We’ve all been waiting for the magical day when everything returns to “normal”. But it isn’t….. and it hasn’t. Most of us have been changed by the pandemic -both personally and professionally. Although many of the post-pandemic changes have helped improve our business in a positive way, many of us are still reeling with the reality of lost loved ones and a fear of “what’s next”.
So, how can we navigate the remainder of 2021 and work toward a wholistic approach toward restoring ourselves and growing past a year that we’d all like to finally put behind us?
- Set Realistic Goals
As we begin to travel and participate in larger groups, some of us may be ambivalent about leaving behind some of the protocols we’ve become accustomed to. At first, we may feel awkward in these situations. But remember….. you are with friends who are feeling the same way. Be ready for some anxiety and realize it doesn’t mean something is wrong – anxiety is a natural reaction to a very unnatural situation. Most Americans are out of practice socializing, and repeated practice is what helps us feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid! Have realistic expectations! Practice makes perfect!
- Follow Your Values
Start with the activities that best exemplify your values. Create a list of values, prioritizing from 1-10, and then match the list up to how you actually spend your time. Are your most important values backed up by how much of your time is spent on them? As you re-enter your public persona, start by allocating your time to the people, places and activities that most effectively uphold your values.
- Keep Track
As you begin to broaden your social experiences, keep track of those activities that make you feel accomplished and fulfilled. Of course, it’s not all about “just having fun”. The goal is to create a mix of experiences that are fun, productive, social, active and relaxing. Then, make weekly time adjustments to achieve that perfect mix.
- Growth vs. Preservation
There’s a time for growth, and a time for self-preservation. After such a rough year, give yourself some grace when trying to find the balance. Growth is important as we make up for lost time in many areas. However, self-preservation is important as we get back into a normal pace of activity without overdoing it.
- Pay It Forward
If you’re reading this… then you’re already in a fortunate group. As you plan your newly found time, plan a portion of this time to pay it forward. Research tells us that our own health improves as we do things that benefit others. Be grateful as you plan your “gift of reboot”, and you’ll likely find that your own life improves exponentially.