WORKFORCE TRENDS

The Never-Ending Pandemic

by Jason Mathews on September 3, 2021 in Outside Insights

 

Yesterday I read a meme that referenced the never-ending pandemic. “The new normal” had gone on so long that I had time to get in shape once…and then get out of shape again. I know this is how many of us feel right now. It’s like the pandemic 15 (which is a real thing), not just for the body, but for the mind too.

We have now had time to double down and proclaim all kinds of new habits or pandemic resolutions. At the start of the pandemic, many made lemons out of lemonade. We got in shape since we did not have a commute. We started family game night because we needed to spend more quality time together. Some of us dug really deep and took a risk after deciding we never really liked our career and that it was time for a change. This makes me wonder, how many goals, new hobbies, etc. have we forgotten about since the first wave of the pandemic – one where the idea of time at home was more novel than routine.

So ask yourself the question: What life challenge did you address early in the pandemic? Did you stick with it or did it fall to the wayside? Many of us need help or motivation to get back at it. I hope there is support in numbers. I’ll go first.

On Sunday, I was getting ready for the wedding of a close friend. I reached in my closet for the old wedding suit, the one I wore a couple of times a year during pre-pandemic life. I could have worn the suit…if and only if I had one of those seat belt extenders they give you on airplanes. What had happened to all my health and wellness progress?

After that realization, I proclaimed to my family that I am going to eat for my rheumatoid arthritis, consume foods that support, not cause inflammation. And yes, I hope to lose my pandemic, ahem, 17. So there you have it. My goal is now out there – for our big community to see. Hold me to it.

All of this got me thinking about the rest of you. We all need each other’s support, right now more than ever. Everyone has their version of my pandemic 17.

What goals did you start at the beginning of the pandemic, or whenever, really, that you want to get back to? Take a moment to envision those. Now, here’s what I’m going to do to get back on track – I hope these steps help you, too.

– I will press play. This is the most basic, yet most important advice, that I practice. I will pick myself back up and I will get to a healthy weight again. Starting is the most important step.

– Have grace. It’s hard to not beat myself up. My self and public image is of a person who is self-disciplined in all facets of life. At the same time, forgiving myself comes easy to me. I try hard to put things in perspective and think “will this story be important in a year or ten?”

– Find some way to love whatever happens in your life. This is straight up philosophy borrowed from the greats and from the great author Ryan Holiday. We must find the good in our lives. We only get to do this once. And a funny thing about adversity, even though it’s hard right now, good things often come if we take the time to really notice.

– Focus on what you can control. This is not as simple if you see or feel the pain and problems around you. But reflect on the notion that you can only control what’s between your ears. That’s real estate you really truly own.

– Don’t go it alone. Ask for help. Even when you think you don’t need it.

No matter what you’re facing or thinking about with this very long pandemic, someone is there to help. And there is always something you can do. As always, the Placers Community provides an avenue to share what you know and to help others close their gaps. If you’re comfortable, please share the goals you’re working on and your tips for making sure you stick to them.

We’re all in this together.

Until next time, friends.

Chris


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