Deciding how and when to reopen our country will be a complicated process. As we wait for our government leaders and health care professionals to plot the best course forward, it’s not too early to start thinking about how your home is going to “reopen” as well. Social distancing has changed our lives in so many different ways. We’re going to need just as much resilience to transition back to living and working in public as we continue to need while quarantining.
Here are four ways you can start preparing your career, your family, and yourself to thrive after
1. Set your own standards.
Social media has been a vital tool to combat isolation and stay connected to our loved ones during quarantine. But watching all that bread baking, gourmet cooking, exercising, and home improvement is also making some folks feel like they’re not being productive. We all have enough anxiety in our lives right now without “keeping up with the Joneses.” Be proud of what you are able to accomplish personally and professionally under these challenging circumstances.
And remember, no one’s live stream is running 24/7. Even during quarantine, social media can present a somewhat idealized version of others’ lives. You might be jealous of that perfect loaf of sourdough. The three hours of off-camera hair-pulling as that at-home baker tried to teach his grade-schooler long division? Probably not as fun.
2. Let feelings in ... and out
Despite living under similar safety and health care guidelines, none of us is experiencing the pandemic in exactly the same way. It’s important to remember that’s also true of the people you’re quarantining with. Working parents who have transitioned to working from home might have found some semblance of a 9 to 5 routine that keeps them busy. Outside the home office, parents who are used to taking care of the house or working a side gig while the kids are at school might be struggling to set a new schedule. Meanwhile, despite the heroic efforts of teachers, Zoom calls and Facetime can’t truly replace the vital learning and social interaction children are missing. Make sure that you and your spouse are taking time during each day to check in with each other and your kids. Being available to hear each other’s feelings and share your own will build up that vital support system your family needs to make it through the rest of quarantine and, perhaps, emerge closer and more connected.
3. Stick to a self-care routine
Now that you aren’t rushing to catch a train or beat traffic before a big meeting, are the comforts of home getting a little too comfortable? If pajamas and sweatpants are rotating through your wardrobe a little too frequently, add some of your old morning routine to your quarantine routine. Many studies have shown that we feel better about ourselves when we present our best self. You don’t need to wear a suit and tie to your basement office. But taking a shower, eating a healthy breakfast, and swapping your hoodie for a polo will help you approach your workday like it’s a workday. A routine that helps you stay productive during quarantine is only going to help you excel more once you’re back to business as usual.
4. Take it one step at a time.
It can be hard to think about life after quarantine when meeting our basic day-to-day needs is still a challenge. But as the country prepares to reopen, think about steps you can take every day so that you’ll – eventually – hit the ground running. Integrate half an hour of exercise into your daily routine. Talk to friends and family about replacing Zoom calls with more get-togethers. Break down the business plan for your dream startup into actionable items you can check off even while you’re still working from home. Sit down with your spouse and make a list of the things you were putting off before quarantine that you want to start doing once social distancing restrictions ease. And, finally, talk to us about how our life-centered financial planning services can support the small steps you’re taking right now and the big ones you want to take tomorrow.