One quick scroll through your social media apps will tell you how people deal with the pandemic. With more time on their hands, many people find themselves in their kitchen, baking cookies and sourdough bread. Others spend their days gardening, binge-watching Netflix, and catching up with families online.
But as lockdowns are easing and cities are reopening, can we maintain these newly formed habits? The pandemic has claimed many lives, made people feel isolated, and put many essential workers in danger. However, the quarantine also offered some of us a rare opportunity. That is to question the fundamentals of the “normal” we had all come to accept. We got to pause, reflect on our lives, and even reshape them.
The post-lockdown world still comes with uncertainties. To cope with the “new normal” or even influence how it will play out, here are some quarantine habits we should keep doing:
Slowing down and relishing life’s meaningful moments
Shelter-in-place measures have made us realize we’ve spent years rushing through life, working over 40 hours a week, and filling every waking moment with a commitment of some kind. Stuck at home, we got to reconnect with what’s more important: family, friends, pets, and forgotten hobbies and passions.
While it’s worth noting that slowing down entails a great deal of privilege—those who’ve lost their jobs wish they could be working more—it can still help reshape the so-called fast-paced corporate world.
Prioritizing time with family and friends
Several people came to appreciate the family members and friends who’ve been there for them during the quarantine. It’s this group that they want to spend more time with even after the pandemic ends. Others reached out to people they hadn’t spoken to in ages. They suddenly found themselves video-calling their estranged family members in a hospice care facility or old college roommates living on the other side of the world. With or without pandemic, our family and friends should always come first.
Baking, gardening, and other new hobbies
While baking and gardening may not directly help us survive a deadly virus, they provide us with a sense of competence, control, and accomplishment. #Quarantinebaking is more than a trendy hashtag; it’s a collective display that our survival instincts are kicking in. Because when we feel uncertain about the world, we cling to things that make us feel secure about our ability to survive.
Feelings of anxiety won’t go away in the post-lockdown era. Hobbies that can ground us and feel us confident about our ability to survive in difficult situations are worth keeping.
Being mindful about consumerism
As malls, restaurants, and bars shut their doors, many realized their consumer behavior only brought instant gratification, not lasting happiness. Others suddenly saw the value of saving up and building emergency funds. In turn, more and more people became mindful of consumerism.
From food to clothes and gadgets, continue consuming consciously. Under post-lockdown, it’s also helpful to support local businesses instead of going back to purchasing the majority of your needs from big, national retailers.
Anyone who has ever tried to have a New Year’s resolution knows that maintaining new habits is difficult. But hopefully, this extreme change in our “normal” lives pushes us to shape a more fulfilling “new normal.”