As England finally begins to follow the rest of the world out of lockdown, we find ourselves, globally, coming to explore this idea of a New Normal.
It’s a phrase that’s been thrown around a lot, but what was once an idea of having to ‘settle’ with unwelcome changes, or adapt to ongoing restrictions, now has an aura of hope and intrigue. The dust feels like it’s settling and while the changes to our ways of living are undeniable, there’s a new wave of opportunities and choices that have been made available to us. The only question is, how will we choose to shape our new reality?
As something that temporarily took away our freedoms, coming out of restrictions brings an exhilarating optimism and almost youthful spirit of rediscovery. We place so much more value on things like air travel, seeing our friends in person, going to the gym, eating in a restaurant or not having to queue around the block for groceries.
It’s like the gratitude dial has been turned up a notch and we’re embracing ‘ordinary’ daily experiences with a new pleasure.
But there have been changes to what is considered ‘ordinary’. Concepts like working and studying from home, which were previously quite limited to forward thinking startups and the most innovative businesses, or at least had many tight strictures around it, have become standard in nearly every sector. Creatives are creating from their living rooms, accountants crowd into industry webinars, thousands of us have started new side-hustles and Zoom meetings are the most natural way to connect for us all.
It’s a change that has brought us more time with our families and housemates, the ability to get chores done between meetings, and for many - a newfound passion for creating our perfect home environment! A lot of us miss the office, or at least the community feel of working amongst like-minded people, but the freedom and choice to work in our own space, with a more relaxed approach is definitely a shift that’s here to stay.
With all kinds of companies having innovated to adapt to a home-based existence, there are now more options available to us for exercise, entertainment and eating. We can work out with apps, YouTube, livestreams and custom home programs. We can order-in food from restaurants that would never have offered that option before, bringing new favourites to our tables… We can do Zoom cooking classes and learn recipes from TikToks and Instagram reels while being entertained with recorded stage shows, celebrity masterclasses and an infinite array of ways to connect with our global networks. The convenience is through the roof, and it’s made our reasons to leave the house feel more purposeful, the decision is a choice rather than a necessity.
These shifts, which have accelerated phenomenally out of requirement, are now something we can choose to keep, abandon or pick-and-choose from. The question is, what will you keep and what are you done with?
Are you racing back to train at the gym, or are home workouts your new favourite thing?
Are you savouring every restaurant meal, or is UberEats the new favourite date night?
Do you love the option of being back in the office, or is the WFH life in your new loungewear set all you want?
Have staycations made you appreciate your home city/country more, or are you desperate for that jet-plane adventure?
Are you seeing friends daily, or did the introverted time in your own space nourish you?
For many of us, it’s probably a mix. It’s been confronting, and required a whole lot of learning and adaptation. But now it’s a choice. Going forward we get to decide how our lives shift, what balance, community and work look like. How our approach to wellness and mindset shift and which habits we retain.
It’s on us now to decide. A new balance. A new normal.
So many of you are in different places across the globe - we’d love to hear how you’ve adapted to the post-lockdown world! Let us know in the comment section or on social media: What’re the biggest shifts where you are? How have you adapted? What changes have you chosen? What’s your new normal?