Most of the globe has been under some sort of lockdown. In some places, the quarantine has extended well over two months while in other parts of the world the restrictions are slowly being lifted. Some people have been fortunate enough to continue working from home while others have found solace in baking bread, Netflix marathons, and getting in touch with their inner Martha Stewart.
Being at home has certainly forced us to slow down and get used to a new way of life, and with that, we have developed a few new habits like working flexible hours or lounging around in our pajamas and getting up much later in the day. But at some point, we are going to have to venture back into society. It may not be the same way of life we are used to but it will be a new kind of normal we will have to adapt to. When that happens in the coming weeks, we have to be mentally prepared for it. This means getting back into a routine and kicking a few of the habits we developed in quarantine.
Here are a few ways you can prepare:
Manage Your Expectations
There is nothing wrong with being excited and optimistic about life after the pandemic, in fact, it is actually healthy to keep a positive mindset during these stressful times. However, it is important to manage some of your expectations because there are going to be hurdles to get over mentally and physically.
Once the announcement is made that it is safe to go outdoors again, life is not going to be the same as what it was before. Standing a few meters apart and wearing masks is going to be the new norm for now, which is something you will have to prepare for and adapt to for the time being. Remind yourself that it is completely normal and perfectly okay to feel a bit anxious and overwhelmed at times but don’t let it put a damper on your hopes and dreams for the future, things will get better.
Start Waking up Earlier
As the lockdown restrictions are eased and people are slowly allowed back into a working environment, it is going to be difficult to drag yourself out of bed early in the morning again. Being in quarantine afforded most of us the luxury of rolling out of bed at whatever time we felt like, but once that habit has been formed, it is not going to be easy to break overnight.
Start going to bed and getting up earlier from now on so that when the office does notify you to come back into work, you will wake up early feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to start a new chapter in your professional life.
Being stuck at home bored usually leads to stress eating. When our stress levels are high or just find ourselves completely out of ideas to keep busy, we usually take a few extra trips to the fridge. While it’s completely normal to seek comfort in food, it’s the food we choose to eat during times of stress that is the problem. Who reaches for carrots when they need some comfort food!?
Like most things that are bad for us in life, stress eating also becomes a nasty habit that is hard to break. The bloated stomach didn’t really matter too much during lockdown because the comfy sweat pants and shirts hide it, but now that we are about to reconnect with society, it’s time to get healthy again and kick the binge eating habit out the door. Instead of eating ice cream for dinner, go back to your regular meal plan that you used to follow before the world fell apart.
And getting healthy is not just about the bloated belly, making wise food choices is great for boosting energy levels, improving your overall mood, improving cognitive function, and boosting your immune system, which is exactly the type of defense we need in this current situation. Supplementing with a quality immune booster will also provide you with the nourishment you need to help ward off infections and illnesses that may be lurking outside your home.
Don’t Put Pressure On Yourself
Depending on where you live, the rules may be slightly different and may include socializing with a limited number of people. It is important not to put pressure on yourself about socializing. If your friends are already planning a get-together and you do not feel that you are quite ready yet, that is one hundred percent ok. You do not need to feel guilty about keeping your distance from friends or family for a little while longer if it makes you feel safe and comfortable. You need to do what makes you feel comfortable even if that means getting back into society and ‘normal life’ at a much slower pace. There will be plenty of opportunities to catch up with everyone in the future, you don’t need to rush into anything just to fit in.
Start Adopting Healthy Financial Habits
Now more than ever we need to all start adopting healthier financial habits. While the virus is ravaging the health of many people across the globe, it is also destroying economies at the same pace. Job security and livelihoods are at stake and no one is really immune to the financial effects of this pandemic. But if there is one thing the lockdown has taught us is that being self-sufficient isn’t all that bad, and it saves us some much-needed pennies in the long run.
More retail shops and restaurants will start opening, but instead of going back to old habits of retail therapy and eating out every night, try to eat at home more and only spend money on the things you truly need. We are not saying you have to give up every single guilty pleasure, it is perfectly ok to spoil yourself with a reasonable treat now and then if you can afford it, but don’t go overboard.
The future is extremely unpredictable at the moment and you want to make sure you have enough funds to get you through the rainy days.
Learn To Be More Understanding
We have heard it over and over again – ‘we are all in this together.’ Sure, we may all be living under the same sky, but that doesn’t mean we all share the same destiny. Lockdown has been a nice break from life for some, while others may have been going through one of the most challenging situations they have ever had to face before.
Instead of showing off their banana bread skills on the Gram, they may be scrounging together their last cents to buy a loaf of plain old regular bread from the supermarket to feed their family. For people in this situation, the devastating effects of the pandemic will resume long after the virus has (hopefully) been eradicated.
When we are allowed back into society, it is important to always show kindness, patience, and understanding no matter what. Try taking a moment to think twice before getting annoyed with the cashier or getting angry with the barista who got your order wrong – you never know what they are struggling with or how they are coping with the current situation.