The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. Much has changed (some would say that everything has changed). The pandemic phase is fading into an endemic manageable phase and we are learning to live with this virus now. From a health & wellness perspective this may be a great time to pause and reflect on a few things, as we start living the world’s new normal…

Health counts. Surely if we have learned one thing is the importance and value of good health. We saw that the unwell among us were at much greater risk. We saw that being well helped us cope with change and doubt and more. We saw the value of a strong immune system. So just in case you missed it or have forgotten: your health is important.

Work is important and valuable. Many lost their jobs or closed their businesses. Huge financial strain affected, and still affects, many. So we have surely come to appreciate, more than we did before, the importance and the value of being able to support ourselves.

Work is not everything (maybe). As we have been forced to work less or differently, or not at all, we have sometimes come to realise just how much work had overwhelmed our lives. In terms of time, energy, mental focus, etc. For a lot of us, this has somehow reduced a bit over the last 2 years and this could actually be a good positive thing. Life includes work but it does not have to be entirely about work. Caution: if you are an ambitious career-focussed person that is fine, great even. So we’re not saying “work is bad”. Just that you might take this time to re-evaluate just HOW big you want work to be in your life. .

People are precious. Most of lost people to COVID. We lost loved ones, friends, colleagues, partners. Even if we did not lose people, we saw less of the important people in our lives. All of this must have underlined for us just how wonderful it is to have close meaningful relationships, be they family, intimate, personal, social or work relationships.

Not all people are precious. You have probably NOT missed some people. Or not so much. Maybe you have even enjoyed some more alone-time or quiet family-time (most of us have). There is a learning here, about who adds value to your life, and who does not. Think about it.

Unexpected learnings.  The last couple of years have seen us forced or choosing to live differently. Many have worked from home. Many have stayed at home for weeks or months on end. Many have been forced to find alternatives to things like shopping malls, gyms, restaurants. Many have curtailed travel plans or cancelled altogether. Some of this has been enforced and entirely negative. But if you pause and reflect can you not see some unexpected benefits in some of this (think about more time, more choice about your time, less rush, less expense, less endless superficial socialising, etc.)? We think you can.

Taking time to pause and reflect is almost always time well spent. It is about living deliberately, strategically, mindfully. This post-pandemic time may be an excellent time for some pausing and some reflecting and some learning.

Written by Dr Colin Burns