Take a look at your pandemic habits now

Zac Grace
5 min readJan 12, 2021

What you should keep and what you shouldn’t.

Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash

Waking up at 8:55 and taking a 9 am meeting from bed was something I did during the pandemic. Let’s admit it, many of us did that. It felt good too, in a gratifying, self-indulgent way.

Who cared if we made our beds or if the dining table had pizza crumbs on it? It wasn’t like we were gonna get visitors anyway.

While not the best way to live through what was (still is) one of the most peculiar times in the history of our world, it was also okay as long as we were doing all we could to not put anyone else at risk.

Confinement had its highs and lows, and my personal journey saw me developing both good habits and some bad ones.

But now with the arrival of vaccines and the beginning of a new year (decade?), it is the time to take an honest look at which of those habits you should keep and which ones you should get rid of.

Working out

Keep. Definitely keep.

Despite Netflix’s laudable effort to keep me well supplied with fresh content, I worked out a lot during the confinement. I bought a power tower (you can do pull ups, dips, and push ups on it). I placed it right beside my desk. It was a great decision.

I took work breaks at every half an hour and did 10 push ups, dips, L -raises, and pull ups. I am definitely keeping that habit.

Dancing

Yes, I started dancing again during confinement. It was a fun activity to stay active and upbeat. This one is for the keeps.

Dancing makes me happy even though I doubtless look goofy when I’m doing it. I hope you all have something that adds both to your happiness and health.

If you don’t have a physically active hobby, get one.

Irregular sleeping

As much as I wanted to be disciplined, I slipped on this one. Most of the days saw me waking up later and later until I was waking up 5 minutes before a meeting. This still happens, but now I’m actively monitoring it and am taking steps to sleeping at a consistent hour and waking up early.

If you have a similar story, this bad habit has definitely got to go. It is going to hurt your personal and professional life too much otherwise.

Texting. Too much texting

Since video calls became the norm for human interaction, it is quite okay to text a few more hours than you normally would, right? It is totally normal to chat late late into the night, even though the conversation is hardly meaningful or useful?

After all, the slogan was to ‘stay socially distanced but still connected’, no?

No, actually.

Staying connected shouldn’t slide over to a state of ‘perpetually distracted’.

I’m definitely watching my texting minutes, and I suggest you do it too. Double down on the productive hobbies during the time you gain.

Baking

For the sake of your heart (the blood-pumping organ, not the metaphorical one), stop. Just stop.

Unless there’s a birthday or guests coming over, you have no reason to bake again. Those fatty calories that you ate all by yourself are definitely coming back to haunt you.

Looking back, I realize I probably negated all the workout I did by all the baking I did.

I’m going to put ‘cut back on all unhealthy eating’ here, too.

Applauding health workers

I’m not going to lie, I am one of those who clapped out of my window at 8 pm every night, even when I felt a little awkward doing it. I think we should applaud and appreciate the men and women do essential work more than we usually do.

The health workers, the farmers, the police…

These are the people without whom our civilization would crumble. The pandemic did a fine job of showing us who are needed for survival and who are (unfortunately) not. We should support our pillars.

I’m not saying clap out of our windows even after this is all over. I’m saying that we have a responsibility to make sure that people like healthcare professionals and farmers can keep working in good conditions. Or rather, we need to make sure of that, for our own sake.

Mindfulness

If there is one good thing that the pandemic forced us to do, it is to pause and think about our life. Like, really think.

Let’s not stop doing that now. Let’s take a pause before buying that shiny thing you may not really need. Let’s take a pause and think if we really want to stay in a bad relationship. Let’s take a pause and think if we’re content with our fitness, income, and so on.

Yes, this one we should never drop.

Honesty

Now, this is a subjective one. For me, wearing masks has been a good experience even though hard to adapt to.

I have unlearned the habit of plastering a fake smile on my face.

Now I actually smile more. And whenever I do, it is because I want to.

Dropping out of meetings because you have ‘connectivity issues’

If my boss ever comes across this one, no sir, I’m not talking about me. And no, I was of course having connection issues on that Monday meeting :)

But to be frank, the pandemic life has also brought with it an acceptance of the ‘okay’ performance. It is okay to be not doing great. It is okay if you don’t have a handle on your life. Just because the majority of the population are seemingly not doing great, you are excused from giving your best.

This feels easy. And as Dumbledore tells us, we must choose between what is easy and what is right.

Binging

All binging goes here. Series, movies, bad jokes, bad news, pandemic news, cat pictures, memes, and everything else.

You know of all the ways you’re wasting time. Don’t.

There, I’ve tried to compile a list of both the good and bad pandemic habits. Take the time to think about it and make the right decisions. Do and be a little better than your yesterday, and before you know it, you will be a far better version of yourself than you are today.

Do take steps to improve your health. If you don’t have a physically active hobby, get one. Keep an eye on your mental health too.

Above all, stay safe and do not put anyone else at risk.

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Zac Grace

I write and I code. In love with our beautiful world.