Today’s article was written by writer and health enthusiast, Rosemary Bointon. Today she speaks of the “New Normal” post lockdown. What will we choose to do differently? Let’s find out.
Your Choices for The “New Normal” Post Lockdown
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
Will coping with lockdown or sheltering in place change your life choices post lockdown Has seclusion had an effect on the way you behave and think?
It has been such a bewildering time, with huge changes to our lifestyles and no time to adapt. Unless we’re essential workers, working our socks off, we’ve been stuck in our homes.
For many, the lockdown has provided space to think about the dilemmas thrown up by the pandemic and the financial chaos following behind. Maybe the changes in our thinking will bring different choices in the way we live when we reach the new normal.
I’ve brought together views from around the world on what people are thinking about the choices that we will make when the crisis has passed.
Eating Our Way through the Crisis
In seclusion, some people have taken up comfort eating to keep the stress at bay. My friend Joy told me that she had started comfort eating and it was resulting in an unwelcome increase in her weight. She’s now deliberately choosing to go back to her healthy diet.
A lot of people have taken up eating more vegetables and have you read about the run on beans and pasta in the supermarkets? With no restaurants to visit, people are choosing to cook for themselves – and finding it fun. Seclusion is a real chance to change to a healthy diet.
But I have been struck by the number of people who have commented that they are now more conscious of food waste.
With the fear that it might end up scarce or that our incomes are shrinking, people are more careful about their food. Could it turn the tide of obesity? Or is everyone choosing comfort food? How have your eating patterns changed because of seclusion?
Rediscovering Family: The New Normal
Some people are so involved with their high paced jobs, they don’t see their families too much. They work late and travel a lot.
Andrew, the CEO of an IT company, said that he had found working at home a rediscovery of his family. He was there to put the children to bed, read them stories, help them get dressed, and all the other everyday tasks which he had missed out on for years.
He is going to work harder at a better work-life balance when things get back to ‘normal’.
However, he wants a ‘new normal’ with more time with all of his family! And, that means more working from home and less traveling on business.
Cutting Out the News and Coping with the Mental Stresses
Subhajit, from India, said that the first few days of lockdown were chaos, listening to the news, working at home, and round the clock childcare. He and his wife felt anxious and powerless, at their wits’ end and fighting for survival.
But they choose to take control of what could. They cut themselves off from the news other than once a day. They set a timetable where each had time to devote to their son and to work.
Subhajit believes that the mental shifts under the new routine have helped them feel happy and content in lockdown. Subhajit commented that his productivity has soared.
With more dislocation to come, doctors are predicting a surge in mental problems. In what other ways could we make choices like Subhajit and his family and improve our mental resilience?
Staying Still and Moving Into the Digital Future
Even if you are near your family, sometimes you cannot see each other. Honey found that traveling meant she was banned from seeing her for Mother’s Day. Many countries have banned all contact with people over 65 or 70, to keep them safe, especially if they’re living in an old people’s home.
For many older people, it has meant a crash course into the digital world so that they can stay in touch. How many millions of people across the world have learned to use Zoom because of this crisis? Is digital contact becoming part of the new normal for everyone?
My brother-in-law’s family does an online quiz on Sunday nights with their children and grandchildren. My grandson is having an online party for his birthday too.
Maybe it will become normal to consult the doctor by phone or video in the future with far fewer visits to surgeries and hospitals.
Cash is no longer king: some shops won’t take it anymore to avoid handling dirty or contaminated coins. Are you making more digital choices these days?
The Explosion of Volunteering
One of the most attractive consequences of the lockdown has been the explosion of volunteering amongst all ages.
There are so many ways that you can get involved and help others: shopping for the elderly, helping in food banks for the homeless and poor, making masks and scrubs for health workers, helping people get things fixed, or grow vegetables in their gardens, conducting lessons over the internet.
Has it changed you into wanting to help others more?
Helping with Fun and Humour
Rebecca appreciates the ingenuity of ordinary people putting together truly spectacular performances, whether they are British families performing in their living rooms, Italians making music from their balconies, or Dutch ballet dancers performing in the streets.
My 94-year-old friend Eric, who lives on his own, is doing his bit to keep people cheerful. Every day he sends out an email with funny quotes and sayings.
Professionals are streaming digital versions of their latest productions and shows.
Ordinary people and professionals have chosen to entertain digitally. Will our choices continue in the new normal?
Choosing the Road Less Travelled
For many years, we’ve chosen to take our holidays in magical, faraway places.
A few days away from the internet suddenly meant American Mitch and his Colombian wife, Dayan were stranded on a remote island in Cambodia. Staying put rather than risk the dangers of traveling proved a welcome rest from the stress of being digital nomads.
Plus, on the island, there’s less risk of catching the virus.
What if we all choose to travel less? Would it be better for the world? What if we all think like Sarah from France, who lives in the beautiful French Alps? She said:
“Every time we go away in the summer for more than 2 weeks, we come back here and think… why did we go away?”
The Skies are Clearer and Bluer
Of course, it depends where you live, but have you noticed that there is much less pollution in the air? When I’m out for my daily exercise, I really notice when a car passes, trailing its fumes. Beverly thinks that the skies really were bluer when she was a child because there was less pollution. She is trying harder than ever to reduce emissions in her home.
Dramatic reduction in emissions means Indians are able to see the Himalayas for the first time for 30 years. The European Space Agency has mapped similar reductions in polluting emissions over major cities.
Scientists say that the fall in pollution will save more lives than those who die from the Coronavirus. Current estimates are that air pollution kills 4.2 million people each year worldwide.
We stayed at home for Coronavirus. Do you now want to make different choices about the pollution you emit? When you buy a new car, should it be an electric one? Should you sign up for renewable energy?
Let Us Not Forget
We’ve been looking at the good things to come out of lockdown. But there are so many people really suffering: children who have lost their parents to the disease. So many loved ones gone before their time.
Remember those people who have lost their businesses and jobs and increased their stress levels to breaking point. How will they provide for their families?
Can we choose to help them? I’d like to think that the new normal will embrace the positive acts of kindness and devotion that have come from this crisis.
Choosing a New Normal
We make choices every day of our lives, mostly out of habit, unthinkingly following normal patterns of behavior. Seclusion has shocked us out of that normal, to which, they say, we can never go back.
We’ve looked at a few things from around the world, but there are many more choices to be made.
Imagine how choices will make for a better world. Choose with care, not just because you are forced to, but because you don’t want to waste a single moment on starting to improve our world.
It’s a big opportunity. Choose positively for yourself and to help everyone else too. Help form a new normal, a better world.
Your choices matter. What are you going to choose for your new normal? Tell us in the comments at the bottom of this page.
This article was written by Rosemary Bointon. She helps older people work out what to do now to live longer, in better health with more fun and adventures. She’s a certified content writer. You can find her at https://writer.me/rosemary-bointon/, www.longlifefunlife.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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