By Contributor, Emily Graham
The last year has brought major changes for everyone. Although these changes were unexpected – and, frankly, unwelcome – there are some shockingly bright silver linings amidst it all. Some of the ways we’ve changed our day-to-day lives have had a major impact on both our physical and psychological well-being. However, many of these changes offered opportunities to build healthy habits and give our minds the nurturing they need. Let’s take a look at a few pandemic-inspired changes you should hold on to:
Addressing Creative Priorities
Although we may not have thought of it this way, many of us have turned socializing and going out into our primary hobby. Once that became more complicated, we had to figure out some other way to pass the time. As a result, people started discovering creative pursuits they’d never considered before.
If you haven’t found your creative niche yet, keep looking. Try out different forms of art, or pick up an instrument. If you’re business-minded, you might get creative satisfaction out of solidifying your own business idea. Who knows – it could become something you turn into a full-time career! Seeking creative satisfaction is a great way to soothe your spirit.
Launching a Business
Millions of people were financially impacted by the pandemic, and though many continue to struggle, others have looked to new and different ways to make a living like starting a business.
If you were financially impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, now might be the perfect time to go after a small business idea that could be beneficial to people, especially in areas that show strong support for local businesses.
The best way to get started is to form an LLC! The added personal protections of an LLC will keep your business going well into the future and also provide you with flexibility for financing. In addition, an LLC can provide creative ways to tax your business properly without breaking the bank. Creating your own business is easier than ever and can be done online in five steps or fewer.
Connecting From a Distance
Although virtual socialization has taken off during the pandemic, odds are it will stick around far beyond its passing. Take something like online gaming, for example. With a good enough WiFi connection, you can play with friends all over the world as if they were right next to you. Yes, this has allowed us to connect with the non-household friends and family members a few streets away, but it also gives us a chance to spend time with long-distance loved ones.
Expect video chat sessions, online gaming, and other virtual hang-outs to stay on the menu after the pandemic has passed. Lean into these forms of distanced socialization: They allow you to stay in touch with people who might otherwise fall out of your life.
Learning How to Be Alone
Obviously, socialization is important for our mental wellbeing. However, alone time is valuable, too. Depending on what your schedule was like pre-COVID, you may not have spent much time on your own. The self-isolation the pandemic has required, however, means that we’ve all had to learn how to enjoy our own company. Getting to know one’s self empowers you to see all of who you are – the areas worth working on, and the traits that deserve to be celebrated.
Spending time at home has also inspired us to make sure our homes are a comfortable, welcoming environment. Many people have painted rooms, created wall art, built porches and patios and all other manner of quarantine DIYs. Creating a space where you can unwind is a necessary step toward learning how to be mindful and present in your own life.
Valuing Time Outdoors
Before the pandemic, there’s a good chance most of your time outdoors happened between front doors and car doors. Although this seems minimal, we all felt its absence once it went away. Working from home has kept our risk of spreading COVID-19 lower, but it also wiped out our incidental time outside.
As a result, we’ve learned how to weave intentional outdoor time into our schedule. We’ve started going on walks, exploring local parks, and hiking nearby trails. Maybe you’ve even hosted a socially distant garden party as a way to spend low-risk time with loved ones. Time outside is great for our mental health in a number of ways, and we should continue to make an effort to get as much sun and fresh air as possible.
Don’t get us wrong – the pandemic has come with major, undeniable challenges. But amid all the difficulties, we have learned which coping skills empower us to live the fullest lives possible. We should never let go of that drive to find joy wherever we can.