I often help my clients during life transitions such as moving, downsizing, or preparing for a new baby. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are being widely distributed in the U.S., and some places are starting to open up, the entire country is in a new type of transition. I’m sure “the life transition after full vaccination” will have a catchy name soon, since so many of us are about to experience it. Time management and stress management will be important as we step toward “normal”.
Personally, my family will be fully vaccinated by the end of April. We will be going through this strange transition of coming out of this hibernating time where we’ve avoided people outside our bubble and public events because it was safest for our health and the health of others. This is a transition that none of us have gone through before, and I am interested to see how we’ll all manage it.
To reduce stress in any transition, the first step is to plan. As I pre-plan to re-enter places like restaurants, movie theaters and client homes post-vaccination, I am using my family’s digital calendar to keep track of it all. Although I hated being cut off socially from so many people, I also know that I’m going to need time to adjust.
I am scheduling down-time at home in between the busy times. I feel that returning to constant travel, activities and in-person work will be overwhelming. There are some things I really enjoyed during the pandemic time, such as daily morning walks, which I am keeping on my schedule. As an introvert myself, being around too many people for too long can be draining, so I will carefully schedule my time at group activities.
The pandemic has made me assess what is essential and what is not in my life, as I am sure it has for others. Spending time with my family and friends will always be important. Essential tasks like healthcare and grocery shopping will also be a top priority (as will be making sure I have enough back-stock of things like toilet paper!). Meal planning, and eating at home often will continue, with the occasional restaurant trip.
With so much time spent at home, taking better care of my home and yard has become more of a priority. I plan to spend more time at home than I did before the pandemic, enjoying time on my back deck, or in rooms that my family has decorated, organized, and made great use of during this time.
I will recognize that this a transition time for myself and for others around me. I wonder how long this transition will take and when I’ll feel comfortable and feel like things are “back to normal.” I know this will be a stressful and confusing time for many, but also a joyful time. For those of us who made it through healthy, and are coming out the other side able to socialize and enjoy activities that we’ve been cut off from, this will be an exciting experience. I am looking forward to moving out of the Zoom world and back to real in-person life, and I hope you’ll all recognize that planning and patience are needed as we all adjust.