Essentials You Need Post Pandemic
We are finally approaching the end of 2020. A year that will surely go down as one that changed everything. And what a year it has been. From the panic months of Spring— to the summer's uncertainty, and eventually finding our "new normal."
At last, we are beginning to see tiny glimmers of light at the end of the dark-pandemic-tunnel. Yet, it is obvious that things cannot ever go back to the way they were before.
And one can't help but wonder. What's next? What will 2021 bring? We are here to help.
Gear and Tips to Help You Get Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
1.) A Proper Workspace
The workplace has drastically changed for many people around the world. What we once thought were temporary work solutions are suddenly becoming long-term — and in some cases, permanent changes. Many companies are embracing remote work indefinitely.
"Zoom attire" has become the new "office attire." One important 2020 question has become: Can one work as effectively in their pajamas?
Whether you have a home office or working out of your one-bedroom apartment, it is crucial to dedicate a space — no matter how small — for work only.
Make it pleasant. Perhaps add a small decorative item — a personal memento, picture, or plant. Something that will make you want to sit in your "work space" and power that brain of yours. Keep your space organized with the items you will need, but eliminate unnecessary clutter.
By keeping a "workspace", you will thank yourself at the end of the day, when you have the rest of the evening to relax in the rest of your home and know you put in a hard day's work.
2.) Comfortable Work Attire
Speaking of working in pajamas, if you intend on working remotely (maybe forever), what are you going to wear? Working in pajamas can be tempting while at home, but eventually, it might put a "sleepy" taint on your endeavors.
At the same time, you do want to be comfortable. Companies such as nordstrom.com, target.com, marinelayer.com are all sponsoring selections of "casual office attire at home" for both men and women. And at the very least, you can always check Amazon.
On days when you don't have any video calls or meetings, it might be nice to dress in your coziest sweats. Just to change things up. But make sure you are still setting yourself up for success. Take a little bit of time to get ready, even if it's just running a comb through your hair and brushing your teeth. We promise you'll be more productive.
When all else fails, you can go for the "mullet" look. Business on top — party on the bottom. (i.e., sweatpants, yoga pants, pajamas.)
3.) Hand Sanitizer
I don't think anyone old enough to remember the year 2020 will ever take hand sanitizer for granted again. Remember the dreadful sanitizer shortage? (But let's be honest, that wasn't nearly as traumatic as the toilet paper shortage. Some of us will never recover from that emotional upheaval.)
If you are like me, I now want 5 in my house, 3 in my car, 2 in my purse, and a few more buried in my couch cushions for good measure. (Hand sanitizers, not toilet-paper — just so we are clear.)
But there are a couple of "caveats" to hand sanitizer that I think we should all keep in mind.
First and foremost, the most effective method to thoroughly clean your hands is to simply wash them with soap and water. While hand sanitizer is convenient on the go, it doesn't replace a good, old-school scrub.
Secondly, be conscious of temperature. Is it okay to keep some hand sanitizer in the car? For the most part, yes. However, hand sanitizers remain the most effective when stored between 59 - 86 degrees. In the summer and winter months, this may pose a problem for maintaining effective anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Thirdly, remember that similar to food, hand sanitizers have an expiration date. Once they have surpassed this date, the alcohol concentration has likely dipped below 60%, and the sanitizer is no longer considered reliable. If kept in high heat, this process is sped up, and the sanitizer will be less effective even more quickly.
At the end of the day, be conscious of how you treat your hand sanitizers. This matters.
And make a habit of washing your hands with soap and water.
Keeping these habits will not only help you during the pandemic but long after. Because really, shouldn't we all be practicing good hygiene ANYWAY? Yes, I think we should.
6.) Multiple Masks For Every Occasion
Light cotton masks, medical-grade masks, N95's, homemade masks, breathable masks, filtered masks, face shields, bandanas — there are so many options to choose from. Who ever thought they'd be getting a compliment on how well their mask matches their outfit? "Masks" are the new "jeans" of 2020 fashion.
As much as some people hope everyone will do away with face coverings the very second the pandemic ends, masks will probably not disappear quite so soon. We know they are effective at keeping germs at bay, and everyone will likely be quite a bit more germ-conscious post-pandemic.
In Asia, wearing a mask if you have a common cold is not only proper but encouraged and polite. Could that become a trend here? Combined with handwashing and proper hygiene, it is possible that we could see significantly fewer cold and flu cases per year. And a stylish mask is just another accessory to go with your killer outfit.
