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HomeDairyCovid-19: ‘Use this opportunity to do something constructive with your life’
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Covid-19: ‘Use this opportunity to do something constructive with your life’

DJ McAuliffe, a farmer living outside Castleisland in Co. Kerry, has been working in the agricultural sector from the early 1990s. He now runs a herd of Scottish Highland and Belted Galloway cows and is That’s Farming’s newest contributor.

A lot of people are staying at home at the moment. I think it is important for our mental health and well-being to try to keep busy.

If you are one of the people let go from work due to this crisis, it can quickly become very boring for someone who is used of working to be hanging around the house all day which is why I think it would be an idea to use this opportunity to do something constructive with your life.

There is no point in sitting at home thinking of all the negatives – like there being no suitable jobs at the moment, but instead try to think of the things that you have always wanted to try but never had the time.

That could be a hobby or a different skill that you always wanted to learn.

It could be anything from wood carving, pottery or painting to learning to work online. Last year, everything I knew was related to farming, yet within seven or eight months, I have built a few websites and have a fair understanding of different ways to make an income online.

Nowadays, there are courses for almost everything online and a good bit of free information too. Whatever you do, it’s good to have some structure in your day and try to build some sort of self-improvement into your life.

It could be something like getting fit taking a run outside if the day is fine.

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If you are lucky enough to live in the countryside, an early morning walk surrounded by nature can do wonders for your spirit and get you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Social media is good too to connect and chat with other people but don’t spend all day on it and you could try some other platforms that you have not tried yet.

Likewise, TV can help pass the time but it is not going to help if you spend the day looking at it so instead think about what new skills you would like to learn that might stand to you in the future.

Listening to the news you can easily get the impression that the future is not looking very bright at the moment and talks of job losses and another global recession can easily get you down.

The facts are that nobody knows what the future holds and it’s up to each of us to make it better for ourselves and for others.

You can either be an optimist or a pessimist about our current situation and I think it was Winston Churchill that put it well when he described the difference in saying: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, but an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

My advice is to try to find the opportunity in this to improve your future – whether it works or not, you won’t know for sure until sometime in the future but like that other saying: “It’s better to have tried and failed, than never tried”.


See DJ’s website here.

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