March 2020. The month the world changed. The world we once knew is not coming back. Sometimes in life we can be unfairly pushed into a direction that is not desirable. Change is scary. It has been proven that it is good for some, and bad for others. There will be negative changes that must be adapted to, but for now, let us consider the positives. Let us start there, drown out the negative, and move forward, changed anew, and for the better!
Here are some positive changes that we would like to see stay, when the coronavirus finally leaves:
1) Enjoying the Outdoors
The coronavirus took hold just as the Spring and Summer months were upon us. We can be thankful for that. Imagine being stuck inside during winter for quarantine? It might have made the experience much worse. But I digress. There has been an increased amount of time spent outdoors. This includes playing in the yard, riding bikes outside, going for a walk, going for a run, family time at the state parks. Enjoying the benefits of nature has become a greater priority! Simply put, nature is a cure. The sun provides Vitamin D, and the positive mental improvements from breathing in fresh air improve physical and emotional health. In a world where we have succumbed to great amounts of technology and never-ending television programming and streaming, getting more of nature could not have come at a better time!
2) More Family and Friends Time
There has been an increased amount of time with nuclear families. The world was shocked when we could no longer access family members or friends regularly. It was taken for granted! Being in quarantine forced families to find ways to pass the time. This increased game nights, new activities, and basic normal everyday conversations. Too much technology can be bad, but skype, zoom, face time, cell phones, and social media made it much easier to talk to friends and family. The focal point of a strong family and good friends became inherent once a crisis loomed. Let us keep that value high once we get back to a more normal way of life.
3) Increased Desire to Read and Learn New Skills
Let’s face it, there was a lot of down time! People had to fill the voids. More people turned to books, articles, and online courses to occupy the mind. Some people even had to develop skills for a potential new career! Others had to read and watch videos to learn how to make home improvements or discover a new hobby!
There was a new sense of intrigue and desire to learn. If we are not learning, we are not growing. The wonder of new knowledge is a great motivator. Keep reading, keep learning, get better!
4) People Cooking for Themselves
Where are all the restaurants and take-out? With severe limitations to life, people turned to cooking. Cooking for yourself or your family can save money, become a new skill, improve boredom, and improve nutritional health. There are so many recipes and how-to videos online that learning to cook has never been easier. With the amount of extra time people have had, it has been a perfect time to practice and get better. I think we all would be surprised at the tasty meals that we could create.
5) Decreased Consumerism
This is my favorite. Please, for the love of all (material) things, stay! Despite the government providing stimulus money to individuals and families to keep the economy afloat and boost consumer spending, people have become more aware of the spending they do. The lack of money and severe social restrictions play a part, but overall, people are finding that they made not need as many things as they once thought, and that now impulse spending is thoroughly thought-out. People are considering necessities versus wants more so than ever. Maybe once this is over, people look at alternative uses for their money. With the loss of experiences over the last three months, a quality bet is on starting there!
6) Being Bored
There is nothing wrong with being bored! People think boredom is the enemy. Long-term boredom can lead to some unhealthy and dangerous behaviors, but for the most part, it can lead to more positive change. People do not like being bored, simple fact. Once a person is bored, however, they tend to develop new ideas. These ideas revolve around activities and learning. A lot of times boredom is the key to unlocking hidden potential and discover what was never thought possible. Maybe a person had a business idea, or a book they never got around to reading, or unfinished projects. What if boredom lifted people off the couch and into an active lifestyle. It is amazing what the lengths are that people would go to not be bored! Use the boredom as new motivation.
7) Life slowed down
Close your eyes and take a breather for a moment. It is understood that many are concerned about their finances and their future. That is a no-brainer. The constant hustle that preceded the coronavirus places a heavy toll on the mind and body. Life can feel like a rat race. Must be the best, must do the most, cannot stop or others will pass you buy. Sound familiar? Quarantine put a halt to it. Different priorities took shape. Always strive for greatness but discover the personal reasons behind it. Take a walk, play with the kids, enjoy nature, exercise for fun, and do not fret about working so much. Our minds and bodies were not designed to work so rigorously for so long. There is a reason different religions have a day of rest! Let’s move forward, but we do not need to feel obligated to sprint every moment.
8) Daily exercise
More people started taking their health seriously. The downtime provided more people opportunities to track food intake, and more importantly, the chance to exercise. Of course, gyms were closed, but more people than ever went for walks and runs! These are free activities that help build health. There are studies that have shown that walking for 20 minutes per day will improve life expectancy and overall health no matter any current health issues. People also sought out riding bikes and doing body weight workouts. Online fitness groups became popular. The body is made to move, and the more it moves the better it will be in the long run! We learned that during this time.
The Lowe’s and Home Depot Garden centers are booming! This all goes back to extra time, and maybe even boredom. Gardening is a great hobby. It can be done outdoors, in planters, indoors, on windowsills. Gardening can be vegetables or herbs. It is a hobby that is healthy and can be eaten! When done right, it can be unbelievably cheap also! There is nothing better than eating food that you have grown. Create a garden, give it love, and watch it grow. Eat the rewards!
10) Working from Home
Some people are itching to go back to work. A lot of people need the socialization of it. Working from home has proven work can get done fast and efficiently without distractions. It is cheaper for businesses and departments. Technology has moved us into an era where brick and mortar workspaces are becoming more obsolete. If anything, the savings on gas and time from working from home will help improve people’s wallet and opportunities to do other more beneficial/important activities (as noted above).