If you have already caught the dreadful Rona virus, you are most likely not contagious after about 10 days. Unfortunately, immunity is probably not very long-lasting. There is still very little known about how COVID-19 affects the immune system. Even if you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, it is essential that you continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands to ensure the safety of your health and the health of others.
This particularly innovative mask was developed with both your safety and convenience in mind. Have you ever noticed the uncomfortable sound of your voice being muffled while talking on a phone with a face mask? MASKFONE is a convenient way to both chat on your phone, check into a conference call, or even just listen to music without the worry of having to adjust your mask in an unsafe setting.
Using replaceable filters, earphones, and a built-in microphone, you will be clearly heard when speaking. You will feel safe when out and about: whether you are working and commuting —or merely riding the bus and listening to your favorite tunes. It is convenient, fun, and stylish.
Staying home has become the "new normal." Will it stay the "new normal" in 2021? Some — who have come to love and enjoy new hobbies — might say yes.
Enjoyable hobbies are good for mental health. Amid a pandemic or even a pandemic recovery, every aspect of positivity is crucial.
Hobbies teach you new skills and help you develop patience — both of which lead to increased joy and life satisfaction. Hobbies offer an opportunity to take a purposeful break from the stressful aspects of life and focus on something you really love. They allow you to slow down and appreciate the small intricacies of existence— whether it be through cooking, crafting, exercise, art, fixing cars, or something else.
In the increasingly stressful atmosphere of our culture, staying close to your beloved hobby will help keep you grounded and alleviate some of your day to day burdens.
Some examples found on Shutterfly include collecting mugs or magnets, writing letters, journaling with bullet points, learning to knit, crochet, or sew, origami, learning to make floral arrangements, brain-boosting puzzles, learning a new musical instrument, learning a new language, growing a plant, building a scrapbook, and many more.
The possibilities are endless. We should have been incorporating more delightful hobbies into our lives ages ago.
7.) Personal Care
While we are getting practiced at slowing down with our hobbies, let's also slow down and begin to take care of ourselves. And when the pandemic ends, that is something that should stay. We could all use more self-care, and now is a perfect time to evaluate where we need it most.
"Exercise at home"programs have become very popular in the last few months. With many gyms closed, people have had to make do with working out in the confines of their own homes and apartments.
There are definitely some cons: not as much workout equipment, missing out on social aspects /workout buddies, specific classes, and just needing to get out.
But there are also pros: you can wear whatever you want, no one can see yesterdays make-up, there is no opening or closing time, you can get creative with your workout "equipment" (chairs are an excellent choice for tricep dips), and you may even try a new type of exercise you wouldn't have tried otherwise. Belly dancing, perhaps?
Practice Meditation- There are numerous ways to practice meditation. One simple method is to merely focus on the breath for 5 - 10 minutes a day. Gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.
You can also find free "guided meditations" online to help focus your thoughts. Inside Timer and Headspace are apps that both offer various forms of free meditations. If you are a health care worker, you can download 10 Percent Happierfor free.
Begin a gratitude Journal -Every day, try to write down at least 5-10 things that you are grateful for. You may even consider writing a gratitude letter to someone in your life, detailing some of your gratitude for them.
Gratitude has been proven time and time again to rewire the brain to behave and think in a more positive direction. A study at Indiana University concluded that depressed patients who practiced gratitude every day for three months experienced "'profound' and 'long-lasting' neural effects." It was as if they had trained a gratitude 'muscle' and began to see and experience life differently.
During this pandemic, there has certainly been a lot to complain about. But no matter what situation you may find yourself in, if you look hard enough, you will probably be able to find something to be grateful for as well.
If you develop this habit long term, it will pay off long past the years of 2020-2021. It could stay with you for the rest of your life and make you a much happier person in the years to come.
8.) Carry a Water Bottle
Though it's one extra thing to pack, it finally just seems logical to start carrying your own water bottle. You never know who is touching what and where it has been. Whether you are going into the office or traveling, it is better for the environment and safer for you.
You can properly sanitize your bottle, keep it full of clean water, and know exactly where it has been. Safe, effective, and hydrating.
All of the things mentioned above are gear and tips to help you get through both the pandemic and into post-pandemic life. Our "new normal" will continue to evolve, and it is pertinent that you be prepared for whatever comes.
We are hopeful for a better year but also wish to take with us the good parts of 2020 — such as slowing down, enjoying our homes and hobbies, self-care, proper hygiene, and doing good for our environment. If society can continue those positive trends AND get rid of this pesky pandemic, 2021 might end up being a very good year for all of us.