Over the last couple of years, COVID-19 has trained us to not only adapt to changes but to adapt quickly. No matter what your position is with COVID-19, the main lesson to note is that COVID-19 has changed us as a society in the way we feel, interact with others, and how we continue down the path of health and wellness. Our mental health has been challenged to express many different emotions that come from fear, anger, change, and isolation.
Many of us have faced the challenges of school closings, virtual work environments, grief of losing loved ones to natural causes or illnesses, isolation from friends and family, participating in indoor activities, and delaying trips and weddings just to name a few.
This change has people re-evaluating and determining what's most important in life whether it's spending more time with family, engaging in outdoor activities, creating new experiences, changing careers, relocating, and other sources of positive energy to get us through this time.
By nature, we are a social society. People bring us joy. We love to celebrate events and people, enjoy dining out with good food and good conversation, enjoy concerts and theater, attend sporting events and other social activities that bring people together to spread love, joy, and happiness.
So how do we cope in this new norm to make it a positive experience? Below are some options to consider.
Take time to prioritize YOUR life. What takes up your time and energy? Allow yourself to take inventory of all the attributes that make up your life and rank them from most important to least important. Determine the time allotted for such priority. We need to take the time in 2022 to continue to grow ourselves by living life intentionally and in the moment as change remains the only constant in our lives.
With many things going virtual, work/life/balance may be challenging for some as we are now on-call 24/7 along with spending time with our loved ones. That's where prioritization comes in. What amount of time will you allot to work, family, friends, hobbies and any other activity that takes up time to create an even balance for you? Who can support you?
I will use myself as an example. I dedicate 45-50 hours/week for my career work. I have my husband to support me in meal planning and preparation on the weekdays which frees up my time to do other things. I try to workout 1-2 hours a day in two separate sessions. I allot at least 2 hours a day for family time and most of the weekend for family time. As friend and networking activities present themselves, I try and prioritize and schedule those knowing we all lead busy lives, so making sure that I am intentional on quality time with the quality relationships in my life.
Everyone is different. This is just an example as I know when children are thrown into the mix, the times can change from sporting events to helping with homework, meal time, etc. The point of this exercise is: What can you do to prioritize a schedule that fits you and allows you to be present in whatever you are doing while avoiding the burn-out?
Growing up, I used to think the quantity of friendships was needed to live a happy life. If one friend was not available, another friend would be.
What I have learned through the last few years is that it is not the quantity of friends that are most important but the quality of the friendships. There are several forms of friendships and lengths of friendships. Some friendships are seasonal while others will last a lifetime. Some come in forms of acquaintances and colleagues while others are true lifelong partners.
Find those people that help make you whole who will be there for you when you need them and who can also celebrate life experiences with you. Find people who you can learn from, share commonalities, share values and beliefs, inspire, and motivate to assist in your personal growth. Find those people who do not judge you, provide conditional love, or compete with you and who allow you to just be you. Ultimately, find the people that will be your partners in life to build not only a friendship but to be part of a family.
I have a handful of solid relationships in my life that when I reach out, I know they have my back and they always know, I have theirs.
Hobbies are fun activities. I have found that I love the outdoors. Even though I was never a runner; I have since taken up running to allow myself to get outside and smell the fresh air. I love to workout. I feel working out stops MY CRAZY, so I try to be intentional with my time to get some type of daily workout in. My husband and I love to travel different places and experience new things, so with the new virtual environment that we now live in being able to take our work on the road has been a pleasant experience while staying safe. This time has opened us up to trying new activities that we may not have tried prior to 2020.
What hobbies help to calm the mind and create joy in your daily routines? Be intentional about incorporating the things you enjoy doing into your daily routine.
PEACE OF MIND
Most important with everything that has now been added to our plates. What can you do to relax the mind? Whether through quality sleep, prayer, meditation, yoga, working out, partner relations, watching tv, etc. What is it that puts your mind at rest?
This is our new norm. How we adapt to the new norm is up to us as individuals. By taking inventory of what makes up our lives today and prioritizing those activities and people that mean the most to us will help to get us to a better peace of mind. Remember to Show the Love, Be the Love, and Spread the Love each and every day! We are ALL in this Together.