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Post Pandemic Breakthrough: are we still the same person we were pre-pandemic?

Updated: May 12, 2021

Taking a Moment to Reflect…

A mere two weeks after my second COVID vaccine I felt a sense of overwhelm instead of relief as I began to entertain my re-entry into the world. At exactly the 14 day mark from shot #2 I took the day off to get a massage and visit a museum, both of which I had not experienced in over a year. The massage quite literally melted me into the ground it was so incredible and afterward I spent the afternoon walking through a local art museum, taking in the beauty and finding inspiration. As I admired the work crafted by artists past, I pondered what they may have lived through and what that timeframe was like for them: had they experienced a pandemic too? Something worse? What was going on around them when they decided to create this work and how is their art a representation of their time? On my drive home I thought about how much my life had changed over the past year and how the pandemic offered a cleansing of sorts, an opportunity to pull away from social obligations and plans and to reconnect with myself. It also gave me the space to create healthier boundaries and become more intentional with my choices. I have found it much easier to own my day, manage time, and listen to my body during the quiet of quarantine. Then I got to thinking about what I might lose in getting back to a more socially active lifestyle.

A few days later, the calls, emails, and meeting invites began to come in: people from my social network had been vaccinated and were ready for in-person time. Coffee chats, backyard cocktails, weddings, and baptisms began to fill my inbox and I found myself automatically going back into my old habit of RSVP yes, yes, yes, and yes but then something happened, a visceral feeling in my chest, my body telling me it was all too much, my subconscious pushing through my physical self to say no. And then I realized, I do not want to go back to the way things were. I want to move forward and take my learnings from the pandemic with me.

As I enter into this new phase of life in a pandemic, I am going to be much more deliberate with my time and how I am taking care of myself. My decision is to do less socially than I did before yet make the moments I have with friends and family count; I will be fully present, phone-free, and available to whomever I am connecting with. I am going to continue taking walks in nature and tending to an early morning routine. I will continue meditation and yoga at least twice a day and will find beauty in the small things and moments.

In order to uphold my set intentions, I will not overbook myself and will continue to be intentional about my time by respectfully saying no to things. I will continue to take care of my mind and body by giving myself the needed space to recharge. I will show up for the people and activities I commit to with full appreciation of that person and that moment, and I will listen more than I speak. I will trade the fancy experiences for meaningful ones and spend money on items with longevity and quality. I will trade status for peace and appreciate income for its ability to give me freedom rather than chain me down. Every time I have to deal with a toxic person, I will embrace it as an opportunity to not get attached to their negative space and will be strategic about eliminating as much of this as possible when it enters my world. Lastly, I will continue to work on myself through an open mind and curiosity for the world around me.

This year has the capacity to be the catalyst of real change for all of us. I challenge you as I challenge myself to not simply jump back into “the way it was done before,” but to make your life better for having gone through this. This is our year, and I am looking forward to what we do with it!

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