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Pandemic Life Earthquakes By Jennifer Scott

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major life changes for people across the world, whether it’s learning to live in isolation for long stretches of time or facing economic hardship due to the loss of a job or closing of a business. Regardless of the life change, there are short- and long-term challenges as well as benefits.

Coping with Losing a Job

If your major life change was losing your job, you’re not alone. Unemployment rates are at historic highs, and many Americans will be facing economic hardship for some time to come. While this can initially feel devastating, there are ways to cope. If you were laid off because you work in an industry that’s unable to operate during the pandemic, it might be a good time to shift gears and find a new career direction.

While finding a new job or career path is important, also find other ways to cope with your sudden life change, whether it’s adopting a new pet, starting a compost bin in your backyard, or learning to cut your own hair. Find creative outlets to help balance the logistic-heavy thought patterns of job searching, and be sure to reach out to family and friends for emotional support.

Caring for Your Emotional and Physical Health

The pandemic has been stressful, as we’ve all had to put our lives on hold for an uncertain amount of time. While it’s common to become absorbed in the news, do what you can to take breaks: go for a walk, read a book, and get plenty of sleep. Dealing with major life changes requires a period of adjustment, so be patient and take care of your mental and physical health as you adapt to your new reality, especially if you suffer from depression.

Adjust Your Plans If You Can

Some life changes can’t wait, even in the midst of a pandemic. For example, if you’re having a baby, entering a hospital might seem like the last thing you want right now. However, hospitals are taking extra precautions for labor and delivery wards. 

If you rent your home and your lease is up, you might be forced to move into a new house as the pandemic still looms. If you can’t renew your lease in your current rental, see if it’s possible to tour new homes or apartments virtually.

Or, if you must buy a new home right now, there are ways to make it happen. Redfin notes that real estate companies are turning to virtual showings, and agents can offer video-chat tours to prospective buyers. By browsing new homes virtually, you’ll be able to narrow down your list from the comfort of your home without compromising your health and safety. 

When it comes time to view a home in person, be sure to check that the real estate agent is following the proper health precautions, such as physically distanced showings and sanitizing the home between prospective buyers.

Our New ‘Normal’

While some areas of the country are moving out of lockdown, things won’t go back to normal overnight. It may be safe to go back to your favorite restaurant, but there are some big changes that will remain in place for some time to come. Each state will reopen with its own set of guidelines, so be sure to check local government websites to understand what to expect. People will be eager to get back to life, but it will look quite different from what we once knew.

An upshot: you’ve likely gone through some big changes during this pandemic, so chances are you’ll be more prepared to adjust to the new way of living when the lockdown lifts in your area. Whether you’re still on the job hunt or haven’t yet found a new home, don’t forget to maintain your mental and physical health as you adapt to a shifting way of life.

Find more about Jennifer and her website here.

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