Designing your Post-COVID Reality
Today I'm going to start a series about designing your post-COVID reality. You need to be intentional about how you do this. I will walk you through an exercise that will help you with this.
As you're designing your post-COVID reality, don't get caught up in thinking you need to do everything
By now, you are getting caught up in everything reopening. You feel like you are needing and wanting to do all things. However, you're not taking a moment to pause and think if you want to do this. You tend to lose sight of what you can and cannot control.
Today I saw a post on Facebook and this woman was asking for advice on what she should sign up her eight-year old son for. She already had him signed up for martial arts, but did not think that was enough. She also mentioned that her husband's family had a history of obesity and she didn't want her son to be just sitting around.
But what was interesting is that in the whole thread there was no discussion about if you should do more activities. Or if there were things that could be done from home. It was like you have to put your kids in activities. Often, you believe that you have to do all things. But take a step back and think about if you have to do all this.
Think about what you can let go of when designing your post-COVID reality
The first thing that you should learn from COVID is to figure out if you have to do all the things that you are doing. Are there things that you can let go of in this process? A lot of times you think you have no control over these things. Because that is that way you have always done them.
If you learn nothing else from COVID, realize that you have become very adaptable. There are a lot of things that you were doing pre-COVID that you either didn't like to do or didn't want to do. You do not have to bring this with you in the post-COVID era.
Exercise for designing your post-COVID reality
I want you to do this exercise with me. Look at the grid below.
Get out a piece of paper and draw this grid. You can watch this on YouTube as I do this. You are going to use this grid to create your post-COVID reality. This grid will help give you clarity. And when you are done, you can put it in your planner and carry it around with you for a little bit.
Answer each question in each quadrant
On your grid write down the following in each quadrant:
- What did you love pre-COVID?
- Write down what you loved during COVID.
- What did you hate pre-COVID, and
- Write down what you hated during COVID.
Here are some examples for me.
- Pre-COVID: I loved getting together with family and friends.
- During COVID: I loved grocery delivery and curbside pickup.
- Pre-COVID: I hated meeting just for the sake of meeting.
- During COVID: I hated being over-scheduled. I don't like the isolation. And I hated being indoors in the cold weather in Connecticut and not being able to go out because there was nowhere to go.
What do you love and hate?
Now, spend five minutes here and there as you're going through your day. Think about what you love and what you hate as you're changing seasons. What did you love about fall pre-COVID? What did hate about the fall pre-COVID?
I'm talking to a lot of parents that are not liking the idea that school will be back in session. Others are glad their kids are going back live. Some of you might not yet know if your kids are going back to school live or not. And parents that are homeschooling, have missed the homeschooling groups during COVID.
As you are filling out your grid, figure out if you can keep out things that you hate. And if it's not possible to get rid of all of them, figure out how you can minimize them.
What can you get rid of when designing your post-COVID reality?
One of the things I love about Greg McKeown and his book Essentialism, is it's all about keeping the essential things in your life and trying to shed the rest. So, what can you do to get rid of things you just don't like in your life? Are there things you can change and pivot so that you enjoy them more?
Many moms are dreading fall. The thought of all the scheduling for sports and activities has them overwhelmed. If that's you, you need to see how you can simplify things.
Or you feel like you lose your business when the kids go back to school. Because you're constantly running around in the afternoons. Or you feel like you've got to get everything done for your business while your kids are at school. How can you slow things down a little bit?
How can you create an environment where you don't have to shut down your business at one o'clock in the afternoon unless you want to. In my house, we have quiet time in the afternoons. I have dedicated time with Erik in the evenings where we do music and other kinds of quiet activities. Such as puzzles, and things to get him to wind down so we can get him to bed at a reasonable time. Now mind you, it doesn't always work.
How can you use this information in designing your post-COVID reality?
How can you use this information to create a new reality for yourself? Incorporate the things that you love and get rid of things that you don't love, or that aren't serving you well. Your life and your family's life should be filled with the things that are serving you well. And don't just assume that your kids want to do 800 activities and be out of the house.
If you have kids, I want to encourage you to do this activity with them as well. You don't have to use the word hate though. You can ask what did they not like pre-COVID and during COVID.
A lot of times you forget to check in with your kids and you just assume that it's your job alone to make all the decisions. Allow your kids to have some input. Ultimately you're the final decision-maker.
Be very intentional
If you're in our Small Biz Mama group on Facebook, I'd love to see you share your grid. We're going to be asking some of these questions this week in the group to have you contribute. Doing this in the group will be a good inspiration.
Be very intentional about what you want the rest of this year to look like. Don't just rush in and open the flood gates. Or go back to doing exactly what you were doing before. In everything that I'm reading and all the polls I've seen, people don't want things to go back to the way they were. Yet we're seeing that people's activities do not mirror their intentions.
So be very intentional when thinking about what you want your fall to look like. Make this life what you want it to be.
And remember you have more control than you think, Focus your energy on the things you can control, and don't stress over the things you can't.