What a difference a few months can make! For some it seems like only yesterday, for others a lifetime ago, that we partied with friends, lunched with co-workers and happily filled stadiums and theaters. Now, half the world is still in some sort of lockdown and we are cautious in our daily routines.
But as an ancient Persian adage proclaimed, “This, too, shall pass,” and as the curve of the virus flattens and shelter-in-place restrictions ease, Americans by and large are eager to resume their lives in what will surely be a new normal.
Whether you are more than ready, or wary of what comes next, consider these post-pandemic behavioral guidelines suggested by mental health professionals:
- Embrace the positive. Be grateful if you and your family and friends are well, if you are still working and getting a paycheck, and if you have come through this crisis without too much sacrifice. If you have lost someone, or faced sacrifice, take comfort that the worst is likely behind you, seek professional help if you need it and try to look toward tomorrow.
- Stay safe. Experts advise it may be a while before it’s safe to abandon social distancing. Enjoy the outdoors. Avoid crowds. Continue washing your hands often, following sanitary guidelines and adhering to local directives.
- Help others. If you are well and have the time and resources, there are many in your community who need help. Volunteer at a food bank. Tutor struggling students. Donate to local organizations assisting those in need. Check with your Chamber of Commerce or community organizations to find out how you can help.
- Take hold of your finances. We don’t know how long it will take our economy to return to pre-coronavirus levels, but each of us must do our part. Some will be working with financial advisors while others struggle to meet the rent. Whatever your situation, now is a good time to evaluate how you spend, how you save and how you can make wise money decisions.
- Assess work opportunities. While many are eager to return to the workplace, others are enjoying the perks of working from home, from flexibility to lack of commuting and more time with the family. Employers, too, are finding new efficiencies as workers telecommute. It’s a good time to start the conversation and assess your long-term options.