Let's prepare for a bright future

The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives almost overnight. We all face new challenges.

You may be staying home to stay safe—or be a first responder on the front lines. Maybe you are without work or working from home. Maybe you’re homeschooling children, worried about money, or concerned about family members.

What we all have in common is that our old ways of life are not available to us. So we are developing new ones.

What if today’s painful lessons could help us discover what we want in the future? What if hitting the global “pause” button could be a path to living better? Here are some ideas.

Prioritize health and well-being
We all know it’s important to eat healthy foods, exercise, sleep well, and support our immune system. Now the threat of COVID-19 has many of us doing more to protect our health. Maybe you are taking more vitamins or eating more leafy greens. Maybe you’re doing 10 minutes of Zumba with your kids every morning. Or maybe you’re ready to start something new.

How can you create healthy habits today that will last?

Do it ourselves—at home
With limited options for eating out and as restaurants prepare to open back up, many of us are cooking more. Vegetable gardening is on the rise. People are enjoying the low-tech pleasures of puzzles, board games, sidewalk chalk drawing —along with video chats, movies, and video games. With commute time replaced by family time, many of us are feeling more connected with the people who matter —including ourselves.

What practices of self-reliance, family time, or play will you continue?

Pollute less, enjoy the outdoors more
With so much of the country sheltering at home and staying out of their cars and off the roadways, many U.S. cities have far less pollution. The same is true here in Arizona. Phoenix is expected to cut its number of poor air-quality days by at least half than last year. As we pollute our environment less, many of us are enjoying the outdoors more—walking, running, biking, and playing at a social distance.

Will you spend less time in your car and more time moving outside?

Saving more, but spending on what matters
Most people think COVID-19 will last 2.25 times longer than their cash on hand, so many are spending less and saving more. Studies show we are all shopping less overall, with three times more purchases of cleaning supplies than clothes and four times more purchases of medical supplies than home furnishings.

Which of your new spending habits will you keep?

Come closer together, even as we are farther apart
As we face a threat that goes deeper than our differences, our global community has come together in the fight against COVID-19. As Italians in coronavirus lockdown sang together, their losses and celebration of the human spirit were also ours. We are seeing the importance of protecting our most vulnerable, and the power of working together to face difficulty—from challenges with medical care and food supply to keeping the isolated connected.

How can we keep our sense of community and collaboration?

Practice resilience
When our health is at risk, it’s easier to remember how precious every moment is. As we face fear and uncertainty, self-care practices are more important than ever. The more we cultivate our personal resilience, the better equipped we are to respond effectively and creatively to any difficulty. That’s why many people are meditating, journaling, creating, or getting more sleep.

How can you stay centered no matter what is happening around you?

When we focus on finding the opportunities in today’s obstacles, we create more possibilities for tomorrow. Together, we can turn our hard-earned lessons into a bright future.