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Adlen Robinson: Let’s support local businesses now and when we reopen
Adlen Robinson

After so much time in quarantine, everybody I know is talking about their desire and need to move on. I know so many small business owners who are terrified of what this shut-down means for their businesses and their futures in general. 

Lots of young people are worried about school — will they be going back in the fall? How will the past month affect their education and credits?

 I know parents of young children who are worried about going back to work when their children aren’t going back to school. One mother told me her child’s day care may not re-open so she cannot go back to work even when her company opens up. Many people don’t have jobs at all and don’t know what will happen. Some have not gotten assistance from the government and some didn’t ask for any.

There is no doubt these past weeks have been difficult for all of us. Grandparents haven’t been able to hug their grandchildren. Many of us with grown children have only seen our children on a computer screen and heard their voices on our cell phones. 

My heart breaks for the millions of senior citizens who have been quarantined in nursing homes without visits from their loved ones. Ditto for those in hospitals who cannot have visitors.

 After all of those rather depressing thoughts, let’s talk about what we can do going forward.

 First and foremost, be grateful for what you have; especially if you are in good health. If you own a small business, no doubt you have already been thinking about how your business model has to change in the future. That is OK!

The people I have spoken with are all about wanting to help support our local small business owners — even if we have to pay a little more money for things than we are used to. 

Personally, I feel that way on a national level as well. My hope is our government works hard to incentivize our oversees manufacturers to come back to the USA. I am definitely willing to pay a little more for products made on our soil — especially after learning how many critical things we need are made oversees.

 If you have lost your job, start networking now. Contact friends and family members and ask them to spread the word about your unique skills and talents. 

Perhaps you have always wanted to start your own business and you can use this unfortunate circumstance to make that happen. I don’t know for sure, but there might be some government assistance programs right now for new businesses. 

If you will be working from home, or have been this whole time, make sure you have a comfortable and functional work space. 

It might even be a good time to spruce up your office space. A fresh coat of paint is always the cheapest and quickest way to completely change the look of a room. There are lots of good deals on line right now as so many retail stores struggle to regain their losses. A few throw pillows, some artwork, maybe  even a new desk chair are all things that are sure to make your office a more attractive place to work from.

 If you have had some depression and/or cabin fever, this is the perfect time to get back into a healthy routine. Wake up early and at the same time every day. Whether it is home schooling your children, or working from home, having a written schedule will help keep you on track and ensure productivity.

 The same goes for going to sleep at the same time every night. Speaking of sleep, make sure the rest you do get is quality sleep. A cooler room is what experts recommend. I am a huge fan of quality sheets — they really make a difference. Supportive pillows are also important. A good mattress is great, but if a new one isn’t in your budget, try a good mattress topper.

 Get some fresh air and sunshine. The other day we planted our little garden and it felt so good to be outside the entire day. When we finished, we sat in the sunshine and listened to music. I felt like a new person after that day. I also slept great that night. 

Try to do something physical every day even if you can’t go to the gym right now, you can take a walk, do some floor work, go up and down the stairs and just move in general. 

I love my step counter because it keeps me accountable. I certainly don’t always meet my step goal, but at least I know how much I moved each day.

 If you are a prayerful person, set aside some time each day to pray and reflect on things. Nothing makes you feel better than knowing God is bigger than any problem or circumstance.

I continue to pray for our country and our community. Thank you for supporting our local newspaper — we truly appreciate you. Please remember, when we reopen, support our local businesses. Thank you! 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” Email her at