If you’re one to believe in silver linings, then the coronavirus pandemic definitely has one: if nothing else, this crisis has given us a brand new perspective on life. All this downtime is making us realize how much time we’ve been spending on work and how little our regular routine matters when it feels like the world could end at any time.
With any luck, though, humanity will be able to pull through this health crisis. Once there, the worst thing you can do is to slide back into old habits and your own work-driven life as if being cooped up didn’t teach you anything at all.
When lockdowns are totally lifted and movement restrictions are eased, that should be your cue to start living the life you’ve always wanted for yourself. You owe it to a younger version of yourself – the one who had the biggest, brightest dreams — to stop wasting your best years doing everything within your comfort zone.
That being said, here are five worthy endeavors you can pursue once the threat of contagion comes to a halt.
Go See The World
The tourism industry badly needs a lifeline after incurring near-insurmountable losses due to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. If nothing else, let this convince you to finally go on that trip you’ve always dreamed about. May it be a food trip around Asia or a backpacking trip to Europe, there’s no better time than right after this pandemic to go.
Being introduced to new places, peoples, and cultures are amazing for your mental health, which means traveling could also be the mental and emotional reset you need after surviving a taxing ordeal.
Chase The Job You Really Want
The way entire businesses and industries shuttered when the pandemic hit should clue you in that no job in the world is ever truly stable. So if you’ve been working the same dead-end job for years just because it’s ‘stable’ and pays the bills, then you might want to take this opportunity to widen your horizons and start a new career that you really want.
What is it you’ve always dreamed of yourself to be doing at this age? What is that one career path that terrifies and excites you at the same time? Is there anything at all you’d rather be doing for a living than your current occupation? Whatever your answer is, do it. Life’s too short to be stuck doing something just because it’s safe.
Enroll In Grad School
You might be thinking, “Isn’t it too late to pursue the job that got away now that I’ve been working in a completely different field for years?” Well, as they say, it’s never too late. All you have to do is ace the GRE and get into grad school — This time in the area of study you truly want to be skilled at.
Even if you don’t want to switch careers, you can simply enroll in grad school just because. It’s never a bad idea to continue learning new things for as long as you live. After all, you shouldn’t just gauge the value of your endeavors by the amount of money it adds to your bank account. Personal learning and fulfillment are just as valuable when you think about it.
(Re)Build Your Emergency Fund
There’s nothing wrong with picking up a YOLO (you only live once) attitude about certain aspects of your life after this pandemic blows over. However, it might give you better peace of mind to chase after things you really want when you have a substantial emergency fund to cover your basic needs if things don’t go your way.
If you are one of those who lost their jobs or businesses on account of the coronavirus crisis, then you very well know that a single unpredictable incident can upend your whole life. If you’re not careful, another crisis of this magnitude might completely pull you below the poverty line. As you enjoy your reclaimed freedom, protect yourself from any surprises the future might have in store for all of us by having an emergency fund you can tap into at any time.
Stick to Your Pandemic Hobbies
Most of us turned to find new hobbies in our quest to surviving this pandemic in one piece. When things go back to normal, you might not have enough time to continue all of these hobbies, but be sure to keep one or two. It could be baking, gardening, or painting by numbers — anything that eased your mind and calmed your soul while the pandemic raged on.
The fact that you were drawn to these activities during one of the most challenging times of your life should tell you that doing such activities is good for you. Moving forward, stick to these hobbies as a form of self-care when you need to unwind or take a break from the hustle.
For now, try to focus your energy on taking care of yourself and visualizing all the things you’d do once the dust (or the virus) settles. There is definitely life after all this, and it’s always good to have something to look forward to. Take this time to build courage and confidence — and know that the best is yet to come.