What is “normal” when it comes to life? Normal looks different from person to person, activity to activity, life to life. Right now, we are living in a world that is nothing like what we are used to, but it also did not look like this 20 years ago. The pandemic has turned everything on its head and one thing that it has taught many of us is that we need to feel optimistic about living life as “normally” as possible. The thing is, normal has changed. What we once knew before the pandemic happened will not be like that ever again.
Social distancing, wearing masks, being asked to have the vaccine before traveling – this is what our new normal could look like. Countries around the world may not open to regular travel for a long time. So many children and teenagers have been out of school and learning from home, missing out on classes, and swimming and time with their teachers. Those out working have not had it easy, either. Some have lost their jobs; others have started to work from home and found it impossible to manage with their families and mental health on top of that.
Life has toppled for many, with colleges closing and the experience of learning away from home being tainted with closures of activities and social occasions. Families have lost their incomes and struggled to continue with no jobs on offer. Homeowners planning a build have been hit with the rising costs of lumber and materials for building homes due to the rise in people dabbling in DIY. Businesses all over the world have been affected, closed for some, and thriving for others. Home business numbers have soared with more people working from home than ever before.
Add to all of this that the travel map has completely changed. Countries are asking for proof of vaccinations in some cases, others have been closing and opening their doors based on the case numbers that they have been experiencing. People are grounded all over the world, stuck away from family and friends with no end in sight to being able to see their loved ones. It’s become a nightmare for some, with some people leaving their adopted countries to visit family and not being able to get home.
What are we supposed to do? How do we bounce back as a species from one of the biggest setbacks we have had in years? One thing that we can all do is stay as optimistic as possible. Yes, it can sound condescending to be told to “look on the bright side”, especially when we are all experiencing the pandemic differently. We may be in the same storm, but every single person is sitting in a different boat. There are some dealing with dinghies, with others sailing smoothly in luxury yachts. Still, though it may feel like optimism is not possible, there are plenty of things to do to keep a positive outlook on life. We will not all be locked down forever, and we need to remember that so that we can stay feeling positive.
Steps to Stay Optimistic
- The world is more accessible. If there is one hugely positive outcome to this pandemic, it is that businesses have finally learned how to be accessible. The employees who have long been asking for adjustments to their working environment and were knocked back can see the benefit the pandemic has had. With more flexible working environments and the choice between working remotely and working in an office, people of all abilities and disabilities are seeing the working opportunities open for them. Accessibility and the strength of the internet has never been better than it is right now!
- Seeing your loved ones. There may well be social distancing going on, but as the restrictions ease you will be able to spend time with your friends and family once again. You get to be with them, to hug them, to laugh in their presence and stop feeling so alone. This alone is one of the biggest reasons to remain optimistic. Humans need human contact; it makes us who we are. We need to keep up with this so that we can ensure that we are feeling as loved as possible.
- Seeing the world again. With all the lockdowns and the rules shutting borders, we are kept from seeing the wonders of the world and the travel industry has collapsed somewhat. When the restrictions ease and we are in our new normal, no one will be complaining about wearing masks on planes because we will all just be so excited to be on a plane in the first place! When the world begins to open, we are finally allowed to enjoy delights we have been deprived of for our health – and that is for sure a reason to feel optimistic!