Thanks to the pandemic, billions of lives were put on hold while we collectively searched for ways to deal with the upheaval. Of course, this was not true for everyone. Food producers had to continue producing food. Clothing makers had to switch all their product lines to sweat pants and PJs. And people producing masks, hand-sanitizer, and toilet paper made more money than they ever thought possible. If you drive for a car service or are in the delivery business, you likely got more work hours than you knew how to use. It seems a little crass to say that life was good for this group. But it certainly wasn’t on hold by any means.
As for the rest of us (that still includes billions), a return to normalcy is still just out of reach. But we can’t just sit around waiting for things to get better. We have to be the change for which we are hoping. While waiting, we have picked up some new bad habits and all but forgot about the good habits we used to have. A renewed focus on good habits is what we will need to get the gears of the world moving again. Here are a few good habits that will help you put the COVID blues in the rear-view mirror:
Practice an Instrument
Do you remember the days when you used to care about music and the guitar gods of the 80s? Many teens were driven by the desire to learn to play the guitar and rock the house like their favorite guitar heroes. Now is the perfect time to grab one of those electric guitars that used to electrify your spirit and learn to play.
The beauty of playing the guitar is that it is very easy to transport. Put it in a case and sling it over your shoulder. You immediately gain cool points from, well, everybody. And whenever you have a few minutes of downtime, you can put in a little practice time. The other thing that is great about the guitar is that you don’t have to be particularly good at it before you can strum a few chords that sound impressive and feel satisfying. One thing that makes an electric guitar a nicer practice instrument than an acoustic is that you can plug in headphones and not disturb anyone as you play. The same is true for an electric piano. But you wouldn’t want to sling one of those across your back.
Getting Out of the House
Getting out of the house doesn’t seem like much of a habit, and maybe it wasn’t in the before times. But we have become so deathly afraid to get out of the house that it takes an act of congress to move us. And we all know that acts of congress don’t come easy. What we need is to learn how to form healthy habits. One of the keys is good time management. If you keep a calendar, you should put in a 30 minute block that simply says, “Get out of the house.” Once you schedule it, it becomes a priority.
If you have a dog, increase the time you spend walking her. Don’t just go check the mailbox. Take a stroll around the block. On a nice day, don’t drive to the store to pick up a few items. Walk. Find ways to get yourself up from that office chair and move. If you have fear of going outside (FOGO), it’s okay to take baby steps.
Acts of Kindness
You are a wonderful partner to your spouse and do special things for them all the time. But those acts of kindness might come fewer and further between than you think. During times of stress, it is more important than ever to communicate via tangible actions rather than words. Get in the habit of doing something special once a week. It could be flowers, a home cooked meal, a day when you do all the chores, or something completely out of the box. This type of habit will help both of you get out of the pandemic with your joy intact.
Good habits are easy to start but take commitment to fully develop. But if you do it right, post pandemic, you will be able to play an instrument, conquer the outdoors, and strengthen your relationship with the one you love the most.
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