August 17, 2021 6 Min Read
5 Strategies for Returning to “Normal” Post-Pandemic
It has been a long time since the COVID-19 pandemic started. And after waiting patiently (and not so patiently!) for restrictions to ease or end, it seems the rollbacks are starting in many places. As this unfolds, most of us are thinking: “Now what?” How do we go back to larger gatherings with fewer restrictions? And so, the TaskHuman coaches put together their top 5 strategies for returning to “normal,” post-pandemic.
1. Let Go of “Normal”
Thinking that things should go back to the way they were before March 2020 could set you up for major disappointment. In many cases, the way people think and function in society have changed—and that’s probably for the better. Masks may be needed at times, people may hug less, and surfaces may be cleaned more often (yay!). Listen to Coach Shannon Vital explain:
But these aren’t all negative changes. We’ve also learned to value our relationships more and to understand what self-care really means. Our new normal should include our more enlightened selves and greater perspectives.
2. Go Slowly
As difficult as the start of pandemic restrictions was for many people, leaving them could be just as hard. It’s ok to feel nervous about being with larger groups of people. It’s also ok to not want to engage in larger social gatherings. Changing your social lifestyle and returning to social engagements slowly (and only as much as you are comfortable) allows you to feel secure while still moving toward more openness. Listen to Coach Sedae Slaughter explain:
Keep in mind that moving back into society slowly (i.e being okay with saying “no” to social gatherings, keeping your distance, continuing to wear a mask, etc) keeps your personal boundaries and needs protected. You are allowed to take the time you need to acclimate to—and define—what exactly you want your “new normal” to be. Coach Julia Pontones explains:
Accepting—and respecting—where people are with their own comfort levels should be one thing we take away from our pandemic experiences.
3. Ask Questions
It’s important to remember that even if you’re comfortable with a particular situation, the people you’re with may not be. To make transitioning back to “normal” as smooth as possible, it is helpful to ask questions to the people you’re with. It’s also a smart idea to continue carrying a mask and hand sanitizer or wipes with you, as an additional method of consideration for those around you. Remember that everyone is going to feel—and react—differently as we transition. Coach Laura Gardner explains:
Being mindful of the people in our community will make the transition easier for everyone.
4. Be Ready for Change
One lesson that we needed to learn during the pandemic is that change can happen, and it is also never-ending. Now that the pandemic restrictions are ebbing, we need to keep that lesson in mind. It’s likely restrictions and openness will sway back and forth for a while before social guidelines remain steady. Listen to Coach Gene Altidor explain:
Allowing yourself to pivot and grow will help you transition to an open society and roll with the future changes that might come your way.
5. Practice Your Social Skills
Are your social skills rusty? Do you have social anxiety after being at home for so long? Most people are in the same boat! We should all expect a little social awkwardness as we transition back to “normal.” There’s been a lot of things we haven’t been able to do regularly in the last several months—like having “in real life” conversations with old friends, or with someone new. But luckily, our social skills can get better, and we can always practice! Listen to Coach Jelena Markovic explain:
If your social skills need some help, keep in mind that other people may also be struggling with their social skills and expectations too. Giving grace and patience will help smooth over the bumps and missteps that happen as we emerge from our seclusion. If you want more help working through your concerns or expectations about society returning to normal, reach out to schedule a 1:1 live video session with a TaskHuman coach today. They are excited to help you navigate from the screen to in-person in your everyday life.