During the last few months, we’ve all had more time than usual to slow down, be still, and reflect on what’s important in our world. And while we’ve experienced certain discomfort, when we look closer, there may be some good that’s come out of our time at home. So how do we take the lessons we’ve learned and apply them to our lives as we begin reopening? Here are three lessons to hold on to as we emerge from quarantine.
With parents working from home and after-school activities on hold, we’ve enjoyed some much-needed family time. When we go back to everyday life, appreciate those precious moments. Strive to incorporate more recreation and fun with the kids into your schedule as it ramps up. Try a board game night or a backyard barbecue. Tackle a puzzle together on a rainy afternoon.
Social life has also shifted, as we’ve seen more of our neighbors possibly more than ever before, on walks and bike rides. We’ve also caught up with old friends online. This time has reminded us how valuable our relationships are, and how easily they can take a back seat to work and deadlines if we let them. As we emerge from our homes and get back to the grind, remember to check-in with those you care about, whether it’s through a Facebook message or a thoughtful, handwritten note.
Spend More Time Outside
Dog walks and outdoor jogs have been the happy highlights of our days as the weather improves. And while at the time it seemed like a great excuse to simply leave the house, spending time outside can reduce stress and boost your mood.
Studies have found that even a 20-minute session outdoors can make a difference. Find new, creative ways to spend time in nature to prioritize your mental health and wellness. When you have a busy day at work, take a quick stroll outside to recharge your mind, or enjoy lunch in the sunshine and away from your desk. Take the dog to a local dog park on a Saturday afternoon, or read a book in a hammock or ENO to benefit from nature’s restorative powers.
Enjoy the Simple Things
The limitations of the past few months have forced us to rediscover the simple pleasures and small joys in life. A homemade card can have so much more meaning than a store-bought one. Breakfast at the kitchen table is way better than in the car on the way to work. A home-cooked meal can certainly taste like takeout, and a long soak in the bathtub can certainly feel like a spa day with a little music and a candle.