Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, life as we know it, has changed dramatically. Millions have lost their lives and more have experienced a devastating downturn in their health as a result of infection. The world of work has been turned upside down, and social and economic disruptions have been devastating for many. Confinement measures by governments, trade restrictions, border closures, and social distancing guidelines have transformed relationships and livelihoods in unprecedented ways.
During this massively chaotic and unsettling moment in history, people have made major life changes either by choice or by force. The lucky have made voluntary life adjustments like working from home and shopping online for groceries, but there are many who have been forced into choices they did not ask for. Losses of income, homes, relationships, and life have driven many to negative coping strategies that have exacerbated an already bad situation.
Silver Linings Amid the Pandemic
Fortunately, through all these challenges, there have been some unexpected upsides. Many people have experienced silver linings. Pandemic weddings, newly adopted pets, and stronger family bonds after spending more time at home are some positive impacts that people have reported. The environment has also benefited from reduced carbon emissions due to travel restrictions.
The pandemic has made people more cautious about their health. People are now more than ever motivated to take better care of their health. Those with chronic conditions are more willing to comply with treatment and younger people are paying more attention to risk factors for other health issues.
Mental Health Challenges
The pandemic has altered how people engage with family and friends. Feelings of isolation or newly crowded living situations have put a strain on mental health. Loss of loved ones or livelihoods has also led many to spiral. According to a KFF Health Tracking Poll, many adults are experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Symptoms such as increased alcohol consumption, difficulty eating or sleeping, and worsening chronic conditions are on the rise among both previously healthy people and those already suffering from substance use disorders and mental illness.
Fortunately, there are several effective ways to reduce stress caused by the pandemic and improve your mental health. One of the most effective methods is talking to a trusted therapist.
Moving During the Pandemic
Months of being stuck indoors during the pandemic prompted many people to move to homes that offered larger spaces. Those who could work from home also chose to move away from cities to the suburbs, since commuting distance was no longer an issue. While these groups made the choice to move, many others were forced out of their homes when they could not pay after losing their jobs due to the pandemic.
If you must move for whatever reason during the pandemic, you should take steps to make sure that the move is smooth and as painless as possible. You need to look for a new house that you can realistically afford. Using a mortgage calculator can help you decide on a home price range you’ll be comfortable with. Before you find a good real estate agent or consider your mortgage options, you should first check your credit score and organize all the paperwork that your lender might need.
Work has been redefined
While many have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, others have had their roles in the workforce elevated. There has been increased recognition of essential workers like healthcare workers, teachers, delivery drivers, and supermarket staff. Vast inequalities in the workforce have also been exposed, with the blue-collar employees being the most vulnerable to infection and job loss, while many white-collar employees have the option to work from home.
This is a huge benefit for expecting or new moms, who can spend much-needed quality time with their babies without worrying about daycare or sitters. Instead, they can work from home while wearing clothing that is both functional and comfortable, such as hands-free pumping and nursing bras.
Major life changes both the short-term and long-term have been brought about by the pandemic and they cover many aspects of life. While the negatives are clearly more than the positive, the pandemic has given us a rare opportunity to pause and reflect on how we were living before it struck. People have learned to value relationships and reevaluate their life goals.