Title: 7 Highly Effective Habits To Keep In The New Normal
Artwork by: YMI X Wesley Totherow (@letterow)
Description: Time in lockdown has been unexpectedly fruitful for some of us. With the hours and days stretching endlessly before us, many of us have sought out new hobbies or cultivated new habits that we probably wouldn’t have even thought of in our pre-Covid-19 days.
Admittedly, while we may have complained about being locked indoors, there was also likely a sense of achievement as we hone our new habits.
So, even though restrictions might be lifting, let’s not be in a hurry to toss out what we’ve incubated. Let’s also remind ourselves that in all that we do, whether it’s eating or drinking, we can do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
1. Keep rolling with the surprises
Food deliveries, online shopping surprises. Time spent in lockdown has made us rethink ways of cheering our friends up from afar, and these were probably a few of the most popular ways of bringing a bit of comfort to our friends. They were also an easy way to show love in action (1 John 3:18), especially to friends who might be doing isolation alone.
But we can keep the food deliveries and little gifts going even as life slowly resumes near-normalcy. After all, a knock on the door with the delivery person bringing your friend their favorite meal or a surprise package never gets old.
2. Continue cultivating your hobbies
Trying a new recipe, painting, or giving jigsaw puzzles a go, were among the new hobbies some of us may have discovered in lockdown.
And those activities rejuvenated and refreshed us, so let’s not abandon these newfound hobbies in a hurry as we rush out at the first sight of freedom! Instead, continue to grow and cultivate them, now that we’ve found that downtime can be more than just watching an endless stream of watch-worthy TV series.
3. Maintain your quiet time with God
Uninterrupted quiet times, reopening the Bible, or signing-up for a new devotional.
Having heaps of time on our hands was perfect for us to grow in God, and over the three months, we’ve found ourselves leaning in and learning more about God.
Out of all the other new normal habits we’re to keep, this has got to be one of the most important ones to follow through. Let’s continue to actively set time aside to pray, read our Bibles, or do our devotionals. After all, God’s words are eternal (Psalm 119:89) and will stay with us long after Covid-19 has blown away.
4. Remember to schedule time to rest
The advice to “Stay home. Stay safe.” that was dished out at the beginning of Covid-19 to keep the virus at bay sounded like an absolute restriction, but didn’t we learn to cherish the idea of not having to accept social invites out of obligation? Think of the time spent reading a book from start to finish, or writing that long overdue email or letter to a friend?
As nice as it is to fall back to our old ways of filling up our calendar with various social activities, let’s not neglect taking time out to rest. And if you need a reason to put your feet up, remember even God took a breather on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).
5. Spend time with your loved ones
Over the past three months, work, church, and social hang-outs have moved online, and by now, most of us are probably suffering from screen fatigue. While we thank God for technology, video calls have definitely been a strain on both our eyes (“Our eyes are so tired!”) and ears (“Hello? Can you hear me? You’re breaking up!”) and we’re left yearning to be with our loved ones in person.
So, with restrictions lifting and as we head out to catch-up with friends and family, let’s intentionally set aside our phones (aren’t we tired of all the screen time?). Instead, let’s cherish the moment to be present in their presence, and use the time to encourage each other toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
6. Bye long emails, hello video chats
Answering phone calls and jumping on video calls were probably some of the things we avoided doing in the past, because they felt awkward. Pre Covid-19, we’d much prefer texting our contact, or writing a long email (for that paper trail!).
But in our work from home settings, we’ve learned that jumping on a quick video call can sometimes be much more efficient than writing lengthy emails to our co-workers explaining our work or to clear up any confusion. And video calls are super convenient too because they cut down on travel time After all, there is no need to sit through a bad jam just to get to your meeting on time when all you need to do is click on a button and pop in your earphones to get connected!
7. Don’t let our healthy lifestyle go to the wayside
The pretty yoga mat bought for in-home exercises, the fees paid for virtual gym classes to keep fit, the endless hand washing and sanitizing—our health and personal hygiene have been given a spruce up while in lockdown as we find ways to stay healthy (and sane).
Let’s be conscientious in maintaining our new healthy habits when we’re tempted to skip our online gym lessons in favor of hanging out with our friends at a cafe, or eating without washing our hands, because these habits will go a long way in keeping us and everyone around us safe. The Bible does also say that our body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19) so by keeping it happy and healthy, we are honoring God as we go about doing the work He has laid out for each of us.