5 Aspects of Life That Won’t Return to Normal
For certain things, there’s no going back. No return to normal.
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Listening to podcasts during commutes. Small talk with coworkers. Your favorite bar bustling with life.
These are all memories from a time we now refer to as “normal.”
Everyone is talking about getting back to it. Speaking of busy commutes with a sort of reverence. We are now mourning the loss of things we didn’t even like that much.
Welcome to 2020, when everything changed.
Medical professionals can’t give exact predictions for the future of 2020. It’s a pandemic after all. There is no way to know when or how we will return to any semblance of that normal life. 2019 seems so far behind us now.
I’m going to tell you something you may not want to hear.
There are some elements of society that will never return. And you know what? We will be better for it.
#5 — Taking Relationships for Granted
You’re looking forward to those FaceTime calls now, aren’t you? Do you remember a time when phone calls felt so aggressive? Now they’re almost as exciting as the time with only landlines.
I remember times when I would be multi-tasking while on a phone call, missing parts of a conversation. Other times being oddly satisfied with social plans being postponed. No longer. Now every interaction feels like a gift — and I intend on keeping that mindset.
This moment in history has reminded us of the value of our community and relationships. It’s all very fleeting and we’ve allowed technology to come between us. If we’re smart, we’ll never go back to taking them for granted.
#4 — Ignoring Self-Care
Processing anxiety. Valuing rest and workplace boundaries. The culture in the U.S. has never been overwhelmingly supportive of those habits.
That’s changing at a rapid pace. The topic of self-care while isolated or under quarantine has exploded. We are all becoming hyper-aware of the value of these actions.
Morning rituals. Healthier eating and cooking. Meditation. Let the additions that help you get through this become permanent.
#3 — Unhealthy Codependency
Some of us are spending an unusual number of hours, days, and weeks alone. Others with our families and significant others. Regardless, that has given many people a glimpse into the mirror.
How much have you been dependant on others for your sense of identity?
Have others influenced your behavior more than you realized?
This excessive and intimate time spent with others or ourselves can be enlightening. Some of us are becoming far more self-reliant than ever before. Others are shedding bad habits or changing relationships for the better.
#2 — Remaining Unprepared
Living in a constant state of nearly-expired milk has never been a good idea. But when the store is only a short walk, what did it matter?
We are all having to face our individual level of preparedness during this crisis. This applies to our lifestyles and our mental states.
Are you better stocked on healthy and non-perishable food now?
Have you identified how to work, entertain yourself, and stay healthy at home now?
Does your morning routine include meditation, reading, and cooking a healthy breakfast?
Guess what? This has forced you to become more prepared to live on your own, no matter the circumstances. You are now physically and mentally prepared for a variety of things life can throw at you. Not all, but many more than before.
Keep it up.
#1 — Assuming Control of Everything
By our very nature, we want to control the world around us. Be it our schedules for work or the simple things we must do each day. Yet the world does not concede to our desires.
During a crisis of this size, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. So many things are changing or outside of our control. But the truth is that they always are — only we haven’t let ourselves believe it.
What we can control is our reaction to things. How we process and react to events is where the focus should remain.
You’re not stressing about how late the train is today, are you? I bet you less concerned about the cancellation of an upcoming concert.
That’s all because you have accepted what is out of your control. You’re no longer absorbing anxiety for events that reflect exactly 0% of your actions.
Don’t make the same mistake John Hammond did with Jurassic Park. Remain aware of what is in your control and what must you let go.
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”― Epictetus
It’s impossible to predict the future. This you know. Yet we are all at the edge of our seats hoping for the magic eightball to be right on this one.
There have been changes to our work-life and culture that will have some permanent effect. Some are for the better. Some are challenging. And others that have yet to come to light.
The only way to navigate this and any other crisis is to remain flexible and prepared for change. That does not call for pessimism. But open to a positive reframing of what changes to “normal life.”
We will adapt. You will adapt.
This article was originally published by Michael LaNasa on medium.
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