No matter where you live, what you do for a living, how old you are, or any other factor that could differentiate one person from the next, it is with great certainty that everyone has been impacted in some way by COVID-19.
When I examine my own life, here is a look at some everyday changes which are mostly minor lifestyle adjustments:
- I am not shopping at mainstream supermarkets at the moment as I am trying to avoid high traffic places as much as I can. I shop at two small and local supermarkets and only go food shopping once every three weeks whereas I used to easily go at least twice a week.
- I wear a handmade mask whenever I am out in public as this simple practice is to help protect others and meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many businesses have implemented a “no mask, no entry” policy so it is expected that a mask is worn when in public.
- Instead of going to the gym everyday, I work out in the comfort of my living room. I have limited equipment to use but I have found ways to make it work and still am able to execute an effective workout. I also do not plan on going back to the gym anytime soon upon reopening as I want to stay safe and prevent potential exposure. I have learned that working out from home is not so bad after all.
- School has shut down for the remainder of the school year so virtual school is still in full effect where I “see” my students on a daily basis behind a computer screen. This has had its challenges in terms of keeping students motivated and engaged but thanks to technology with programs like, Zoom make it very easy to work with students as a class or one-on-one if needed.
- This is the longest amount of time I have gone with not having makeup jobs as all my upcoming weddings, proms, and other special events had to be postponed or cancelled altogether. Even my own personal makeup usage has gone down since I am home the majority of the time.
- I have not seen any of my friends since the shutdown began so I’m heavily relying on phone calls, text messages, and social media to stay connected.
- Since I try to stay at home as much as possible and mainly only leave my home for the essentials and weekly curbside takeout orders to support small businesses, I barely am driving my car these days. Last month, I only put 130 miles on my car compared to a normal month where I usually put anywhere between 1000-1500 miles on average. This also means less trips to the gas station as I only had to go to fill up my tank one time this month.
- I have never watched the news this much in my entire life. I do like to keep up with current events generally speaking but being home has allowed me to tune in more than I ever did previously. I mainly watch CNN although I like to start my mornings with Fox News (this is what I used to watch in the mornings at my local gym when I was working out there in the mornings) and also check out the other major news stations. I especially love watching New York governor Cuomo’s press conferences everyday along with New Jersey governor Murphy almost everyday. When Trump was still doing his evening press conferences, I was also watching him each night.
- In terms of my spending habits, I have definitely been spending less money each month. Certain monthly services and memberships such as my nail appointments and two gym memberships are just a few of my monthly expenses that have been eliminated altogether. With the shutdown of bars and sit down restaurants, I am not spending money on going out at the moment which is another money saver. In terms of material goods, I do not buy much for myself in general unless I absolutely need something but I have definitely cut back in this category since I am just limited to online shopping right now as compared to going to an actual store to buy something in person. My main focus is to just pay my monthly bills and buy essential items. As I had mentioned, I do like to support small businesses so I do try to pick up curbside take out once or twice a week.
- I have much more personal free time than I ever did before which allows me time to read and write more. I have never been much of a book reader but I am reading about one book a month now. I know that is not even much but I typically do not read books all too often and if I do, it can take me a couple of months because I only read a little bit each week. In terms of writing, I can thank this ample free time to give me the opportunity to launch this blog website. This writing project has been on my list of things to start working on over the summer months but having this extra time has given me a jump start on creating this website much sooner which I can say I am thankful through this gift of personal free time–at least that is something very positive I can gain from all of this.
These are just a few of the personal life changes I have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can see, these changes are what I consider to be minor lifestyle adjustments as we begin to shift into a “new normal” way of life.
In terms of how I am coping, I would say that I have kept a positive mindset since the start, stay connected with people even if it that means mainly just digitally right now, and focus on productivity by keeping myself busy both on a professional and personal level. I like to point out that although we cannot control the situation, we can at the very least control how we react. It is during times of adversity that we gain strength and I think this is something valuable we can all take away from this experience.