The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our normal routines in a lot of ways.
While many of us have experienced hardships and loss, there may also be
some good things we've gained during this time. What new habits or
insights can you take with you as you move forward?
Here are a few things you might want to keep in or out of your life now.
OUT: Handshakes. They turned out to be a great way to say "hello" to germs. If
you've gotten used to the wave, bow or virtual high-five, keep that
new greeting going.
IN: Handwashing. Washing your hands well and often is one of the best ways to avoid spreading
the coronavirus—and other germs. Make those
20-second scrubs with soap and water a permanent part of your life.
OUT: Going to work or school sick. Many of us—kids included—have done our part to slow the spread
of the coronavirus by staying home. That's a good lesson to take back
with us into the world. Whenever there's a chance you're sick,
you can help everyone by keeping your germs at home.
IN: Face masks. Chances are you now have a cloth face mask on hand—or the
know-how to quickly make one. Hang on to that. Anytime you're sick, you can use your face mask
to help cover your coughs and protect the people around you.
OUT: Last-minute grocery runs. Has it been nice not visiting the grocery store quite so often? Even if
you don't plan meals in advance, keeping a well-stocked pantry can
make it easier to whip up dinner without an extra trip to the store.
IN: Cooking from scratch. Did you dust off some healthy cooking skills while restaurants were closed?
When you prepare your own food, you can make your meals as nutritious,
fresh and flavorful as you want. That's definitely worth hanging on to.
OUT: Information overload. During the pandemic, there has been no shortage of news to consume. And
sometimes misinformation has spread as fast as the virus. That might have
fed into your anxiety about the situation. If you learned how to find
trustworthy news sources and set some healthy media limits for yourself,
those are skills that can serve you well going forward.
Virtual visits with a doctor turned out to be a great way to bypass a waiting room full
of contagious people. They can also be a convenient option when you need
after-hours care, counseling or help for minor illnesses.
OUT: Smoking. If this pandemic inspired you to
quit smoking to protect your lungs, that's a huge win that can serve up lifelong
benefits for your health. Keep tobacco out of your life for good!
IN: Planning ahead for emergencies. It pays to be prepared to shelter in place during situations like pandemics,
natural disasters or power outages. If possible, choose a room in your
home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who
are healthy. Create an emergency contact list. And gather long-lasting
supplies you'll need in case of an emergency.
OUT: Loneliness. Isolation can breed depression and anxiety. And pandemics aren't the
only time we experience that. Make it a priority to stay in touch with
others. Those ties are an important part of good mental health. If you
started regular phone or video chats with distant loved ones, keep up
the habit. And if you know someone who lives alone, make a point of checking in often.
IN: Being kind to others. We found some pretty creative ways to look out for each other, even while
staying apart. Doing good things for other people can give meaning and
purpose to your life. If you dropped off groceries, picked up a prescription
or left a kind note during the crisis, you made a difference. Keep looking
for ways to spread that kindness.