Using The New Normal To Make A New Community
As life as we knew it before COVID-19 continues to return to almost normal (or what we’ve been calling the “new normal” ever since toilet paper went scarce in 2020!), we’re faced with more questions than answers.
- For those of us who started to work more from home, will our companies keep letting us work remotely?
Will we start to use masks when we feel a cold coming on (or will the controversies that sparked last spring about whether or not to wear masks continue)?
- And for all those who found comfort in being able to pick and choose their social outings with Zoom Happy Hours - will real bars still hold that same appeal?
A lot of these questions seem to try and divide Before from After, or Us from Them, when now - more than ever - we need to focus on our community.
However you define it - your work community, neighborhood, family, or town - focusing on that community is one of the best possible answers to the doubts we’ve all been facing as life becomes more familiar again.
Being A Part Of Your Community After Being Apart From Your Community
Whether you had a family to take care of, your own concerns, or extenuating circumstances, no one’s blaming anyone for taking the last year seriously.
For many who might ordinarily have done a community 5k run to raise money, served food at a soup kitchen, or sold Girl Scout Cookies door-to-door, this past year took away those opportunities.
So now we have a chance to not just go back to our communities, but to give back to them, too.
Volunteering - Though some people certainly gave it their all volunteering to help frontline workers or vulnerable folks throughout the pandemic, there are even more opportunities now thanks to airy, summer events like festivals, and rising vaccination rates making it safe to get back out into your community.
Acts of Kindness - After a year without much contact with strangers, we’re now bumping into people at coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. Try paying for a few of the people behind you in line at your favorite café. The feel-goods go even farther after so much time away, and you never know the impact you’ll have on someone else!
- Spring & Summer Cleaning - If you’d still like to keep some space, you can still make an impact. More people out and about does mean, unfortunately, that the parks and beaches are looking more visited than they have in a long time. Spend a few extra minutes filling up a trash bag, and you’ll make the experience better for everyone.
There are even ways to make getting out and about in the community an adventure. Celebrate each of your Community Achievements with an IRLA coin (like donating blood, shopping local, and volunteering) to commemorate the occasion.
We want to hear from you, too. What do you like doing for your community? Have you been able to start back up again?