Can we work like this forever? Asking for a friend.
I don’t know about you, but there are some aspects of Life in the Times of Corona that I don’t want to go back to normal. Because let’s be honest, for many of us “normal” wasn’t working. Constant anxiety about catching covid aside, the truth is that my quality of life has improved markedly since the global shelter in place orders, and subsequent work from home norms that the corporate world adopted. The pace of the world has slowed down. People are re-evaluating their life choices, and companies–thankfully–have seen the light when it comes to working remotely and working from home. Here’s what I am enjoying most about our new normal.
1. My stress level reduced exponentially.
I don’t think I realized quite how stressed and overwhelmed I was. But…whew!! I can feel the difference now! Less tightness in my chest. Fewer headaches. A reduction in chronic pain. Less exhaustion. My asthma is not as active. Less of that constant feeling of panic that “I can’t get everything done.” Spending more time in my oasis, and less time on the road or in the office, has been a game changer. I feel more like a human being again.
2. There is more time for exercise and self-care.
Being forced to jump off the treadmill of life has opened up more time for, well, LIFE. And just by dint of no longer having a commute, I’ve gotten back a few hours each day that I can dedicate to me. I still wake up early, but instead of having that dread in the pit of my stomach because I already feel like I’m behind the 8 ball, I wake up with hope. I walk my dog. Like a real walk that he enjoys. I meditate. I journal. I do a little yoga. Might even put on a face mask. I’m cooking more and eating better. The glow up is real.
3. Less interaction with people
As a confirmed introvert with a little HSP thrown in for good measure, offices have always been a little difficult for me. Too much noise. Too much light. Too many people. Too many meetings that should have been emails. Too much small talk. Too much politics. Just…too much. I’ve always been that person that prefers to have lunch alone just so that I can gird myself fully in preparation for the rest of the day. I needed that time away from my colleagues—so that I could be a better colleague. So the new normal of having minimal in-person contact and jumping on the occasional Zoom call works way better for me. And Instead of being exhausted at the end of the work day, I’m actually still energized.
4. More privacy and freedom.
Who among us hasn’t had a call to make or an errand to run in the middle of the work day? Now, instead of having to make excuses, hide in the quiet room, take an uncomfortably long lunch, or leave it all until the end of the day when you’re exhausted and not at your best, you have the latitude to be an adult, do your adulting, and knock items off your to-do list with relative ease. And everybody else is doing the same thing, so we are all giving each other latitude, understanding, and grace.
5. I can wear my hair however I like.
Ask any Black woman: the daily hair routine is a major part of the stressful havoc that racism wreaks upon us. Now, I have the latitude to wear headwraps, and when I do change my hair or wear it out, I can avoid the entire uncomfortable show and tell foolishness. No more being singled out, picked over, touched, and discussed like an exhibit at a zoo. Which is clearly an improvement. The fewer microaggressions I have to deal with, the better. A day where no stranger or colleague puts their hand in my hair is a great day.
6. I get to spend more time with my dog.
We are each other’s emotional support person (Yes; he believes that he is a person.) and so we miss each other when we’re apart. Gone is the guilt about leaving my little guy home alone all day. Instead, we spend our days together on the couch, for the most part. He’s usually pretty quiet, so there’s only one time–while I was recording one of my podcasts–that he made his presence known to others. He snuggles and sleeps while I’m pounding away on my laptop. Works for us.
This is what you call quality of life. And I am 100% here for it. My goal is to live the work-remote life permanently, without being restricted to being in the U.S. As a copywriter, all I need is my laptop and decent wifi. Hint, hint, companies out there. :).
Text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix