If Only We Knew There Would Be A Pandemic
Our lives are filled with examples of forced change. Maybe as kids, we moved to new homes when our parents changed jobs. We tried to accommodate often confusing physical and emotional changes. In adulthood, it just changed tenor. Earning more money forced us into a higher tax bracket. Getting laid off forced us into another job. Maybe better planning may have mitigated some of the outcomes, but it wouldn’t have necessarily stopped the change from occurring.
The pandemic is kind of like that. When asked what people would have done prior to the pandemic, practical responses — like investing in Zoom and stocking up on sanitizer — fade into the background of seeing family and places and touching people. Even within a house full of family members, there are others outside the walls whose touch we miss. But forced or otherwise, some of the changes are worth keeping.
Chaotic daily lives
Families went from everyone being home only on weekends and weekday evenings to being around 24/7. Living spaces have had to accommodate virtual classrooms and parent’s work spaces. There were hints of a bygone era when families were constantly together, learning how to work communally. In some cases, if the household experienced a job loss, change also meant belt-tightening and rationing — and learning a lot of DIY to save money.
It takes time to get used to change. Once you do, you can decide what adjustments are worth keeping and what you can do better.
Family time. It was forced, but now you know it’s doable — and beneficial. Keep the commitment to make it a priority.
Children’s responsibility. Especially with working parents in the household, many kids had to navigate virtual or hybrid learning without parental hand-holding. Putting kids in charge of their learning and downtime schedules teaches them to be independent, responsible, and accountable — and parents realized they may have been ready for more of it than they previously thought.
- Tighter budgeting. Even in households that didn’t experience financial hardships, many once-routine expenses were eliminated or diminished, such as dining out, movies, or golf games. Realizing what you can do without, and consigning that money instead to a savings account, will not only get you closer to having any savings or life goals, but can also ease discomfort during another emergency.
- Reaching out to old friends. You may want to get back in touch with past friends and acquaintances if you’re concerned about their health and how they’re dealing with the pandemic. If you can’t find people through social media, sites like ClassFinders allow you to browse alumni from different schools so you can touch base with former friends.
- Career introspection. Being forced to work from home may make you realize how much you enjoy autonomy and flexibility. A forced job loss, while stressful, may leave you with a feeling of freedom or even with a new determination to start that business you’ve always wanted.
- Closer to nature. With gyms closed or limited and household space scarce, the great outdoors became a mental and physical panacea. People started taking walks just to get outside their walls. Families rode bikes and enjoyed other outdoor activities together. Nature became a home school lab and a work reprieve for parents.
- Cooking healthier meals. In all of this, you’ve discovered you really can cook — or at least, that there are meal planning services that can help ease you into it. And with grocery delivery or curbside service, there really aren’t any excuses any longer.
Making Some Big Changes
If your career situation has changed, either with a temporary or permanent layoff or reduction in hours, use that time to assess your job’s “happiness quotient.” If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, but never had the time to devote to laying the groundwork or were too risk-averse, you’ve just been handed an opportunity.
Many people may decide to head back to school before starting a business; that way, they have all the tools and skills necessary to help get their idea off the ground. Here’s the good thing: by enrolling in an online program, you can pursue that higher degree at home — and on your own schedule. At the same time, you can continue to put the pieces together for your upcoming entrepreneurial adventure.
You know now that you can handle change, so use what you’ve learned to make both big and little ones. Spend your working hours doing what you love. Make more time for your family and friends, but don’t ignore your own self-care at the same time!
To live well in mind, body, and spirit, schedule a consultation with Well With Life to transform your life. Call (785) 256-0820 to learn more!