black man holding a covid mask

By Tina Martin of Ideaspired.com

After so much time living in a pandemic, going “back to normal” hasn’t felt normal at all. If you’ve felt anxious about returning to normal life, you’re not alone. Many of us feel anxious about getting back out there. Not only because we’ve spent so much time socially distanced, but people are also worried about losing the positive changes they’ve made during the pandemic.

COVID-19 lockdowns led us to spend more time with family, try new hobbies, and relax in ways pre-pandemic life simply didn’t allow. We adopted healthier diets, got outdoors, and discovered the benefits of time-honored wellness practices.

Back to normal doesn’t have to mean back to old routines. Here’s how you can maintain the forward momentum you created during the pandemic long after it ends.

Reinventing your career

Whether by choice or by circumstance, the pandemic upended millions of careers. Now, as companies call employees back to the office, people are questioning if returning is worth it.

Some workers are tired of feeling underappreciated and overworked. Others want to work from home permanently. No matter the reason, there’s never been a better time for a career change. Employers are eager to hire and looking for people with transferable skills. Rework your resume focusing on key competencies and accomplishments over chronological work experience.

Companies are also less concerned about resume gaps than in the past. This means that it’s easier than ever to take some time away from work if you need to in order to facilitate a career change. It doesn’t even have to take very long, either. With several online medical coding courses available, you can quickly get certified in medical coding fundamentals if you’re interested in pursuing a career in that field.

Living a healthier lifestyle

Many of us have witnessed our mental health suffer during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we have to choose to persist in suffering with antidepressant medications just a virtual doc visit away. The pandemic has brought widespread acceptance of telemedicine, which we can use to get healthier. By working with an online physician, you can develop a treatment plan to meet your needs. And your visit is covered by most insurance plans — you can even get your prescriptions from your local pharmacy.

Staying home during the pandemic meant more time for home-cooked meals and fewer fast food runs and indulgent nights out. But now that public life has ramped back up, so are the pressures that lead us to unhealthy choices in the first place.

You don’t have to leave healthy habits at home. Look for ways to fit healthy changes into your busy lifestyle, like enrolling in meal delivery or getting outdoors on work breaks. You can even document your healthy changes with a free online Instagram story template. Your friends and family that you haven’t got to connect with will love to see what’s new in your life.

Create a healthier home and lifestyle by organizing and decluttering. You can hire a professional organizer to help, but if you’re tackling this job on your own, your first step is to go through your papers and toss any unnecessary documents or receipts.

Keep life cleaner

As concern about the pandemic has waned, some of us have become less focused on maintaining high home cleanliness than we were at the pandemic’s peak. But better home health and cleanliness doesn’t have to be a relic of the past. Consider hiring a house cleaner to regularly pay your home a visit. Their expertise will always be appreciated in a cleaner, healthier home.

Spending time intentionally

It’s true — while living in isolation had its silver linings, we’re all craving connection after the pandemic. Use your time wisely on activities that fill your cup and stop doing things that don’t serve you. When you spend your precious free time doing things that bring joy, you walk away feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.

That includes making time for self-care. Nurturing mind-body wellness fosters the resilience you need to handle whatever life throws your way — global pandemics included. However, as the past year has shown, you can’t always count on gym and club memberships to meet your health and wellness needs.

Going “back to normal” doesn’t have to mean giving up all the good things you accomplished during the pandemic. Take the momentum you’ve generated over the past two years and use it to propel yourself into a better, healthier future.