We have gotten to a point after COVID where you will likely have to interact with the human population once again. The difference between now and the pre-COVID pandemic, which shall be referred to as ‘then,’ is outstanding. Not only has the world completely shut down, isolating us from one another, but it has layered it with thick grief. The kind of grief I am referring to is different than it was before. It is something that is felt not only by one individual person but by the collective. It is heavy, and once making contact, it is not easily removable.
On a superficial level, interacting with the human population after COVID could be exciting, scary, pressing, anxiety-riddled, or motivational, as well as countless other things. We have learned a lot through COVID while also coming to the realization that we know almost nothing. Throwing ourselves back into the pre COVID world is impossible because it doesn’t exist anymore. As a result, we have to find a way to come back to interaction, all while showing up the way we are now. For most of us, this is drastically different than it was before.
It is fair to say that the world has never been very well equipped to deal with trauma, vulnerability, discomfort, or pain. This is especially true when the kind of pain is on the inside and is not easily fixed with a cast or a band-aid. The COVID pandemic, while doing many other things, forced us, the entire human population, to stop and consider what was occurring internally within each of our own bodies. While looking uniquely different to each of us, there likely is a lack of purpose, confusion, and a sense of misdirection. The societal expectation for every individual has been and will likely continue to be denial. If you can deny it, you can work and do so effectively with very little to no consideration for human emotion. The problem here is that people all around the world are not ok.
So how is it, you might wonder, do we resume life and interact with the human population after COVID? There are a couple things here that might help you do just that, but doing so requires you to share your most authentic and vulnerable self. If you are up for the challenge, I commend you and invite you to join the leaders of the world.
This is an idea that is not original but is effective for many reasons. Two-word check in’s allows us to consider where we are at mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It provides you with an opportunity to really listen to your body which is something that is not traditionally implemented into our daily lives. While doing this with yourself is a great option, it is even more effective to share within a team. Team, in this instance, can be referred to as professional work teams, families, partners, children, and anybody else that you are around daily. What is so powerful about two word check in’s is that you can identify your own emotion but also check in with those around us. Sometimes, especially in a virtual world, struggles are missed or not comprehended by others. Even moving back to in-person, there are likely times where we miss what is happening in the world of the person sitting right next to us. By simply stating two words, we can empathize, understand, identify with, and support ourselves and those around us.
Throughout COVID, there have been many incredibly difficult challenges for each of us. For some, this was losing a family, friend, significant other, child, colleague, or acquaintance to the pandemic. Life continued throwing medical conditions, disagreements, failure, job loss, and divorce our way. Thankfully it also threw unity, positivity, new life, closeness, perseverance, happiness, and joy our way as well. The point is, show up with whatever is circling around you. So often, we hide ourselves and our struggles. Make a change as you interact with the human population after COVID. Show up as you authentically are, even if it is scary. Talking about our emotions and the things going on within our lives are the greatest way to process and release. Don’t be afraid to show up authentically, as that is the most beautiful version of yourself.
Checking in and authenticity are great ways to evolve yourself into the world again. None of that will happen unless you are communicating with those around you. Communication obviously looks very different now. Many have not had to communicate in person for a very long time, so it might seem overwhelming at first. Just like before, show up as authentically as possible and let people in on what is occurring in your life. In return, be sensitive and empathetic of whatever they want to share with you. Establishing a supportive relationship around authenticity is a great way to build support on the days that are more challenging.
Many of us are not ok. Going back to in-person, in whatever form that takes, can be significantly overwhelming. Whatever “going back” looks like for you, make sure you give yourself lots of time to adjust. Even if it feels like the world is falling from the sky all over again, be kind to yourself. Each of our bodies has and will continue to go through a lot. The state we are currently in is not normal, and it is so very important to be kind to ourselves. Additionally, be kind to others. It doesn’t matter what “side” they are on; we are all one collective, and it is time we start to act like it to one another.
Throughout this crazy journey, we have all experienced very low lows and very high highs. Do not limit yourself to the societal implications of what is normal. Show up and be you. Reach out for support on hard days. Find love when you need it. Provide it for someone else the next day.