Transitioning back to pre-pandemic life can mean starting small

One thing is sure. The pandemic meant a time of change for everyone. Collectively we found ourselves helping our kids with virtual school, working the front lines while worrying about safety, working remotely, learning to wear masks, moving our gatherings outside, and missing our loved ones.  

Public health is also adapting, and despite best intentions, the guidance is sometimes frustrating and can be challenging to keep up with. Once again, we are facing more change, but this time the change involves reopening to life beyond COVID-19.  

The transition to post-pandemic life can be gradual. It’s okay if you prefer to stick with what’s predictable. Even though the restaurant down the street may have opened their indoor seating, it’s still fine to order takeout and eat at home. Or to wear a mask on a neighborhood walk.   

Since the pandemic began, we have had to experiment. You might ask yourself ‘what was successful for me?’ Next, you may want to think about: 

  • How can I hold onto what worked?   
  • How can I let go of what didn’t work?   
  • What do I need to thrive?  

Maybe you like being at home more and want to keep that as a practice. Or maybe you’ve found that you want to see friends more often. You can make a plan to keep the practices that you appreciate. Consider writing these down, mark your calendar, or set a reminder on your phone. 

We may also feel out of step with others. While we are each impacted in unique ways, we are going through this together. Remembering that will help when we take on this new change. Working through this transition with others will take time and understanding.  

If you’re having trouble transitioning back to your pre-pandemic life, start small. If you’re fully vaccinated, you might choose to do one thing you haven’t done in long time. Maybe that’s getting a haircut, going to a park with your pet, catching up with a friend in person, or shopping at a bookstore. Any of these can be your first step. 

It’s okay to take the time you need.

If you feel like you want support, Safe + Strong can help.

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This article first appeared in the May 24, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.