By Jodie Cook
Photo Credit: Pixabay
With many countries loosening lockdown rules, your lifestyle and behaviour will change once again. If you’ve developed productive and healthy habits during lockdown, you might not be prepared to go back to exactly how things were before. When planning your post-lockdown life, here are six habits you should keep:
1. Saying no
Fear of missing out (FOMO) was a genuine phenomenon. Then lockdown started and everyone was missing out on something they used to do or someone they used to see. Panic ensued. Then acclimatization happened and a bad situation was made the best of. Now, it’s the opposite, and fear of going out (FOGO) is real.
Pre-lockdown, the opportunity cost of going out was whatever you were doing at home, which might not have been much. Now, your home is your castle and you’ve learned to live a fulfilling existence within its four walls. Home is now where you make things happen. Plus, you’re more aware than ever that going out might involve catching a virus that compromises your health. FOGO.
Post-lockdown, keep guarding your time and not giving it away. Keep saying no to the people, places and plans that you don’t actually want to make. During lockdown it’s easy, everything is “no”. But don’t forget you still hold the cards and you still control your time.
2. Personal development
Lockdown has brought about personal development opportunities in all aspects of life. Reading, learning, writing, quizzing, exercising, cooking, hairdressing. Even strategically planning your month’s online grocery shop might be a new skill you’ve managed to master. Make a note of how you’ve grown and what’s been responsible for it. Keep going. Don’t let the lure of normality send you backwards.
Zero face-to-face delivery of classes has led to irreversible changes in education, not to mention the realisation that academic institutions provide little more than what’s already available. Why wait for universities to adjust when you can complete an online course? Why wait for schools to open when you can homeschool your kids now? Why wait to graduate to start a business when you can create a Shopify account in a few clicks?
Make personal development your priority even when travel plans and special occasions are reinstated, and your regular options are back. There is always something that can be done right now that your future self will thank you for.
3. Spending time on hobbies
Think about the time you used to spend out and about, commuting to work and meetings and seeing friends. Gather acute awareness of where that time was meaningfully repurposed during lockdown. Notice the ways in which you’re now a better version of yourself. Write them down. Perhaps you started some new hobbies or perhaps you did more of something you were already doing and ramped up output. Perhaps lockdown gave you the perfect excuse to do something you had previously been putting off.
Bike repair shops, gym equipment providers, garden centres and online bootcamps have been inundated with old and new customers, a sign that hobbies have started or been picked back up during lockdown. Whatever you started, don’t stop now. If lockdown helped you find your passion, continue on your journey of competence and reach mastery.
4. Developing friendships
The growth in messenger activity and rise in use of Zoom for personal use suggests that connecting with friends over the internet is at an all-time high. It sets new groundwork for what constitutes a friendship. You might live around the corner but you can’t meet up in person, so if the internet is your main form of communicating with a friend, location is irrelevant.
Cultivating friendships all over the world ties you less to a specific location and opens up possibilities on the cultures you experience and the places in which you feel at home. Reaching out to that old acquaintance two thousand miles away now seems more normal because you’re sharing the same experience, so the world somehow seems smaller. Post-lockdown, keep thinking further afield with your friendships.
5. Being kind
Rainbows and hearts have been painted and pinned up in windows, the appreciation for key workers has never been higher, and brands have shown compassion in unprecedented ways. Even those hit hard realised someone else had it harder and empathy ensued. Thinking of ways to help those worse off than you has been paramount to schemes such as Kindness By Post, as well as secret book exchanges, fundraising drives and health service volunteering.
Habits to keep include supporting small businesses, giving the benefit of the doubt and caring deeply about how others are getting on. Lockdown has created natural conversation starters so let’s keep them going. Assume someone is having a rough time and act accordingly. Keep asking the questions, keep trying to understand, keep operating human-to-human and putting kindness first.
6. Adapting and coming up with new ideas
Change is inevitable, lockdown or no lockdown. Economic turbulence, advancing technology, automation and long-term working patterns will keep changing over the course of a lifetime.
Business owners forced to make changes have been adapting in impressive ways. Altering their layout, business model or product range. Incorporating delivery, take-out or remote working. Changes that will mean they survive this crisis and many more. Perhaps they’re in a stronger position than ever before.
You’ve heard of IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) but what about AQ? AQ stands for adaptability quotient and is a measure of how easily someone can pivot or even pick up their entire life and live it in a different way. Lockdown will have tested your AQ, but keep testing it. Operate from an adaptable, growth mindset, where you work on the assumption that nothing is as it seems. Work on those things that will withstand any pandemic: your brand and its digital assets, your reputation and how you treat others.
Make lockdown the best thing that ever happened to you by keeping the greatest things about it; those awakenings, habits and practices that served you well throughout and will keep serving you during your future.
For the original article, visit: Forbes.