rebuilding: turning off survival mode preparing for life after the pandemic

You’ve just spent nearly a year working from home, with minimal socialization living in fear and confusion. Your physical and emotional exhaustion level is well beyond anything you could have comprehended. Your soul misses exploring. You miss brunch and fitness classes where you could hug and hight-five a sweaty stranger without cringing. If you have children, those sleepless nights in the infant have nothing on this.

The vaccine is now on its way and kids are going back to school. Soon it will be time to emerge back into who you were before the pandemic only at this point, you don’t know who that person was anymore. The person before the turmoil, before the Black Lives Matter Movement became the largest movement in U.S history and you joined in full support. Before a deadly virus became a part of your every day life. Before you had to wear a mask to simply walk your dog. Before ordering from Amazon twice a day would be considered an addiction problem. How do we rebuild and learn to exist separate from the daily grind that had come to be a part of our identity.

As you slowly emerge in this new world where according to TikTok side-parts are no longer in, skinny jeans mean you’re old and somehow, somewhere you are now questioning if you need bangs. Here are some things to keep in mind:

rest with intention

As eager as you are to get into a solid routine, the truth is YOU ARE TIRED. Before creating an exhaustive to-do list and overcommitting sign up for some rest. Catch up on sleep, give yourself time to gather yourself. Meditate.

Move

Once you’re ready, start moving again. The mundane commute down your staircase from room-to-room does not count. Commit to simple and fun activities. Dance for 10 minutes a day, add in some push-ups. Do it at the same time every day and consider that your workout until you’re ready for more.

light your fire

Do something that you LOVE. Something that your heart is yearning for. Maybe mediation. If it’s travel, maybe it’s time to plan for next year to have something to look forward to. If it’s running, get to it. Maybe you’ve always wanted to DJ, do something that lights the fire in your soul and makes your heart say, “ahh yes, that’s the stuff”

be patient

Take it easy on yourself. It has been a long time since you’ve been free of angst. Ease into it and if you get to a place where you start regressing, it’s okay. Forgive yourself, you’ve been through a lot. Rebuilding doesn’t always mean going back to your old self, maybe it’s an opportunity to evolve into someone new.

be kind

There is no guidebook for how to get over a pandemic. Some will experience trauma, loss, unemployment others will forget it ever happened. Just because you’re ready to move on doesn’t mean other people are.

The bangs

Don’t do it.