Like most of the world, I’ve developed certain COVID Survival Habits that are a little different from things I did before all of this began. While some are actually good, others are… well… “Not me”. I hope they fade once things return to normal and don’t stick around. I figured we could talk about that today – the good & the bad.
This list is RANDOM and in no particular order. I’m pretty sure I’ll think of more after I write this, but these are what come to mind for me right now. Also — don’t judge me! I know some of you are going to judge me… LOL – don’t!
KEEP: Reading More
I have an odd sense of just “having all the time in the world” while I work from home during this pandemic. One cool benefit of feeling like that is that I’ve been reading more often and making time to look into things that fascinate me. I’ve been reading philosophy, learning about anomalies in nature, keeping up with politics, studying technical things, and more. I just didn’t make time to slow down and take things in this way that much before.
LOSE: Not Being As Active
Not going into an office each day has hit my daily activity hard, and I don’t mean the “I’m not getting my steps in” (although I do miss those) kind of hit. I haven’t been going to the gym at all, and that used to be a near-daily ritual for me right after a full day at work. Also, my butt has gotten far too familiar with my couch.
Fortunately, I’ve been watching what I eat and drink to help keep things in check. And I still workout, just not nearly as much as I’m accustomed to (that’s about to change, though).
KEEP: “New” Little Health Habits
There are things that I probably always should’ve been doing that I just wasn’t before. Stuff like:
Brushing my teeth twice a day regularly: Gross as it is, I was a once-a-day guy — I’d always brush, floss, and mouthwash — but yeah, just lazy about it before and only did it in the mornings).
Not drinking alcohol: I’m actively NOT drinking in 2021 as a resolution this year, but even before that – I was barely drinking anything at all during my at-home COVID stay. Hope that continues.
Using my face cleanser each day.
Drinking TONS of water.
LOSE: My “Every Other Day” Habit
On the other side of that coin, there are two things in particular that I used to do every single day that are now “every other day” activities: showering & changing underwear and pants.
Since I’m not as active as I was, I just don’t stink. I don’t feel or smell stinky & my skin isn’t having any adverse reactions, so – in my laziness – I’ve just cut back on showers. That’s also saving me money on things like body wash and other grooming gels, but thinking about it — I just feel like I’m starting to dip my toes into Otaku or Hikikomori territory with this one, and I don’t want to be anywhere near that.
Unfortunately, this decision has trickled down to whether or not I change underwear and jeans each day (yeah, I’m still wearing jeans each day – I know a lot of people aren’t, but I don’t feel like I’m “up for the day” unless I get dressed). Since I don’t stink… and I DO check (don’t ask me how)… I just rock the same stuff and keep it moving. But, I never do it more than those two days in a row. Why? Because I KNOW I stink at that point.
The psychology of it all doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it’s a bad habit & I want it to go away and get back to these things being (at a minimum) daily rituals.
KEEP: Blogging, Etc. (Regularly)
I started blogging again during the pandemic, and I hope that keeps up. I love the parts of my brain that get going each time I sit at a keyboard or draft something on my phone. I like having an outlet for all of the random thoughts that flow through my head each day and keep me up at night. Emotionally, especially right now, that feels vital. I also like that I’ve set aside time to get into doing little YouTube videos here and there AND sketching every now and then (more on that in the future). A little bit of new and old here, and I’m digging all of it.
LOSE: Cooking Each Day
Before COVID, I would go out to eat every night. Every. Single. Night. My fridge was notoriously empty and would only have a jug of water in it. I miss that. Even if I can kind of cook when I want, I’m over it. I have always felt like food tastes better when someone else makes it for you 🤣 (I’m aware that using laughing emojis makes me old now — I don’t care), and I’m just tired of washing dishes (even if I am using a dishwasher for most of it. And waiting on an oven to heat up is ANNOYING.
Ok… done venting.
Wait — I was also never a big fan of leftovers and now I have them all the time!
That is it.
I feel beyond blessed that I get to have food at home and the opportunity to cook and all that, but cooking just isn’t my thing. Again: Over it.
KEEP: Calling/Texting People More
Whereas I didn’t really call ANYONE before, now I actually have regular convos every few days with my two best friends. I call my parents WAAAAY more often. I check in on people to see how they’re doing. I have regular text groups with friends where we catch up and shoot the shit. Something feels “right” about all of that, and I hope it keeps up.
I am not sure how much I want to keep doing Zoom calls… Honestly talking to people on screens all the time isn’t as cool as some of those old Sci-Fi shows made it look (I’m looking at YOU Star Trek: The Next Generation), so time will tell what happens there. I could use it or lose it — but the other stuff? I am here for it.
LOSE: Not Hanging w/ Friends
Another thing I was good for “in the before time” was regularly not getting home until 11:30 PM because I would be out with friends. Didn’t matter whether it was a weekday or not, this was my norm. Now… I don’t really see anyone. My COVID bubble hasn’t gotten larger than 5 people this entire time and I actually “lost” one of those recently-ish (times change), so now I’m back down to 4 regular in-person contacts (to keep my sanity). I let certain friends and groups know that I miss hanging out w/ them often because I just hope we don’t lose that magic when it comes time to go back out for movies and dinners down the line.
KEEP: Waking up Early
Not to be confused with “waking up for work” – I have picked up the (in my eyes) great habit of getting up 2-3 hours before work just to have some time for myself and my projects. It feels like there are more hours in the day, and this little process helps me focus on what matters for the day all while getting me in a good mood at the same time.
In the past, I would wake up and immediately start getting ready for work and then make my commute. I am not sure if this one will survive the cut due to sheer time management – but we’ll see.
LOSE: Fear of Large Groups
People have asked me to attend events during this pandemic. And not even huge events — just stuff like hanging at a bar or going to socialize. I can’t lie — I’m not into it right now. If there are more than 10 people in an enclosed space, I kind of worry a little bit (especially around strangers). I haven’t traveled anywhere this entire pandemic (and Lord knows I want to take a vacation right now).
I hope THAT isn’t something that sticks. I have never been a social butterfly or anything, but I LOVE catching live shows and hanging with people I know in places crowded with new faces. There is a fun sort of energy to it.
But, sadly, you can get used to anything – and I’ve gotten used to it just being me, myself, and I. If I were a betting man, I’d wager this will return to normal, but we’ll see.
Only time will tell what stays and goes, but there it is.
That is my list of things that I hope I keep/lose post-COVID time. Do you have any traits that you could give or take from this entire experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!