Updated: Jul 19
As we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic, many of us may want to take stock of our lives.
What do we choose to rebuild? What do we leave behind? What new paths should we try?
In this article, the author suggests five research-based tips for answering those questions:
Set realistic expectations. Expect some awkwardness, frustration and annoyance - everyone’s creating new patterns and adjusting to changed relationships. It should all get easier with time and practice, but having realistic expectations can make the transition easier. Don’t idealize post-pandemic life either - you may be disappointed.
Live your values. Think about your priorities. Living into your values can promote well-being and reduce anxiety and depression.
The article has a great resource for evaluating your values, reproduced in part here:
“Imagine you are asked to carve a pie to illustrate your different roles and how important each is to the way you feel about yourself and the values you prioritize. You might value your roles as a mother, a spouse and a friend most highly, assigning them the biggest pieces of your pie.
Now, what if you were asked to carve that pie in a way that reflects how you actually allocate your time and energy, or how you actually tend to evaluate yourself. Is the time you spend with friends much lower than its value to you? Is the tendency to judge yourself based on rigid work demands much higher?
Of course, time is not the only meaningful metric, and all of us have periods when certain parts of our lives need to dominate – think about life as a parent of a newborn, or a student during final exams. But this process of considering your values and trying to align what you value and how you live can help guide your choices during this complex time.”
Keep track of your activities and mood. Keeping track for a week of what you did and how it made you feel is a great way to find the right balance of fun, productive, social, active and relaxing activities in your life.
Is this your time of growth or preservation? Research shows that your perception of time can influence your goals and motivation. If you feel time is waning, you may want to seek deeper connections with fewer people. If you feel time is expansive, you may want to seek new experiences and relationships.
Recognize your privilege and pay it forward. Your emotional health improves when you do things to benefit others. If you are fortunate to be able to do so, ask what your community needs to thrive and recover and think about how you can contribute - in time, money, resources or simply a listening ear.
What values in your life will you prioritize as you chart your path forward? Let us know!
With love and light,