These life lessons from the pandemic are worth bringing into 2022jessie tan
2021 was the year we all hoped would mark the end of the pandemic (spoiler alert: it didn’t). For 2022, we’re wise enough to ditch the wishful thinking and focus on what this crisis has taught us, school-of-hard-knocks style.
Arguably, there’re plenty of life lessons about self-care, work, and living well that we can draw from the pandemic – many worth keeping in mind as we kick off a new year. Here’re our top five.
Life always finds a way
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this roller coaster of a pandemic, it’s that we’re more adaptable than we think.
When circuit breaker shut down the country, we plugged into virtual house parties and online game nights. When dine-in was banned, we threw together picnic baskets and headed to the great outdoors.
Some of us mastered the art of work-life balance at home; others took on new roles and skills when Covid-19 derailed their careers.
Many of us dabbled in cooking for the first time, or had brief flirtations with jogging in the park. It might have taken a crisis to unleash our creativity – but we’ve had that energy in us all along. Here’s to bringing it with us into 2022.
Take a break (Even if you’re not travelling)
‘Holiday’ has become pretty much synonymous with ‘getaway’ – so what happens when we can’t put physical distance between ourselves and work?
With travelling out of the picture, we’ve had to relearn the way we think about taking a break this pandemic. Without the escape of hopping on a plane and ditching the grind, it’s hard not to keep checking emails and catching up on tasks even when you’re on leave.
The hard lesson here is that we need to value our rest and mental sanity enough to carve out a holiday for ourselves.
Forget socially recognized excuses to recharge – if your version of self-care is being a burrito in bed all day, it’s your right to protect your time off as much as if you were on a different continent.
Work is what we make of it
By now, you’ve probably heard the term ‘The Great Resignation’. On the heels of the pandemic, we’re seeing a mass wave of workers round the world leaving their jobs, propelled by the desire for remote work and better work-life balance.
As lockdowns have proven, most jobs don’t really need their workers to be locked in an office all day – and if your company isn’t willing to be flexible on work arrangements, plenty of others now are.
Come 2022, it’s time to shape your work the way you want it. Working from home all week in your PJs? Having the freedom to choose which day to go into office? There’s a company out there that fits the bill.
It takes a village
It’s been drummed into us from young, but few experiences have taught us social responsibility quite like Covid-19. From social distancing to skipping gatherings when sick, the pandemic has been one humbling exercise in how each of us can directly impact others’ lives, for better or worse.
But it goes deeper than that. Lockdowns were nothing short of catastrophic for hawkers and other old-school businesses, but we saw Singaporeans step up to keep these heritage brands alive.
From organising groupbuys to support hawkers, to spreading the word on charities in need, we rallied round the brands and causes we held dear.
It’s easy to forget this in our consumerist age, but where we choose to put our money truly makes a difference in the community we forge.
Change is the only constant
At this point, we’ve all heard the phrase a ‘new normal’ far more times than we care for. Because if there’s one thing that countless waves of Covid-19 – and the subsequent turmoil of heightened alerts, transition phases, and dining measures – have destroyed, it’s our notion of any real ‘normal’ to cling to.
After Omicron, yet another strain of the virus might spawn; travel lanes can launch and shut in a blink. There’s no hunkering down and waiting out the storm – the only normal, new or not, is change.
If the last two years have felt like life was on pause, let 2022 be the year that you hit play again.