What I’m Keeping from the Pandemic

Let’s just say it: Global pandemics suck. 

Like most, we know people who have become seriously ill and have several close friends who have lost parents and grandparents. Even if you don’t have anyone in your circle who has been sick, your life has been turned upside down. Everyone has felt the impact hard. 

What Habits I’m Keeping

I cringe when Penn reminds me to “look on the brightside” but he may be right this time. When our world shut down last year, we all shifted, adapted, and adopted some new habits. Not all of them are bad. Here are the ones I plan on keeping in my life:

  1. Masking when traveling and crowded spaces.
    We’ve all seen people have FEELINGS about wearing a mask. For us? It’s simple and science supports the efficacy of mask wearing right now. A surprise bonus? No one in our family has been sick in a year. (Knock on wood. I just jinxed us, didn’t I?) Yes, a lot of that has to do with distancing, but the kids are playing sports (in masks) and I go get my hair colored and make trips to the grocery store. We are exposed enough in our small bubble that at this point one of the kids would have brought home a cold or strep throat if not for the masks. I’m sure of it.  Allergies didn’t even bother us this year! I will likely wear a mask on airplanes and in crowded spaces for the foreseeable future. I really like NOT being sick.
  2. Speaking up about boundaries.
    Boundary setting was not a lesson I learned until very recently. I was born a people-pleaser and would ignore all internal warning signs to make sure every need was met. That type of life doesn’t bode well for superior mental health. But this year, I’ve learned how to be more clear with friends. We got invited to a small indoor party. I said, “Thank you so much for thinking of us. We just aren’t comfortable with that right now.” And that was it. In one sentence I set a boundary and no one challenged it (or cared, let’s be honest). This same scenario has been repeated in different ways in the last year, and I’ve become so comfortable being honest. It’s a big deal for me.
  3. Not everything needs to be a meeting.
    I think much of our pre-pandemic time was eaten up by meetings. Those meetings are now on zoom, and with “zoom fatigue” people are realizing emails or chats work just fine. I do love an in-person brainstorm session, but I would rather paint my living room walls with a Q-tip than sit through another budget meeting. If zooms do happen, they are short and are meant to save time.
  4. Flexibility about everything.
    I work best knowing how the days and weeks ahead will play out. I’ve had to abandon every instinct to plan too far ahead, and you know what? It’s been pretty great. I’ll admit we don’t have anything significant on our calendars right now, but the ability to shift and change schedules is new for me.  I’m holding on to it.
  5. At home workouts.
    Before everything shut down, I couldn’t muster the motivation for a workout in my living room if you paid me. I would start the workout, see something under the couch, start straightening pillows, fold laundry .. everything became a distraction while the video played on my TV.  I needed the accountability of the stranger next to me to get moving. I’m proud to say, I’ve established and maintained at home routine over the past year. I do the functional strength workouts from the Well Body Reset and a few days a week I do a Peloton ride. (You’ve seen the video, right? I’m obsessed) I’m not saying I’ll never go back to a gym. Our friends own a Pilates studio in town and it’s been safely open for a few months. I can’t wait to get back there, because that’s a pretty tough workout to recreate at home. But for now, the time savings of not getting in a car and driving across town for a workout has been incredible.

What are the things you’re going to hold onto from this time? Let me know in the comments.

Xo, Kim

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