It’s pretty tough to make heads or tails out of what to expect with the current state of COVID-19 and its many emerging variants. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re eager to get back to some semblance of normalcy with your life, whether it’s back to school, back to work, or back to having a social life. The health and wellness professionals suggest taking a slow and cautious approach to ease back into whatever your new normal looks like for you. Rushing back to the old normal might not be the best course of action. Here are three considerations to help ensure a smooth transition from pandemic conditions to a post-pandemic environment.
1. Physically Adjusting to a New Normal
There are some physical and more tangible changes worth considering as you move forward in this new post-COVID world. Of course, it’s best for you to decide what’s appropriate for you and your family. But here are a few ideas to help ease the transition.
Social Distancing, Mask & Vaccine Requirements Around Every Corner
Regardless of where you personally stand in your beliefs regarding masks, vaccines, or social distancing requirements, easing back into a life, among others, is worth preparing for these measures. You don’t always have to wear a mask or face covering in every situation. But it might be a smart idea to keep extras handy should you find yourself in a crowded enclosed space. If you decide to vaccinate yourself along with your family, it may help to carry proof, if necessary. And social distancing guidelines may become lax in the coming months. But not avoiding close contact interaction can potentially increase risks of exposure. It may be a best practice for social distancing, regardless.
Learning How to Be Safe in Public
Not everyone you encounter in public will be conscious of health risks. This is why your new normal might involve you taking extra steps to protect yourself when in those public situations. Avoid touching high traffic surfaces without washing your hands immediately. You’ll likely be more mindful of covering a cough or sneeze, just as you are aware of those who aren’t so careful with their germs. It’s about recognizing potentially contaminated areas or high-risk public situations, so you can make the decisions you feel you need to in order to be safe.
A Heightened Sense of Protection
The post-COVID normal will probably include layers of protection. The plexiglass at the checkout might be here to stay. On a personal level, you’ll likely feel more prepared to face anything by having the disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers ready. Regardless of how secure or confident you are in your own health and wellness practices, some of these protections will probably be around for months and years to come.
2. Mentally, Emotionally, and Psychologically Prepare
Easing back into what will ultimately be your new normal will require special attention to your mental health. Preparing emotionally and psychologically means letting go of the stress you can’t control and making the most of what you can. It also means being in a position of strength to stave off unwanted anxiety about post-COVID life.
Avoid Unnecessary Anxiety with a New Routine
Psychology Today recommends taking your time to establish a new routine as you ease back into normal life activities. There can be anxiety about increased public risks and accompanying depression. But finding your new morning route for coffee before work or scheduling afternoon walks can help ease the transition.
Be Mindful of How You Feel
Everything you do now may feel different than pre-pandemic times. It’s important to be mindful of your feelings as you explore your new normal. Some unease is to be expected. But recognize any overwhelming stress or debilitating emotions. They will be a sign that you might need help with coping.
Self-Care Is Critical
Pandemic or not, taking care of your health and wellness should always be a priority. But now, in a new post-COVID world, you might want to take extra steps to preserve your healthiest practices. Self-care is essential to tackling any of life’s many challenges. So, make those routine doctor appointments, eat right, and get plenty of rest.
3. Know Where Your Resources Are
Because the new normal might present unknown scenarios and challenges, it’s mission-critical that you know what and where to find support and resources. There are still plenty of outreach programs available to help with everything from financial assistance to professional healthcare services. Here are a few resources to have in your back pocket.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Doctor
There’s a lot of COVID-related misinformation out there about what is and isn’t risky health behavior. Instead of trying to sort through the online news headlines, talk to your doctors. Make the appointment and talk with someone who knows your health specifically. Any recommendations can help provide clarity with the decisions you have to make.
COVID-Related Relief Resources
Some of the government-funded COVID relief may be set to expire soon. But there are still plenty of financial resources available at the state, county, and local levels. You might find rental assistance, loan deferment programs, and discount grocery options in your neck of the woods. You may not need them now, but it’s good to know what is available should the need arise.
Let W3LL Help You Secure Affordable Health Insurance
If you need help taking advantage of the latest ACA Marketplace premium tax credits, W3LL can help. If you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance, W3LL can help. In a time, even post-pandemic, when healthcare is a priority, knowing what resources are available to find the best health insurance coverage for the most affordable rates is paramount.
Ease back into whatever your new normal life might be with the help of these tips. Take the necessary tangible precautions. Protect your mental health. And know where your support and resources are should you find yourself in a position to need them.
And for all things ACA Marketplace and health insurance, let W3LL be the FREE online resource you need to connect you to great plans and easy-to-understand options.