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Bouncing Back Better

by Beth on April 6th, 2021

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” ~Sir Winston Churchill

As we emerge from the pandemic, let’s think about how we can bounce back better. Returning to work and life after a very strange, very difficult year can give us a fresh start. We can use this opportunity for a post-pandemic reboot!

The sudden changes in our lives a year ago interrupted many of our routines. Habits are highly situation dependent. When the cues that triggered some of your past behaviors were gone, the behaviors likely stopped. Instead of just automatically going back to everything you did before, identify the behaviors that weren’t contributing to your well-being or your performance and consider what you might do to avoid returning to those old habits.

You can use this fresh start to think of a pre-pandemic you and a post-pandemic you. This new identity makes it easier to change your behavior. Perhaps you had a habit of stopping by Starbucks for a coffee, and sometimes a sugary muffin, on your way to work. A habit that wasn’t good for your wallet or your waistline. The post-pandemic you could make sure to eat a healthy breakfast and bring a full mug of fresh coffee with you each morning instead. You might also choose a different route to work to avoid passing the Starbucks. Maybe you spent much of your pre-pandemic time traveling for work, which was exhausting. Could some of those meetings that you assumed had to be face-to-face now be held using virtual technology?

Just as you stopped many of your old habits during the pandemic, you also started new ones. Think about the ones you’d like your post-pandemic self to keep. Maybe you started sleeping more since you didn’t have a long commute and you realize how much more energy and focus you have. How can you be intentional about prioritizing sleep when you start commuting again? You could set an alarm at night to make sure you wrap things up in time to get a good night’s sleep. Were you eating more home-cooked meals during the pandemic? Instead of going back to eating lunch out on weekdays, the post-pandemic you could do some meal prep on Sundays making it easier to bring a healthy lunch to work each day. Perhaps you started doing Yoga With Adriene during the pandemic. Could post-pandemic you keep your practice going by leaving a yoga mat in your office?

Take some time to make a list of the behaviors you started over the past year that you’d like to keep doing and the pre-pandemic behaviors you don’t want to start up again. Now make a plan that will help you maintain these changes as you return to work and life. Don’t let this “annus horribilis” go to waste! How will you use your post-pandemic reboot to bounce back better?

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