Embracing the new normal: more positive lessons in the post-lockdown world

A picture of a parent and child embracing positive lessons in post-lockdown life

In the second instalment of a two-part piece, we find even more silver linings that have come out of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a previous blog, we covered how we could use some of the positive lessons arising from the tragic COVID-19 pandemic in order to make the world a nicer place.

Part two of the series discusses how you can focus on the positive aspects of this unusual situation at a more micro level, to improve the happiness and wellbeing of you and your loved ones.

Back to school on BLING

Under ordinary circumstances, back-to-school is a joyous time for most parents.

However, after a period of mandatory lockdown, home-schooling and spending an unnatural amount of time with only your nearest and dearest and their constant food requests, the moment the kiddies safely return to school can be that much sweeter. You’ll never complain about those morning school runs again—or at least not quite as much.

This could be one of the only times in history even children are looking forward to going back to school and reuniting with their friends. Not to mention, finally escaping the World’s Meanest and Yuckiest Teachers (thanks, kids). And on a related note…

We appreciate teachers more than ever

Home schooling is hard. As much as we’ve enjoyed learning the GDP of Turks and Caicos and re-learning quadratic equations (not), being a de facto home teacher has made many of us realise there’s a reason or twelve why we don’t teach for a living.

Teachers are amazing. Not only do they have to put up with upwards of twenty kids every day, all with different needs and personalities; they also do so much hard work behind the scenes, especially now with our current situation. All while actually teaching. As opposed to yelling, making threats, or crying every three minutes while trying to explain Punnett squares to just a singular child.*

Hopefully, having now walked perhaps not a quite mile but at least a yard or two in their shoes, we parents have a greater understanding of what teachers go through and can perhaps ease up on chastising them on parent-teacher nights or forcing them to give us daily updates on little Timmy’s progress.**

*Completely hypothetical example
*Again, completely hypothetical example

Image: giphy

We can re-evaluate our priorities

There’s nothing quite like seeing completely empty toilet paper aisles for weeks on end, or your favourite date-night restaurant closed for the foreseeable future, to make you re-think the important things in life.

We often think that we can’t live without X, Y or Z. But it turns out we probably can—admittedly with varying levels of success (and caffeine does not count). This is the perfect opportunity to re-examine what you really need and what you can probably do without in a post-lockdown world.

The following are example questions you can ask to sort out your ‘keep’ or ‘scrap’ (or ‘cut-down-slightly-on’) list:

  • Do the children really need more than three after-school activities each? (No, probably not)
  • Does anyone really need half a loo roll for a single ‘job’? (No, DEFINITELY not. We’re looking at you, kids)
  • Do we really need to get the same pancakes for brunch every Sunday? (Yes. It’s for the economy!)
  • Do we still need to visit the in-laws every second weekend? (Yes, you probably ought to…)
  • Can we cut down on our showers? (Yes, if you can get away with it. As with preserving toilet paper, this is better for the finances and the environment—even if it means people may start avoiding you)
  • Do we need to brush our teeth twice a day? (Yes. Unlike the above, it’s also a health necessity)
  • Do we need to wear pants when returning to the office? (Yes, please)
Image: giphy

We’ve realised how resourceful we are

No pasta at the shops? No worries. Rice Bolognese it is. No rice either? Bolognese it is. No minced meat as well? Warm sauce it is. Two serves of fruit and veg in every jar, don’t you know?

Such an unusual time in our lives has forced us to get creative with things like cooking, entertaining our kids, and entertaining ourselves. The internet is brimming with talented people who have, for example, repurposed old shirts to make face masks for vulnerable populations, or hilariously re-written the lyrics to popular songs to communicate important health and safety messages.

The take-home message here is that when faced with a bad situation, we are often much more resilient than we think. If life doesn’t give us lemons (because they ran out at the shop), we make … well, some other flavoured drink. The key here is to not compare yourself too much with other people.

So, for all of you who feel like you haven’t exactly been kicking iso-goals lately, please take heart. You’re doing your best. You’ve kept your family as healthy as you can. You’ve probably also kept Netflix and the board game industry in business. You’re winning at this in your own quiet way.

Your turn! How have you coped with isolation so far? Are there any positive lessons from it you’d like to share? Let us know by getting in touch on Facebook!