It has been a year this month since our lives changed and the idea of simple living became a mainstay out of necessity rather than choice.
While I strive daily toward a more simple and fulfilling existence, I have often struggled with overfilling my calendar and to do list.
March 2020 certainly changed all that and while I remain the optimist that there is indeed a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, I am also very mindful of some of the ways that our lives have been irrevocably changed.
I am not sure I will ever look at crowded places the same or take for granted things like going out in public without wearing a mask or going on vacation ever again.
That said, as I look ahead to our new normal — which I hope involves a return of many of the things we bid a reluctant adieu to last year — there are some lifestyle changes that I hope become a mainstay of my family’s lives.
Practicing simple living will make you healthier and happier even if you start cutting back out of necessity.
Make Time for Self Care
As we spend more time at home and less time in social gatherings, we have gained the gift of time.
While I am certain that I spent a lot of time cooking and eating during the pandemic, I have also found time to exercise at home, too.
It is all about the choices we make, isn’t it?
Self care comes in many forms and if we walk away from this pandemic with just one takeaway, it should be that self care is the key to surviving any crisis.
Whether you created a home gym, found a new at home hobby that brings you joy or discovered the healing powers of meditation, be sure to commit to keeping those practices as a permanent part of your life.
Looking for a spiritual lift?
Browse for podcasts and videos online that are being offered by faith communities.
Read inspirational articles. Start practicing meditation daily.
If exercise is what brings you zen, subscribe to fitness apps such as Peloton, Apple Fitness or Les Mills. They have countless options for every fitness level and activity.
Focus on Family
While we have lost so much during this pandemic, one thing I will always hold in my heart is the bonus time I’ve got to spend with my family.
Even after major lockdowns and quarantines were lifted, we stay home and do more things together than ever before — and for a mom with two children who are growing up way too quick, I admittedly never really wanted this part of our pandemic lives to end.
The good news is that one day, hopefully soon, this pandemic will be in our rearview mirror — but the family bonds that were formed during this unprecedented time can stay.
Schedule at least one family night a week.
It can be an hour or two, but it is time to put the electronics away, hide all distractions and simply enjoy each other and have fun.
You can make it a family game night, a crafts afternoon or just a family movie together.
Perhaps you found a new family hobby that bonded you during lockdown — pick something that you can all do together all while enjoying one another’s company.
I can honestly say that I have never cooked at home more than I have in the past year — and while I am more than ready to begin dining out at my favorite local restaurants again, I have also discovered a newfound love of trying new recipes and preparing meals with my kids.
We saved money and discovered some new foods to enjoy “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
What was something that you discovered over the past year? Did you discover a new recipe or grow a garden?
As much as I appreciate a simplified and streamlined existence, I am also all about finding ways to help my family save money.
If you loved that herb garden last spring, make it a mainstay of your life this year and every year.
Your pocketbook will thank you, too!
(Editor’s Note: Kristine George is a freelance journalist who resides in Easton.)