It had never crossed my mind back in March that the second half of the month will witness the birth of a new lifestyle for most of us. Working from home, ending my lease of my Vancouver office and limiting myself to Surrey, and launching my virtual practice! Social distancing, wearing a mask for in-person sessions, and sanitizing, tons of disinfectant wipes, and PPEs. These vocabs have gradually crept into our daily life dictionary and apparently they are here to stay and will probably continue to alter the way we perceive our work, socializing, and self-care.
Two months and two weeks in the beginning of 2020 was the total duration of “normal life” as we knew it back then. Waking up in the am, getting children ready for school and rushing to our busy days running between offices from one meeting to another, and driving! A lot! Meeting various people throughout the day in different locations. Looking back, I smile. How on earth did not we opt to virtual meetings back then? Why were we so naïve to think that we had to run between cities to attend meetings or trainings? Suddenly, these patterns came to a change of direction. For many of us, the previous life style has dramatically over flipped. For others, life continues as before yet with added precautions and practices. Our collective experience since mid-March of social (physical) distancing has introduced a new way of living, working, socializing, shopping, and even dating. How has all these changes impacted you on various levels; biologically, psychologically, socially, emotionally, and even financially?
One of my clients was sharing the other day that this altered lifestyle has significantly diminished their lifelong anxiety. It seems that the change in societal expectations and interaction have had some positive impact especially on us “the introverts”. I personally proclaim that I am one! I would need to recharge with a book, a movie, or a solo walk along the seaside as opposed to run excitedly to attend a social function after a stressful work day. Nonetheless, this made me think of the impact that this new normal has been affecting us as a species introverts, extroverts and in between. We now can wake up, drink our coffee at the comfort of our own homes while still in Pajamas and log into our work accounts; all at the same time with couple of quick steps. Voila! No need for tedious commutes, stressful morning traffic, and/or overwhelming morning hallway small talk. We work on daily projects, virtually meet with coworkers as required. Lunch break is only a short trip to the kitchen with various assortment of healthy fresh meals. After work, some of us work out, eat well, socialize within our bubble or sit on the beach. Future plans? Who cares! Let’s enjoy the present moment; life is too short to waste it worrying about the future! Smell the wet soil, hug a tree and enjoy sunsets. This is paradise!
Unfortunately, while some of us have been enjoying this quieter pace of life, it has not been this rosy for others who got infected with the virus, struggled with physical and emotional pain; or even lost loved ones during the pandemic. Moreover, shutdown has separated families, and increased the isolation of many elderly and special needs individuals while others have lost their jobs and still have to juggle homeschooling or sending children to school. In certain less fortunate cases pandemic life arrangements have disrupted domestic peace increasing violence and marital disputes. Let alone the messy financial situation that many are struggling with; over expenditure, CERB eligibility and repayments!
Oh dear! What a mess COVID-19 has created!
This is unarguably overwhelming. Nonetheless, as an adaptable species we have been through a lot and even worse. Yet, we are still here stronger and more competent than before.
Regardless of your own experience, I would like to leave you with this: “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger!”
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.