On Being in the World After the Pandemic

There’s this hilarious commercial from Extra Gum, where it’s the end of the pandemic and everybody is breaking out of their houses and apartments, running around the streets with wild abandon, making out with anybody they happen to see and in general, truly enjoying this life. If you haven’t seen it, find it because it will be worth the search!

For me though, this interim period doesn’t feel like that. This is more like cautiously walking along a rocky path, where one misstep may lead to something disastrous. While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I do have some tips for you:

  • If you’ve been sedentary, start by taking a walk around your neighborhood. This is a good way to get some fresh air while meeting or re-connecting with neighbors, all while at a safe distance of your choosing! If you have a partner or a dog, take them along because it’s also a great bonding time away from Netflix.
  • Instead of going to your stuffy grocery store, this is the perfect time to get out and visit your local farmer’s market. Meet and support your local farmer while taking in all the good smells! This is a tough year for allergies so while you’re at it, pick up some local honey which is an amazing help.
  • If you’re suddenly back in the office after being home, make sure you’re taking care of your basic needs, like sleep. I got used to rolling out of bed late because I didn’t have to be “office ready.” Showers generally happened at lunch time and it was glorious. That’s all over now so I’m making sure to start winding down for bed a little earlier. I am also doing my best to prep my meals in advance so that I don’t have to grab something outside of work, which is almost always not the healthiest choice. My meal preps are super quick because I am far from a gourmet chef, so they include throwing together things like lettuce & corn (delicious!), protein, avocado and dressing. Don’t forget snacks…nuts, fruit, cheese sticks, hummus and veggies are my go-to’s.

My most important tip is to know that there is no “right” way to do this. We have all been through something unprecedented and it’s not uncommon to feel anything from hesitant to traumatized when re-connecting with society. Be gentle with yourself and others as we re-navigate the world together. Let’s come out of this with a renewed appreciation for health, love and companionship.

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