Senior woman and small business owner working on a tablet in her art studio making her hobby a business
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The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lifestyle restrictions have put a mark on everything from our shopping to the work world.

And while the threat of COVID-19 has receded somewhat, many changes it wrought — from plexiglass barriers at checkout stations to pulling up restaurant menus on your phone — may be here to stay.

Some changes, however, are less material and more mental. And not all of the adjustments introduced by the COVID-19 outbreak are necessarily bad ones. The following new habits are actually worth retaining.

1. Staying stocked up for emergencies

Woman in pantry
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The great toilet paper panic of 2020 reminded many people of the old Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

Pandemic aside, other natural disasters, from earthquakes to blizzards, could make getting to the grocery store difficult. You may not need 600 rolls of Charmin, but it’s good to have an emergency stock of such necessities.

To get started, check out “20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling.”

2. Streaming home entertainment

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The pandemic has helped many of us discover that a whole entertainment universe exists on our computers, phones, tablets and gaming devices.

For some new ideas, read “17 Streaming Services That Are Completely Free.”

3. Tipping generously

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Doctors and nurses aren’t the only essential workers out there. Don’t forget delivery people, who step out into a germy world daily to get you your groceries, pizza and Amazon essentials.

Thank them in one of the few ways you can — by upping your usual tipping percentage, even now that things are calming down.

4. Leaving cheerful chalk messages

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Chalk is cheap. If you have a sidewalk or driveway, you’ve got a huge canvas for hopeful messages and pretty pictures.

Joggers and walkers appreciate cheerful decorations as they make their neighborhood circuits. You don’t have to be Michelangelo to coax a smile or two out of passers-by.

5. Adopting home exercise routines

Couple exercising at home
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Many gyms and recreation centers closed down during the pandemic, forcing fitness fans to move their workouts home. It’s been a reminder that you don’t need pricey equipment to exercise. Even just an inexpensive jump rope, free workout videos and a small space can help you sweat out the stress of these times.

Get started with “9 Exercise Products You Need for Working Out at Home.”

6. Shopping smarter

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Maybe you tried online grocery delivery for the first time? Or discovered your neighborhood still has a milk delivery person? Or tried a community-supported agriculture box of farm-fresh fruits and veggies?

Or perhaps you simply honed your grocery shopping to a smarter practice — hitting one store instead of three, or planning your menus ahead of time rather than wandering blankly through the grocery aisles.

These are all smart shopping habits that can persist well after any outbreak.

7. Checking on neighbors in need

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The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone, but the elderly, ill and those living alone often have struggled more than others. Even as things settle into a new normal, keep up those habits of checking in on neighbors who might need help with grocery runs or simple home chores.

8. Washing hands thoroughly

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Even those who were dutiful hand-washers before the coronavirus outbreak likely learned something about cleanliness over the past few years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, or about the time it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. For more tips, check out “Are You Making These 7 Hand-Washing Mistakes?

9. Investigating new media

Woman reading a novel on a tablet
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Maybe you’ve heard some buzz about podcasts but never settled in to check one out. Or you know your library offers free e-books and movies, but downloading them seems difficult.

It’s not, and discovering new forms of media during a pandemic means you’ll still be able to enjoy them when the pandemic is behind us.

10. Getting back to the garden

Woman gardening
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Even if you only have a small yard or balcony garden, you can plant tasty edibles that will save you a shopping trip. Also, you’ll get the pride of knowing you raised the food yourself.

11. Decluttering and donating or selling

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When we were stuck at home, many of us wanted those homes to look and feel clutter-free. And, finally, we had the time to make it happen. Sorting through a closet, extra room or garage is a great, freeing feeling. Take that clutter to a thrift store, and you can feel good knowing your old stuff is a new treasure to someone else.

Or, you might be able to make a little cash. Learn how you can sell your unwanted items in “6 Websites That Will Sell Your Clutter for You.”

12. Learning to work from home

Woman working at home
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Working from home was once a rare privilege. During the pandemic, it became a necessity. Whether you love commuting to your couch or are glad to be back with your office coffeemaker and co-worker pals, having the technical equipment and knowledge to work from home is a plus.

13. Enjoying games and jigsaw puzzles

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COVID-19 lockdowns led to some families digging through the old board game closet and pulling out such standards as Monopoly, Clue…

Read More: 32 Coronavirus Pandemic Habits You Should Keep

2022-09-23 14:35:31

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