Before we get in too much of a rush to return to 'normal,' it's important that we take time to analyze what parts of 'normal' we want to return to, and what things we've learned in quarantine that we'd like to carry with us.
Support Small Businesses
It's always been important to support small business, but especially during this time, we've really seen how our support can make a positive impact.
One of my favorite things about supporting small businesses is building a rapport with the business owners and employees. My boyfriend and I frequent Delicieux, a traditional Italian Cafe and Bakery. When he goes in by himself, the owner always asks about me. We always enjoy her delicious creations and comforting conversation.
We also love visiting local nurseries, such as Schaffitzel's Flowers, where my boyfriend feels at home conversing about plant species with the dedicated workers.
Visiting the Farmer's Market of the Ozarks every Saturday has become the highlight of my week during quarantine. But it doesn't just have to be reserved for quarantine. It feels really good to be able to support talented artisans in the community, and my stomach thanks me for the goodies as well!
Grow Your Own Herbs and Produce
For those who are unemployed right now, it's easy to find a new hobby in growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This is a rewarding and waste-free way to source fresh, delicious food for yourself and your family. There's something super-satisfying about being self-sufficient.
Along with growing their own produce, many people are using this time to learn how to compost and reduce the waste they create. Composting is a great way to make a positive environmental impact daily, and is also a way of creating fertile soil for your plants!
Support Local Non Profit Organizations
Supporting local non profit organizations doesn't always have to mean opening your pocketbook.
Organizations like Ozarks Food Harvest hired thirty additional employees to help sort and prepare food donations during the pandemic.
Volunteering your time to help your community can make a big difference, not only in the lives of those you're helping, but also in your own.
Support Change in the Policies and Systems in Place that Harm Marginalized Communities
If there's anything that we've learned from this pandemic, it's how marginalized communities are at a significant disadvantage to receiving government aid.
Change needs to happen, and fast. We can't allow the government to ignore issues that they think don't affect them. We need to rally in support of people of color, immigrants, and indigenous peoples, not just during great times of need, but every day.
Explore the Great Outdoors
With many businesses closed, local parks and trails have been flooded with people.
Many families, couples, and individuals have returned to nature, in search of a sense of peace and consistency.
It warms my heart to see so many people rediscovering their love of adventure and appreciation for the small things, and I hope that many people continue to cultivate their relationship with nature.
Make an Exercise Schedule
I'll be honest, I've always had trouble maintaining a workout schedule. I wasn't very athletic growing up, so the idea of going to the gym was terrifying. I've always enjoyed dance and being active, but labeling activity as a workout was daunting.
With an upcoming dance performance, I knew that I wanted to get into shape. While there have definitely been weeks in quarantine where I fell into a rut, I'm proud of myself for staying active. I've really enjoyed MadFit Youtube videos for short, engaging workouts routines.
My hope is that those, like myself, who are normally uncomfortable when it comes to exercising and maintaining a workout schedule, will find the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones.
Set Aside Time to Feed Your Creativity
I don't know about you, but I've spent a lot more time creating during this quarantine. I haven't pushed myself to a limit of over productivity, but rather have given myself time to breathe and return to activities that I've always enjoyed.
Whether it's singing, playing piano, painting, or using found materials for crafting, I've found ways to relax. I've enjoyed seeing how other people are using their extra time as well!
As we return to our busy schedules, may we carve out time to remind ourselves of the things we love doing the most.