Happier Way Original –
Nothing feels like it will ever be the same since the spring of 2020, yet numerous lockdowns, Zoom dinners, Teams meetings, online lectures later, we are finally at a point where we can see the end in sight. Playgrounds and classrooms are filling up once again, the clinking of cutlery is back to restaurants and cafes, the ordeals of being stuck in the same house are finally ready to be left in the past– yet it may not be such an easy transition. It may be quite anxiety-inducing to go back to “normal” life pretending as if nothing happened. The prospect of catching and spreading the virus is still a very real one. Furthermore, everyone’s unique pace of adjusting to a world of life alongside the virus is different and difficult to streamline into one uniform experience. This can lead to conflicts, confrontations, and the surfacing of deeper anxieties– both social and otherwise. Here are some tips for the transition:
- Ease Yourself Into It: It is not possible to go back to normal life, full-swing, from day 1. Therefore, it’s essential to ease yourself into it and test the waters to see what is comfortable and what is not for you. It might be a good idea to create new levels of comfort outdoors and around people slowly and reservedly to ensure that you aren’t left overwhelmed or overstimulated.
- Show Empathy: It might be possible for you to get back into the swing very quickly and while that is great progress for you, maybe a colleague or a close friend will be struggling to keep pace. They may be unable to feel comfortable in situations that you perceive as completely normal. It’s important to remember that we experienced the pandemic individually and on a community level, differently. Its consequences on others cannot be measured by using ourselves as the metric, therefore we must hold space for the experiences of others and show empathy. This will make them feel comfortable and welcome to share space with you as well!
- Remember That Covid Isn’t Gone: This is the real challenge. At a time where mask mandates are disappearing, life seems to look a lot more normal and it may be easy to forget that the virus is still very much with us. While that is tempting to believe, it may not be the wisest decision. It’s important to keep our hygiene practices at higher levels just as we did during the worst of the pandemic, stay home if we have symptoms, test regularly, get vaccinated and show general consideration to all those around us lest we find ourselves in the middle of restrictions increasing once again! Remembering this fact will help an easier transition with fewer bumps and setbacks along the way!