Ah, life in a global pandemic.
This has been quite the boon for some, like billionaires with massive online businesses; and yeast. For others it’s meant the heartbreak of having to postpone a 500-of-our-closest-friends destination wedding or the upsetting discovery that a close friend has started their own podcast.
But for most of us it’s been both ups and downs, not just of our weight, but also emotionally.
Still, now we’ve reached a point where we know what we’re up against with the rona, we’ve found some version of a new normal. So it’s a good time to recompose ourselves and look ahead to how things will be for this next phase. To help, I’ve come up with tips I’d like to share with you.
Here’s how to survive the rest of the pandemic.
Adapt your fitness regime
Remember how motivated we were at the start of lockdown?
Day 1: Sign up for fitness apps, design a rigorous exercise schedule, order a yoga mat, work out like a demon.
Days 2-7: Bedridden.
Now, we get out of breath opening a bag of CCs. So if you step on the scales and find, um, your face mask weighs 3 kilos, then it may be time for an intervention. These tips can help…
- I find exercise videos great. Without a live instructor to worry about, I’ve developed variations that suit my goals much better. For example, last night when they said: do 16 burpees, I chose a slight modification where I shut off the video and ordered a pizza.
- What if you’re keen to try resistance training but have no weights at home? Simply use the weight of existential dread during a global pandemic. You will reach fatigue faster than you think. In fact, I might have a small lie down now…
- You can also adapt your workout for the times we live in. Here are some activities well suited to a pandemic:
- Moving items from today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s, or, if feeling truly energized, to next week’s
- Back-peddling on that promise to join your friend for a walk
- Juggling several series on Netflix at once
- Activating your almonds (I don’t know what this means).
Re-think your goals
When we first found ourselves in quarantine, we saw an upside. Finally, we had time to complete the DIY home project we began in 2004. We still haven’t started, but we had time. Now, with greater self-knowledge, we can choose more realistic goals. Here are some suggestions…
- Instead of: finish organizing photos, try: finish Netflix
- Instead of: bake the perfect sourdough, try: conduct an exhaustive taste test and eat the perfect sourdough
- Instead of: finally write that novel, try: finally unsubscribe from all those novel-writing newsletters
- Instead of: complete a 30-day cleanse, try: wrap it up in 3 days.
Up your Zoom game
With Zoom now a part of work life, how can we improve the experience for everyone? Some ideas…
- If you’re still late to every work meeting even though your ‘commute’ now involves putting down the snack and picking up the laptop, then could the problem in fact not be public transport / the damn elevators in this building / global warming… and possibly be you?
- When someone rambles interminably, play the Your Speech Is Too Long Fanfare. Look perplexed about where it’s coming from.
Start making plans again
For introverts like me, lockdown revealed something truly shocking: turns out we actually liked talking to one or two people every now and then. This was brought home to me when some cops knocked on my door to ask about a neighbor and I invited them in for coffee while the key plot points of Misery played in my head. If this resonates with you…
- Now is a great time for introverts to make social plans. You will cancel them, but your friends already know that. Play along when they text they’ve ‘put it in the diary’.
- For me, this is the first year ever I’ve not been camping, because of Covid. Normally it’s because I hate camping. What plans can you not make due to the pandemic?
Improve your part in family relations
If there’s one thing we’ve all had the mental space to do, it’s take a good, hard look at ourselves in the context of our relationships. What we see might not be pretty, and not just because the pandemic has curtailed our beauty appointments. Instead of blaming them, ask how you can be more of your best self…
- If you find yourself yelling at your partner from another room THAT’S NOT WHERE THAT GOES (I have definitely never done this) then enforced closeness may be fraying your nerves. Take a breath, calm yourself, and gently scream this mantra: How do they not know where that goes after all these years?
- Honestly I have no tips for you because your partner sounds like a very annoying person. You can tell by the way they press the buttons on the remote.
Accept people as they are
There will always be people who do the wrong thing. And not only the ones who wear UGG boots outside the home. Remember, we are all in this together. Not literally together because of social distancing, but figuratively together. So let’s find ways to be more accepting…
- Health professionals ask us to maintain social distancing. Yet I read last week police attended dozens of large gatherings, when they really should be shutting those things down. But cops are people too, so live and let live.
- When people post their highly filtered pictures on social media, pretend you believe they actually look like that and have been caught in a spontaneously gorgeous #iso shot. *Fire emoji.*
I will see you when the sun comes out again…
In conclusion, we’re in this for the long haul, but we’re wiser now. Let’s reset as we embark on this next phase of the global pandemic, so we can all emerge changed for the better.
Because this will pass, my friends. And when it does, our hands may be abraded from all the hand sanitizer, our heels may think we’re dead, we may not know if it’s Thursday or Pandember, but one thing is for sure… I will still never go camping.