This Is the New Normal, and We’re Adapting Beautifully
If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we are adaptable. While the virus may have caught most of us off guard and still presents many challenges on a day-to-day basis, we’ve made changes and are in a position to overcome. Here are just a few.
What Has Changed?
Many things have changed, from the way we interact socially to how we view the fragility of our economy. And while some actions, such as limiting crowds and avoiding handshakes, are likely to dissipate in the next year, others may have an impact on our daily lives for many years to come. Some of these are deeply personal, while others are simply a matter of convenience. Now is a wonderful time to evaluate your thoughts and ideas surrounding this change and ask yourself how it has and is likely to affect your mental well-being.
One of the most profound revelations of the coronavirus pandemic is that healthcare, which we all once took for granted, has become the center of attention. As Medical Futurist explains, this new focus on our medical systems has highlighted the need for upgrades throughout the country. It’s also shed light on the fact that many healthcare concerns can be handled remotely by using a combination of telemedicine and in-person visits when necessary.
Even counseling has gone online, making mental health assistance more available to those that need it most. There are also online support groups. Make use of these services if you find yourself feeling unsure, scared, and confused. Having a chance to work through your issues from the comfort of home might be exactly what you need to feel and be your very best.
Real estate is another area that has experienced a shift since the beginning of the global health crisis. While real estate prices are likely to decline in the coming months, the market has yet to see the impact that many buyers and sellers once feared. Something that is certain is that prospective homebuyers are proceeding with extreme caution, and they expect things like virtual tours, a 3D model of the home, and plenty of additional digital media to remotely view a property before deciding to proceed with a physical showing.
Sellers opening their homes up to potential buyers should make sure to point out that high-touch surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs, counters, and toilets, have been cleaned and disinfected. This can make the process feel more comfortable for everyone and adds an extra layer of protection against transmission.
Corporate America has also embraced the trials and tribulations of social distancing and lockdown protocols. And, not surprisingly, given the digital age in which we live, many positions have now switched to a work-at-home model. This has allowed many American businesses to remain open and functioning throughout the pandemic. Not surprisingly, it also poses challenges to those people working from home. Vault notes that time management, collaboration, and separating work and personal time are still subtle nuances that we are learning to overcome.
Fortunately, as people settle into these new roles, balance will likely come naturally, and having the ability to work from home full or part-time will transition from novelty to necessity. But not everyone makes the move seamlessly. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when and if you become overwhelmed by suddenly having your entire life take place under one roof.
It’s also wise to look for ways to eliminate frustrations. If you’ve been working at the kitchen counter, now is the time to carve out a space where you can focus and be productive. Is remote learning compromising your internet connection for work responsibilities? Talk to your provider about bumping up your service for a more accommodating speed. What about your tech, is it functioning as needed? Either ask your employer for something new, or invest in a new device that fits your work needs. Remember that these frustrations are within your control and can be addressed so you’re better equipped to adapt to more change.
Many people have lost their jobs this year, and this is a change where some people have been able to adapt, while others continue to struggle. For those with the time and means, losing their job was the push they needed to embrace a new career path or take their career to new heights. Online degree programs have seen a surge in applicants, as many students are taking advantage of the extra time at home. Plus, online education has made it easier for those who work part-time or freelance to continue to earn an income while working toward a degree, whether your interest is in teaching, nursing, business, or IT.
Of course, while many people have been able to adapt, many others have not, and they continue to struggle making ends meet, managing remote learning and running a household on very little income. If your family has suffered due to job loss, there are resources available to help you right now. From job training to nutrition benefits to housing vouchers to unemployment insurance, there are numerous ways to find support.
The Little Things
Changing healthcare, real estate woes, and a shifting work dynamic are all things we are experiencing together. There have been many more changes for all of us as individuals. One of these is that more pets are being adopted, and these canine and kitty companions are helping stave off depression and loneliness. We’ve also taken on roles that we would traditionally outsource, like cutting our own hair and making minor home repairs.
Collectively, changes both big and small will make the world a different place for our children than it has been for us up until this point — and we will continue to adapt. While we’re in the middle of a transitional stage now, a new normal is on the horizon, and the changes we continue to uphold now will make the world a safer and healthier place.