By Natalie Taylor
As many of us start getting our Covid-19 vaccinations we see the doors of the world slowly begin to open. The path before us leads toward a new normal–a return to the past. Finally we can look toward abandoning all of what we were forced to do for more than a year. And yet, thinking about it, we might realize that not everything we went through last year was hellish. More importantly perhaps there is value in continuing some of those actions. Here are some of the things we’ve gotten used to during the lockdown.
- Saving money: No restaurant outings, no clothes shopping, and no travel has had a positive effect on most people’s budgets. It may be enlightening to reevaluate our use of money.
- Going “natural”: With lack of in-person social events we’ve minimized the use of make up; many have stopped coloring or perming hair and have given up artificial nails. Results are healthier skin, hair, and nails.
- New recipes: While cooped up at home many of us learned new baking and decorating techniques and developed fancy dishes (almost) worthy of chefs.
- Naps: It’s been easy to catch a siesta without the usual obligations. And how refreshing.
- Silence: With fewer vehicles about we have rediscovered quiet days and, particularly without fireworks, quiet nights. The only disruption of the silence are the birds and of course the ever-present dogs.
- Video calls: These months of lockdown showed us a new and pleasant way to connect with faraway friends and family.
- A boost to creativity: Everybody got bored during lockdown and for many people it gave rise to creativity and energy to learn new things. Most of us took some online courses, learned a new hobby, or expanded on skills we already had. Boredom gave our minds space to reset.
- Quality time with your spouse: Without the disruption of the outside world we’ve had to learn to be creative in our time alone: pizza and Netflix; cozy dinners on the coffee table while watching the news; board games and card games for two while sipping cocktails.
- Food deliveries: Boy, have we gotten spoiled!
- PJs all day: Wasn’t it fun not having to dress up? Or only from the waist up if you had programmed a video call.
- Bonding: Closer ties with neighbors and friends that only a crisis can facilitate.
- Taking a breather: Realizing that it’s OK to “not do” anything; that simply living is sometimes good enough. The Italians call it dolce fa niente–how sweet to do nothing. It allows you to focus on what’s important and that’s hard to do when you are trapped in an ongoing routine. The pandemic shattered all routines.
So look back on your own lockdown year and consider which habits that were forced on you may have value. Maybe some are worth incorporating into your personal new normal. Drop me a note if you have other suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org