current circumstances, some people have decided to make the most of the isolation by finding ways to stay entertained, educated and fulfilled, both physically and mentally.

Schuyten shares his expertise here, including useful tips to lighten up the gloomiest indoor days and make them more bearable and even fun.

Schutyen’s message to fellow Shenzheners

As the founder of the HOPE Program, an international volunteers’ team that stands for “Help One Person Everyday,” I’ve decided to use our knowledge, skills and newly discovered free time to uplift the community while indoors.

Most people, even when life is carrying on as usual, find that they don't have enough time to spend with their family and friends, learn a new skill, discover a new culture, acquire a new language, get in the shape they desire to be in, or work on the business they’ve always dreamed of. 

In response, our team has decided to organize free daily online activities. Chinese corners, English corners, home workout programs, fitness and nutritional advice, a variety of lessons (such as learning to play musical instruments, draw, write poetry and more), discussions and cultural exchanges, prompts to reach out to friends and family (as this is something we generally want to do but never find the time), and virtual coffee with a life coach are all on-deck.

In addition, here are a few things you can start doing for yourself and others:

- Reach out to a friend by making a video call. It will help you connect emotionally and build a bond with people you generally don't have time to contact.

- Seek online educational services. Be it a skill, an art form or a language, there are many apps available for free or a very small fee that can help you reach those goals.

- Meditating. Do some breathing exercises and review where you are in your life. Is it going the way you wished, and is there anything you can do to make your future better?

- Hire a coach. Get some life advice, fitness guidance, or nutritional recommendations to help you reach your fitness goals.

- Read books. Reading can bring you on adventures where you can travel with your mind or on a personal development journey that can help you gain more insight on yourself. Read about things you've always been interested in but never found the time to learn.

- Do some research. Try to discover how you can start that business you've always wanted to do.

- Start an online blog or vlog where you can share your passions with the world, write a bit, and if it isn't good, no one will ever know. Or, if you wish, publish it and share it with friends.

By now you have probably started to see a pattern: Get out of your bubble –  not physically but virtually – and reach out to the world and share what's inside of you that can help and motivate others. China needs more positivity now than ever before, and reaching out to someone, even if it is just listening and being with each other online, can be an invaluable experience for people in the fight against the virus.