Five Important Aspects of Social Distancing and Staying Sane for Leaders — #SH302

by | Mar 19, 2020 | 3 comments

4 min read

Special COVID-19 Post

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” ~ Bob Marley  

These are incredibly challenging times, filled with uncertainty. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the world continues to respond. We know that you’re responding too, in whatever unique circumstances are forming around you. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone during this pandemic.

This month, we’re focused on self-improvement, and the coronavirus almost makes it impossible to ignore what it means for all of us to get better. As we learn and grow, we build trust. Trust makes our communities stronger. The definition of leadership is influence. The challenge of leadership is conflict. The result of leadership is change. We know that you’re leading through conflict toward a time that will be different than what we used to know as our reality.

As you lead forward, we thought it would be beneficial to point to some key resources for being our best selves during the outbreak. While many of us are following the advice of the CDC, and other agencies, who suggest social distancing as a mitigation strategy for the spreading of the virus, we know that leaders are taking action as best they can with whatever information they have. Leading better and growing faster is always our mantra, especially in times like this, and being informed is the number one way we lead and grow. This post is not just more information about COVID-19, but rather the critical direction that we all need for how to bring some normalcy and peace into our lives, how to continue to learn and develop as leaders, and how we can be better tomorrow than we are today. 

Strategies For Remaining Calm

Martin Seligman, commonly known as the founder of positive psychology, provides key strategies that we can use when faced with uncertainty. His advice is simple and practical. 

Check it out here in Penn Today. Great leaders will use these strategies and help others to do the same. 

Exercising Without Going to the Gym

With social gatherings being limited, people are unable to go to some of their favorite locations. This includes the gym. Maintaining a solid health regimen is critical during this time for both mental and physical health benefits. Self-improvement always includes the body and the mind.

Check out this article from Runner’s World.

Check out this article for no equipment indoor exercises.

Staying fit is important for leading well. In fact, wellness, period, is synonymous with leadership. 

Unplugging While You’re Plugged-In

We know that most of our audience is just like we are, which means you’ve been burning the candle at both ends. You’re probably inundated with texts, emails, and online meetings. Social distancing has put everything and everyone is a tech-based cloud (pun intended). That said, we need a healthy relationship with our technology, using it for the betterment of ourselves and others rather than its destructive capabilities. 

Check out this piece on realistic guidance for getting unplugged. 

Connecting with Your Loved Ones

It may seem obvious but when we’re all stuck inside we have an opportunity to connect with loved ones, especially our household family. But then we don’t. We squander the time away, keeping busy but not connecting. We have an opportunity to strengthen relationships, and great leaders always make that a priority (both with family and friends).

This article has a ton of great advice about staying social in times like this. 

Working from Home 

Companies everywhere, along with school systems around the globe, are moving to a work-from-home policy. While it’s the smart choice when possible, not everyone knows how to transition successfully to working at home. If you’ve done it for any period of time in the past, you know how hard it can be. But many industries, including education, are just starting to explore how to make the shift. 

We like this article, which covers a number of best practices for working from home. 

Finally, if you’re looking for what we think is the best resource regarding COVID-19, visit here.

We would love to hear from you regarding what you’re doing differently to self-improve while you keep your distance from others. Lead better, grow faster, stay safe. 

Joe & T.J.


  1. Angela Socorso

    Joe and T.J. are always committed to supporting school leaders, and this read once again is a testament to that commitment even now during these challenges in the external world. This read reminds us to take care of our inner state of well-being and consciousness, which as you know is of absolute importance.

  2. Maryann Yarram

    I see this time as a gift. I’m doubling down on learning – taking advantage of the free seminars that John Maxwell is offering, am implementing “1great hour” inspired by Cal Newport’s book “Deep Work” to focus on projects without any disturbance. I’m practicing self awareness by not filling up every minute of my time but ensuring the I use the time in meaningful ways. After week one, I finished reading Jon Gordon’s “The Power of Positive Leadership” and activated my creative juices by turning an old book shelf into an ottoman. I am also spending a lot of time cooking fresh food and getting to know my family again.
    What a gift this time is.
    As Kobi Yamada writes in his children’s book, “What do you do with a problem?” – you turn it into an opportunity! This is opportunity to grow and reconnect.
    By the way, here’s a great TED talk on a healthy relationship with technology:

    Oh, and I managed to get a scholarship to Harvard to do a course in the summer at the Principal Center titled, “The Art of Leadership” – I think I’m doing the best I could!

    Hope you two are doing well too!

  3. Sharon Pepukayi

    Thanks for the special COVID post! I have found that I HAD to get into a routine.. of working out, learning how to meditate ( Headspace App) and spiritual devotions. It starts my day in a positive way. Appreciate this post with all of the articles that I can pass on to my admin, colleagues, and family members. Stay Well!


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