Blog 19: In What Ways Has the COVID Pandemic Improved Our Health?
The COVID Pandemic has imposed trying times upon many of us. The first half of 2020 has been a mixture of unpredictability, schedules in flux, anxiety and mandated change.
My husband and I have been so lucky that our businesses have maintained most of their integrity. However, along with many others, we have felt the pressure of suddenly having to be flexible in creating our online offering (learning how to use new tech platforms in a heartbeat is never easy!), juggling having the kids at home and being flexible enough to go where our work/clients are located- which has meant a lot more time in the car.
It took a couple of weeks to adjust to new mindsets and to expect a little less from ourselves. As I slowed down mentally to pause and to reflect, I noticed that not everything was being pressure cooked. In fact, lots of things did the opposite – they slowed down. We have found many positives have been birthed from this new lifestyle imposed upon our society as a whole.
I invite you to read, reflect and comment. Here are some awesome shifts in health and wellbeing that I personally have noticed as a result of the COVID pandemic. If you can add any to my list, I would be keen to hear and share with our broader community!
More flexibility in our schedules: The imposed requirement of working from home has transitioned from being a burden (too many distractions, and too much to juggle!) to a welcome change for many. We have learnt how to balance our schedules in a different way because of our new “working hours” and our new “distractions”. As a parent, I know that I have definitely become even more efficient at managing my time and have learnt to be ultra-productive in the pockets of time that I actually have to work. Many of us are now also enjoying the opportunity to be with our kids in timeslots that we never had before. Many Workplaces have recognised this new desire for more flexibility and have been more willing to accommodate employees offering a work from home options as most workplaces have not experienced notable shifts in productivity.
We are cooking at home more: More likely than not, your favourite food joints were closed during the COVID pandemic. Whilst some continued to offer takeaway options, most restaurants went through a period where they simply shut because it wasn’t viable to keep the business open. Many of us also were a little more wary of unnecessary social contact, including for our food, which therefore led to the only option being cooking at home. What was once seen to be the more burdensome choice, now has become the norm. Social media has been flooded with cooking inspiration and recipes. I have noticed more produce delivery businesses popping up. Eating out less often usually means healthier choices. Our waistlines may be appreciating the change to more home cooking, in turn, our mood and general outlook on life may feel a bit better with less of the “bad stuff” in our bodies.
We are not trying to spread ourselves as thin: You all understand that grind. Work, kids activities, social functions, work meetings, exercise, housekeeping – all demanding pieces of our time each day. When the COVID pandemic rolled in, suddenly everything was being done virtually, which meant that we didn’t have to move further than our living room. We weren’t spending our time in peak-hour traffic trying to get places. The fact that all hospitality joints were closed also meant that we weren’t then trying to drag our exhausted minds and bodies to yet another work or social function – when all we wanted to do was be home. Even my most sociable friends and clients have appreciated the enforced downtime – it has given them a reason to say “no” and cleared up some very needed self-time in their exceptionally busy diaries. Often, many of us are busy trying to cater for everyone else – fitting everything in – that we forget to look after the person who matters the most- ourselves.
More movement: Exercise has been listed as one of the four “necessary” reasons why you are able to leave your home. So many places that used to provide us with “entertainment” have had to temporarily shut due to the pandemic. As a result, I have seen so many more individuals and families frequenting my usual nature playgrounds! As a trail runner, I am used to going for kilometres and kilometres without seeing a soul. Recently however, my trails have been noticeably more crowded with bodies. Bodies which are trying to move, expend energy in the way they should, and enjoy some Vitamin D. It’s been an awesome shift.
What have I missed? What awesome shifts have you noticed in your own lives? Tell me all about it! Even in the face of change, the silver linings are there for us all.