The COVID-19 pandemic brought around many changes in our lives. However, while many of our regular activities were brought to a standstill, it provided us with a rare opportunity – we got to press the pause button on the chaos of everyday life. Morning commutes were replaced with spending a little longer in bed, we participated in a few too many Zoom quizzes with distant friends, and burnt our fair share of banana bread. While it was undoubtedly a tough and trying time for all, it also gave us the chance to learn important lessons about what really matters.
However, with vaccination plans rolling out around the globe and the cases beginning to drop in many places, it seems as though normality could be just around the corner. While this is welcome news for many, it’s perfectly understandable to feel a little anxious about what lies ahead. Here are some simple ways in which you can begin to prepare yourself for life post-COVID, whether that means you are returning to work or planning to grab a few drinks ahead with friends.
Ask your employer to provide you with regular updates
While some businesses opened their doors again, others are continuing to encourage their employees to work from home. Not only does this help to keep everyone safe, but many businesses have also noted an increase in productivity and employee satisfaction since working from home became commonplace.
This means that many may consider it as a permanent option or ask their employees to spend some days in the office and others working from home. As a result, it’s important you ask the employer to keep you updated on their own plans on how they aim to proceed moving forward—knowing if (and when) you will be expected to return to work can help you suitably prepare yourself.
Furthermore, if you don’t feel quite ready to head back into the office, you could ask your employer whether or not it is possible for you to stay working from home for the foreseeable future. If you are putting in this request, ensure that you can clearly demonstrate how working from home enables you to do your job better than you may have done it previously.
If you’re feeling ready to return to the office, but are a bit anxious, take some steps to calm your nerves and boost your confidence ahead of time. For example, you could ask one of your colleagues to meet up for a coffee before work to reacquaint yourselves. You can also boost your confidence by purchasing a killer new outfit for the first day back.
Remember that ‘normality’ will look a little different
While businesses continue to open, it’s important to remember that everything will seem a little different or even alien for a while. For one thing, crowds at live events will be significantly smaller, especially due to social distancing rules and regulations.
For example, the Cheltenham festival event went ahead in March, only to a much smaller crowd. While there were still hundreds of people present, last year, the event drew in crowds of around 250,000.
Nevertheless, the event was a huge success, and you can find out more about the event online, such as the Cheltenham Festival 2021: 10 of the best Champion Hurdle winners. While reduced crowds may make things seem a little strange, they should provide those who feel anxious with a little comfort as clearly safety remains a key priority for all.
Don’t forget to book
While you may have been used to making the odd reservation here and there in the past, right now, it’s essential that you make bookings and reservations wherever you intend to go to avoid disappointment. This is because many venues are operating at a limited capacity, Whether you were planning a trip to the cinema or heading out to your favorite restaurant, make a reservation in the post-coronavirus world.
Set your own limits and return to ‘normality’ at your own pace
While some people may feel ready to jump into normality right away, meeting in larger groups or at busy restaurants and venues, others may prefer to take things a little slower. Whether you fall on this scale, know that it’s perfectly okay.
Set your own limits and do not feel like you have to comprise them to keep others happy. For example, you may feel more comfortable meeting with friends one at a time as opposed to in a group setting. Or, you may want to meet outdoors instead.
Take care of your mental health
During and beyond the pandemic, you must find various ways to care for your mental health, especially if you are dealing with heightened stress and anxiety or a lack of confidence. Thankfully, there are multiple ways you can do this.
Here are some suggestions:
- Try not to spend too much time online or watching the news. While it’s important to stay informed, spending hours looking over the latest figures and updates is only likely to worsen any existing anxiety. Sometimes, unplugging and giving yourself a break is an essential act of self-care.
- Spend time outdoors, such as at a local park. Try to go on at least one walk a day, even if it is just to the end of your street and back.
- Exercise often, releasing pent-up energy and boosting your body’s production of serotonin.
- Give yourself a break when you need one, understanding that it’s okay to turn down plans to spend time alone.
- Upgrade your self-care routine.
- Reach out and ask for help and support whenever you need it. While this could mean that you reach out to a professional, such as a counselor, you can also ask friends and other loved ones for additional help.
Write a to-do list
The pandemic managed to put just about all of our plans on hold, meaning that you’ve probably got about 100 things to do in the coming months. Therefore, one way you can prepare yourself for life post-COVID is by putting together a to-do list.
This activity can help you put together plans more efficiently than if they’re all sitting in your head. Also, figure out how much money you need to save up to make it happen.
Make the most of the opportunities that come your way
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of not taking anything for granted. As a result, you must make the most of what the world has to reoffer as things continue to move forward.
Stop holding yourself back from opportunities because you are worried about what could go wrong. Instead, focus on what could go right.
For example, if you have always wanted to enter a certain career but lack the qualifications to get started, now is the perfect time to sign up for that course and start learning. Don’t worry if you are the oldest person on the course, or the least qualified, as everyone is on their own journey.
Seizing the day and stepping out of your comfort zone will mean something different to each and every person. But it’s essential that you stop standing in your own way.
Remember that nothing is set in stone
As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that the rules and regulations will continue to change. This means that you should not consider anything to be set entirely in stone. Continue to follow all government advice and guidelines to ensure your safety and the safety of others.