COVID-19 has given us all a lot of time to think. If it’s taught me one thing, it’s how much I love wearing trackies to ‘the office’. And as restrictions (thankfully) begin to ease here in Australia, we’re facing some tough decisions. From what is appropriate clothing to wear in public to what do I want life after COVID-19 to be like?
Because there is life on the other side of this pandemic and perhaps this ‘forced hibernation’ is actually the opportunity many of us craved.
Maybe it’s the time we needed to reflect, reassess and reset our lives. And perhaps life after isolation is the perfect opportunity to recreate our lives by design, rather than just falling back into the routine.
Well, at least that’s how I feel about it. And I want to share with you how I’m approaching my new found freedom.
***Spoiler alert – it’s not how you might think***
What is a life by design?
In case you’re wondering, a life by design is a life that’s intentionally created and cultivated to align with your values and desires.
It is conscious living rather than life by default.
Creating a life by design requires having clarity on your values and life vision, your desires and an ongoing commitment to self-reflection and self-improvement (for full details check this article out).
How I’m re-creating my life after isolation
I’ll be honest, I’m an introvert and I’ve quite enjoyed being in my own little cocoon. But even I’m excited by our newfound freedom.
But with it comes responsibility: to protect each other and to also look after ourselves. So in the interest of self-protection (and allowing myself to become a butterfly) I’m taking a very slow and fussy approach to my ‘new normal’.
Here are some things I’m doing to consciously re-create my life in a way that is aligned with what I want:
My default position is no
No to things and no to people. That’s my default position right now. Basically, I’m being unapologetically selective about everything.
This is giving me the opportunity to consider each person and thing in my life and understand – is this aligned with my life vision and who I want to be?
This level of thoughtfulness and conscious decision is refreshing and it also means that when I’m in, I’m 100% in, rather than just showing up for the sake of it or out of obligation.
But this also requires me to have some hard conversations (see below) and to openly redefine myself. For some, this may also mean breaking up with people and things which can be a hard process. But it’s also part of personal growth so keep your life vision in clear focus.
Being brutally honest
I am being brutally honest about things. Like yesterday when I told my boss I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. Or last weekend when I told my girlfriends they didn’t cut the mustard for a visit.
These conversations are hard and often awkward because I don’t want to look stupid or make others uncomfortable. But from experience not being honest or dealing with ambiguity, causes me anxiety. So instead I’m opting for complete transparency.
I recommend approaching these situations with compassion and kindness, to both yourself and others. Allow your vulnerability and truth to be the foundation for a more authentic relationship and a clearer understanding moving forward, even if that relationship looks completely different from how it has in the past.
I’m trusting myself and the universe
I’m a very rational person, so I always need a logical reason to do things, along with a clear action plan.
But as I’ve gotten older and especially over the last few months in isolation, I’ve opened myself up to a little bit of ‘woo woo’.
For me, that’s meant going with the flow of what I feel drawn to. It means following my curiosity and not overthinking things. It’s required me to trust, both myself and the universe, and to get out of my own way.
The process has been strange and delightful, and I want to actively encourage my own whimsy, growth and courage in my own life by trusting more.
Struggling with the transition to life after COVID?
Firstly, it’s perfectly normal and okay to be having a hard time adjusting to eased restrictions. After all, change is tough at the best of time and these certainly aren’t the best of times.
Secondly, there is help available so if you’re feeling anxious, reach out and get support. It might be talking to a friend or your GP. Beyond Blue (1800 512 348) are also available, as is Lifeline (13 11 14).
And seriously, we all need help sometimes so get the support you need so we can emerge from this pandemic stronger and happier.