By Shana Moore
A few words of wisdom from life coach, Shana Moore, on taking stock of this past year before jumping into your old social life with both feet.
Whether you’re more excited than daunted to resume your life’s pre-pandemic pace… or the ratio tilts the other way, it’s helpful to take stock of what was, what is, and what might be before you blast (or tiptoe) out the door as your fully vaccinated self.
There’s nothing like hard times to bring clarity as to who matters most to you. I can’t be the only one who noticed who reached out and who didn’t during this year of physical isolation. In fairness, of course, I must also take inventory of the people I chose to check in on as the days of the pandemic dragged on.
As you venture back out, be purposeful about who gets your time and energy. The company we keep matters to our overall wellness. Who makes you smile? Think? Feel vibrant and alive? Who inspires you to take care of yourself? Learn new things?
It’s an ideal time to take stock and edit with intention.
Once you have clarity on the people you want as part of your crew, it’s time to think about how much time you want to give to them and to any other optional activities that fill your calendar.
For many of us, the pre-pandemic world spun at a dizzying pace while we juggled careers, family obligations, and a full social calendar. Once you recovered from the shock of a near-empty social life and settled into the new normal, what parts of it were surprisingly lovely?
For some families, new habits of weekly Zoom calls with relatives in other cities, towns, and countries became a beautiful way to stay connected that should continue long past the grasp of this virus.
Did you spend more time outdoors being social with walks and hikes and patio visits instead of sitting down indoors over cocktails? Perhaps some of the social outside exercise is worth keeping as a post-pandemic habit.
At around mid-lockdown, I told my friend Tracey that when this was all over, I was going to have a big ‘Happy Everything’ party and decorate for all the holidays we missed. She declared she was going to host more frequent dinner parties instead. “Yes! Those too,” I said. “I want them all!” But do I? Am I really the card-carrying extrovert I once was? It doesn’t quite feel like it. The toll this year has taken has me wondering if I might just baby step my way forward and pay attention to what feels right instead of cannonballing my way back to what was.
Another area of life that’s caught the attention of mission control during Covid-19 is health. For me, it was eye-opening to see how some of the comorbidities that affected the severity with which people experienced the disease were more in my own hands than I previously wanted to admit.
As the statistics mounted that many of the people who were hospitalized and/or succumbed to the ravages of the diseases had higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, it forced me to look at the quality and quantities of the food I was eating.
I realized that I had sort of made peace with the middle-aged sprawl that had take hold of my midsection over the past 10 years. Because I’ve always exercised regularly, I had rationalized that the exercise was enough to stay healthy—that the junk food “treats” (that were more like junk food staples) were fine, that body positivity would prevail with me.
Taking better care of my physical wellness by editing my consumption has helped me step closer to seeing my physical self less through a lens of vanity and more through one of health and longevity.
I want to hold on to this way of thinking as opportunities to go out and go all in for pleasure start presenting themselves to me again.
Have you gained some healthy new habits this past year that you want to maintain? Do you want to start building some before your calendar starts filling up again?
Wishing you a mindful and curated approach to re-entry!
Shana McLean Moore is a life coach at Anchor Psychology in San Jose, CA. To read more of her articles or connect, visit her website.