The other day my friend and I, both small business owners, were talking about how our lives and attitudes had changed now that we are getting back into the “new normal” of work, school, and life in general. Pre-Covid-19 we would scramble to fit everything into our days, staying up late or getting up early to meet deadlines or work on projects. We would scurry from event to event, adding more to our schedules simply because nothing else was booked at that time, so why not? Then the pandemic hit and we went into the Quarantine Times. All but essential businesses shut down and we had day after endless day of time. I filled much of it, unfortunately, with hours of screen time learning about Covid-19, getting the latest news updates, and trying to figure out what that meant for my career. Fast forward to today where we are learning to live in “Coronaville” and putting the pieces back together in a social-distancing manner. Also, isn’t it interesting that this virus is destroyed by soap and water, sunshine and fresh air? And that to overcome it we should eat right, exercise, and rest? Our question was, why are we finding ourselves guarding our time now? Have our priorities shifted? I think this time has taught us some valuable lessons. Here are some lessons I have had to re-learn:
- Wash your hands. Use soap and water and scrub for 20 seconds; don’t just do a quick rinse now and then, but really consider where your hands have been and take time to do something about it.
- Eat right. Like many, I have packed on some “quarantine fifteen,” though not quite that much. Comfort foods are so tempting, but maintaining good health and a proper waistline are important, especially now.
- Rest. Getting eight hours of sleep has become a key priority now. Sleep is when the body restores itself, both mentally and physically, so setting aside time to wind down and not scheduling things later in the day get priority now. the-benefits-of-getting-a-full-night-sleep
- Go outside. Sunshine is important to our health. It boosts the mood and promotes healthy, naturally-occurring endorphins in the body. sunlight-makes-pleasure-chemical-body
- Exercise. Besides helping to maintain overall fitness and keep those unwanted pounds at bay, exercise helps boost feel-good endorphins. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress
- Focus on family and friends. With so many things being stripped away or stripped down, we have been forced to shift our priorities. Instead of work, travel, entertainment, we make an effort to connect with loved ones, whether it be through the telephone, letters, or online.
- Be nice. So much of what we do is to help others – wear a mask, keep our distance. But also other people need us to simply be nice to them – thank people for checking us out at the grocery store, delivering the mail, providing take-out meals, put up an encouraging sign or write a note.
So my basic take-aways from the pandemic thus far sound much like a mother’s advice – be nice to others, go outside and play, eat right, go to sleep, and wash your hands. Sometimes we just have to get back to the basics. Maybe, just maybe, this will be a nicer world when we get through this. It most certainly will be a cleaner one!