New Habits: What Are You Keeping From the Pandemic?
Wearing a mask, zooming instead of commuting, and naps are just some of the pandemic habits we're not sure we'll let go of
I’m finding that coming out of the pandemic is more difficult than going into it. Lockdown came as a slow boil: first the St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled in New Orleans. Then we were told to stay three feet from strangers. Then it was six feet. Then it was a temporary shutdown. Then it was a full three months without going to any unessential venues. I ventured out to the pharmacy and grocery store (NOLA included liquor stores in their “essential services”) where I found my brain played tricks on me. I was fine and cough-free until I got near somebody in the cheese section and I’d have this uncontrollable tickle in the back of my throat forcing me to cough — for no reason. Yes, I was wearing a mask, but I got some really terrified stares! Once I simply had to leave the store — and of course, my tickle abated. I think this is the same system that responds when I try an elimination diet that says I can’t ever have, say, dark chocolate again, and I find myself loading up on expensive dark chocolate.
In any case, I’m surprised at how well Jeff and I adapted to lockdown life. He’s a super introvert, so for him, his life didn’t change. For me, he had to lay down some new laws — like don’t chat him up until he’s had his coffee (even though I’ve been up since 5 AM and he’s just stretching his limbs at 8). But I found I absolutely looove getting into bed at 8:30 PM and watching a movie or reading a book. Late nights have always been absolute torture for me in the past — but “late” used to mean a concert starting at 11 PM. Now I’m not sure how I’m going to respond to a dinner invite after 6 PM.
I absolutely love not having to rush to the commuter train, rush through airports, sit in cabs that get stuck in traffic and make me late for every event. I actually adore Zoom (we started using it at CoveyClub four years ago) and find I can meet up and have significant engagements even with new acquaintances on screen. What I loved most: not getting a deathly cold this year. Without fail, every year in the past, I would come down with some form of laryngitis or a heavy chest cold requiring I tank up on Theraflu to make it through a meeting or hosting a conference or event. But this year, nary a cough or sneeze in sight (except at the grocery store, of course). I don’t think I’m going to shake hands with anyone ever again! And if I do, I’m spritzing that sanitizer right afterwards. So no offense if you see me sit down after an elbow bump or I turn up with a mask months from now. I so enjoyed being cold- and flu-free, that I’m not going to give that luxury up.
Since I know that many of you have found things to love — for both your personal and your business life — in this slowed-down life, I asked the CoveyClub members during one of our Cocktails & Conversation events to share their best learnings on pandemic habits. Here is their list to inspire you to write your own. Add your ideas and comments to this story posted on the CoveyClub.com website or in our social media.
The pandemic habits you’re hanging onto:
Zoom: for the convenience. You enjoy not having to travel to meet with people in person. Zoom is especially great when family is distributed all over the world
Living for the moment
Decollating your subscriptions (including expensive memberships to clubs or places you never really use or enjoy (but hold onto CoveyClub!)
Allowing yourself more time to reflect — on yourself so you can listen to your own inner voice
Working virtually — many of you want to continue that 80% of the time
Abandoning your fear of change. Change happens. Embrace it. Ditch the words “unprecedented times” or “sea change”
Ditch the “Keeping up with the Jones’s” mindset
Getting clear and intentional with your time: don’t squander it.
Doing the inner work: the therapy or spiritual practice or divorce
Reading The Four Agreements book
Watching less television. Turning off the news; creating boundaries for yourself
Taking a “decadent” nap in the afternoon
Using the Ladder workout app instead of the gym: 25-minute workouts with weights and bands
Having coffee in bed with your laptop and Morning Joe