Our world is dipping its toes into the water to test the possibility of returning to our places of working, learning, and interacting with others, but the reopening comes slowly and with major transformations to what we once considered normal in our lifestyles. Plenty of people are adjusting to practicing social distancing in their workplaces and schools, rethinking their hygiene habits, and even conforming to an entirely new way of working or communicating with others without meeting face-to-face. During these times of imagining and creating our new “normal,” it is important to reconnect to and establish what facets of our lives we want to take into the future. Here are a few aspects you might want to look at:
RECONNECTING TO YOUR WORK
Many industries have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing mass unemployment and a slowed hiring process. Whether or not you have maintained your occupation, found a new position, or lost your work, now can be a great time to clarify your short and long-term career goals. The landscape is constantly changing, now more than ever, but anyone can consider the following questions: What kind of work can I see myself getting excited to do? Do I have an opportunity to do something that excites me in my current position? Does my current skillset match where I want to go? How can I make these new working conditions suit my lifestyle? There are many considerations to be made, but envisioning what you do and how you want to do it can help you form plans for the future and provide a stable reminder for you in the current economic climate.
RECONNECTING TO YOUR FOOD
People have the tendency to neglect and appreciate their food sources when they are busy, but with life having slowed down, it can be not only beneficial from a health perspective but also fun to reconnect to where your food comes from. Taking time to choose healthier options at the grocery store and preparing one’s own meals at home can be a much-needed change for those who have relied on convenience stores or fast food options. Researching local farmers and making conscious purchases can ensure you are reducing your environmental footprint while also supporting those in your community. Furthermore, those with even more time freed during this period can try their hand at growing their own food or making a more complicated recipe they always wanted to try. Food is a necessity for any person and forming deeper understandings of their sources and enjoying the consumption of it can greatly improve the quality of one’s day-to-day life.
RECONNECTING TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Community can mean a variety of things for any one person, but having a social network and a sense of belonging is a basic human need. In many ways, we have been limited in our ability to interact face-to-face with those who live outside of our residences, but technology has enabled a lot of us to maintain relationships with the people who matter to us, from family to friends to work colleagues. Many of us, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, have forgone our relationship to our immediate surroundings to prioritize those relationships, but with most local and federal governments requesting the limitation of long-distance travel, we have the opportunity to reconnect to the community around us. Taking a look at your city’s website to keep updated with local happenings, patronizing a local business you have been meaning to visit, or even taking a stroll and greeting your neighbors along the way can be great practices for grounding yourself to your community and feeling less trapped at home.
RECONNECTING TO YOUR HEALTH
Physical or mental, our health also plays a major part in the quality of our lives. If you have fallen off your health routine, it is important to reconnect to and establish how you take care of yourself during these times. Perhaps you have been putting off making an appointment with a mental health professional or your stress levels have peaked from maladjustment. Although it may be difficult to take the first step, take some time to identify your closest and highly reviewed mental clinic or set aside ten minutes upon waking up to practice mindful meditation and reduce your stress. Your physical health is just as important, and professionals insist on one maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern and staying physically active. Make sure you are not depriving yourself of sleep and try to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity every week, as recommended by the NHS. In combination with a balanced diet, sleep and exercise can keep you feeling healthy and happy.
These are just a few suggestions and everyone’s lives are different, but reconnecting to the aspects of our lifestyles that impact our overall happiness is essential no matter who you are. What are your priorities and how are you reconnecting to them? How are you altering them alongside our changing world? We would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.