The pandemic has not only had a significant impact on people’s wellbeing, but it has also led them to rethink their lives and re-evaluate their goals and priorities.
During this global pandemic, many people have spent much of their time isolated at home, prompting them to devote more thought to what they really want from life.
While we’ve collectively struggled during this time, the struggle has caused us to self-reflect and has contributed to our growth and development as we adapt to evolving circumstances. Self-reflection is valuable as it may help people prioritize what’s important and how they wish to live. For instance, here are four actions that many people have chosen to pursue:
- Learn new skills. Many people gravitated toward skill development amid the pandemic. Some flocked to baking and cooking in general. Others sharpened their computer skills, learned a new language or played a new instrument.
- Pick up new hobbies. Life during a pandemic also motivated people to optimize their “down time.” Puzzles and board games became popular, as did gardening. People spent time pursuing arts and crafts, immersing themselves in collectibles or trying woodworking and similar activities.
- Spend more family time. By default, the pandemic brought families living in the same household closer together, reminding them of the importance of family time. Rather than working long hours or spending too much time on their electronic devices, families are finding more ways to be supportive and enjoy each other’s company.
- Improve physical and mental health. The pandemic highlighted how maintaining proper health is crucial. Getting regular exercise, staying active, eating and sleeping well, worrying less and having trusted people to chat with during stressful times are some ways people have tried to take better care of themselves.
Think about the various skills, hobbies or actions that have become more meaningful to you. They could represent a springboard to enhancing your personal and professional lives.
Seeking a better life
Upon reflection, many people recognize certain aspects of their lives that they once thought were important – such as climbing the corporate ladder or “keeping up with the Joneses” – are now considered less of a priority, or even insignificant.
In general, people are becoming less fixated on shopping for its own sake (i.e., “retail therapy”). Instead, people are now more willing to divert the money they would’ve spent on unessential shopping to creating enjoyable, memorable experiences with family and friends.
Indeed, people are becoming more committed to attaining a better quality of life. That’s why the job market has been so active lately. Many people are re-evaluating their work and reconsidering what brings them true happiness. They also seek greater flexibility, such as working from home on a part- or full-time basis, working closer to home to reduce commuting, and separating personal and work time to maintain a better work-life balance. Some people have moved from large, expensive cities to the suburbs or rural areas to enhance their quality of life.
It’s important, however, to ensure the decisions you make in the pursuit of a better life are logical for your particular circumstances. Here are a few quick tips to consider as you ponder certain significant actions:
- Think things through rationally. Have a clear head when contemplating big decisions. Make a list of potential pros and cons of your impending life decision, to help you see the bigger picture and stay objective.
- Involve family members. Major changes impact your family as well. Discuss your wishes with your significant other and family members. Strong, open communication is crucial so you can arrive at the best decisions for everyone involved.
- Be realistic. We all dream about different life circumstances that we assume will make us happier. For instance, leaving the workforce may sound appealing, but what will your daily life look like if you stop working? Can your family manage without your income? Consider all consequences.
- Remain focused on the long term. Everyone has financial and life goals, but making rash decisions might derail them. The pandemic environment, as stressful as it may be, is a relatively short-term phenomenon. It’s productive to focus on the long term and how you plan to achieve your goals.