The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the rug out from under many of us, leaving us with an uncertain future. As we ease into Level One it is beneficial to know practical ways in which you can make the adjustment easier for you and your loved ones.
Understand that it will take time
The reality is that the pandemic presented a collective trauma, which means that many people found themselves having to adapt to a new way of living that has resulted in financial, emotional and psychological stress.
Recovering from this pandemic will take time. While other people will welcome the return to 'normal' others might take time.
It is crucial to allow yourself and your loved ones to ease their way back into a pattern that they are familiar with. This also means not expecting too much too soon of yourself and others around you.
Avoid taking on too much too soon
Level one means that most places will be open. With so many things that we are now able to do, that we were previously restricted to, it's crucial not to bite off more than we can chew. We may have missed much, but it is also important not to load your children's to-do list with too many activities that can leave them feeling overwhelmed.
Set short term goals
Being kind to yourself is part of the equation when it comes to returning to 'normal'. Setting unrealistic goals in a short space of time does not only leave many people overwhelmed, but it can also spur negative emotions that can lead to depressive episodes. Instead, set short term goals that you would like to achieve. Having a support system of family or friends who will be able to remind and encourage you to keep going when the going get's tough can be beneficial. Celebrating small wins is a great way to motivate you to tackle your long-term goals.
Being financially prepared
Making financial adjustments was one of the things that many people found themselves doing. However, the pandemic revealed that most people were not prepared financially as they thought. Only 28% of households could confidently state that they could remain financially stable before month-end before the pandemic.
With the pandemic in full swing, widening the gap, as many as three million South Africans lost their jobs with little to no savings in place. Not having a financial plan can leave you exposed and even push you into debt. Therefore, it is important to plan. Make sure to cover your basics such as having an emergency savings account, income protection, a life insurance and a funeral policy to start with, gradually building a safety net that protects you and your family in the long run.
While some things can remain beyond our control, there are some steps that you can take today to make tomorrow a bit easier to manage. Always remember to pace yourself.