Life after the coronavirus outbreak is going to be very different, our new normal is different now and it is going to continue to change in the future. People are going to place a value on different things than before and put a different focus on where they spend their time. Even in our technology driven world, it is all going to slow down a bit. I’m picturing a “Flashback to Mayberry” and here is what that looks like:
Forget fast food, slow food is back on the table. Taking time to plan healthy, nutritious meals with locally grown vegetables is going to remain a norm. This slower pace allows families to eat together and discuss what happened that day.
As time slows down, we find time to sit outside and watch the world go by. Whether that means listening to the birds’ chirp in the morning, watching a squirrel steal food from the bird feeder or just watching the sunflowers grow while having a cup of coffee or adult beverage.
Game night is back. From board games to puzzles to virtual games, people of all ages are finding ways to have fun with Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Apples to Apples and even a COVID-19 themed cooperative board game, Pandemic Legacy Season 1.
Home Cleaning, Organization & Renovation
Spending more time at home means noticing the little things that might not have bothered you before. From taking time to deep clean the entire house, to getting incredibly organized and cleaning out drawers and closets and making a giant pile for charity. In my neighborhood, I’m seeing lots of renovation projects taking place from tree removal to adding a new garage.
Pretty much everyone who can work from home is now working from home and learning how to balance work and life during shelter in place mandates across the country. Technology has allowed remote work and telecommuting to increase over the past several years. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 5 million employees or 3.6% of the workforce worked form home at least half the time before the coronavirus pandemic. And Google reports that mobile search for remote jobs had increased 210% over the past two years. With companies realizing that working from home is effective, this trend will continue to grow once we all go back to work. This is going to be part of our new normal.
Virtual reality and technology is more mainstream in our new normal. From clothes shopping to grocery shopping, everyone now shops online.
The Great Outdoors
Everyone is enjoying spending more time outside. It is fun to see cyclists ride by, joggers and even kids playing outside. From chasing butterflies to digging for worms and catching fireflies, children are learning to love the great outdoors. My niece and nephew have had a fantastic time digging for worms this spring!
More people have planted home vegetable gardens. From patio tomato containers to pallets full of herbs, folks are finding ways to tuck containers to grow food in available space. At Thistledown, our family farm, we have started seeds for our vegetable garden indoors and the seed have spouted and are coming up nicely. We are seeing a flash back to the Victory Gardens of the past. These gardens include summer favorites such as tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets and peas. Victory Gardens are credited for introducing Swiss chard and kohlrabi to the American dinner table because they were easy to grow.
Personal fitness goals are taking precedent. Individuals are setting measurable goals with fitness trackers like My Fitness Pal and tracking their success. Innovation has allowed people to participate in virtual fitness classes in yoga, barre or even one-on-one with a personal trainer. My personal COVID-19 diet is going well, I’ve lost 7 pounds by focusing on eating healthy.
Our New Normal
We have learned to value face to face interaction via virtual meetings and at the dinner table. We have even learned to put the phone down or turn it off. As we continue to live in places that are locked down and sheltering in place, we are enjoying me time. As normal returns, it will be a new normal where we spend time with the people we value the most, doing the things that are most important to us. Me? Well, I’ll be continuing to prioritize my calendar to help clients be successful, spend time with my family, cook healthy meals and get back to nature gardening and riding my dressage horse.