New Pandemic Realities Give Us Moments To Reflect

On my weekend habit of hiking Mt. Cardigan, Lon Helton’s “Country Countdown” is usually on the radio. “How are things going for you during this pandemic summer?” He asks his guest. The answer drew me in.

The star stated that, now that he had full nights of sleep over the course of a month, he had become acutely aware of how exhausted he usually felt with his typical lifestyle. Typically, he toured through the year, flying across the country to squeeze in shows and other events, while also carving out time for his young family. He had never been aware of the level of fatigue in the way he was living his life.

Given that awareness of what was ‘really’ important to him, he decided he was going to change his lifestyle. It would include ways he would be with his family regularly and change the frenetic, exhausting pace of his ‘successful’ life.

In my own neighborhood, I’ve seen people walking and biking regularly, like never before. I read in the paper how local nurseries and home and garden supply stores are bustling. And I see the evidence of this everywhere. Lives have slowed down for some. Parents are not shuffling kids off to all of the programs or to attend and watch practices and games. Our cul-de-sac is filled with kids in free play once again. In my house, we started playing board games in the evenings with our 20 something kids who have been home since schools shut down. Gone is the habit of watching CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.

I know that this pandemic has not meant a slow-down for everyone. Parents who are both working and are also strapped with handling home schooling plus the lack of day care, have been handed an incredible load. I’m sure that’s not how they want to live.

One thing we all may have in common with the superstar country singer is that we’ve experienced changes in our lifestyle that have challenged our values and will challenge our choices of how we live our lives going forward. Some of us have experienced a temporary reprieve from the frenetic pace of American culture, while others have felt only the intensifying squeeze of additional responsibility.

One of my greatest hopes with this pandemic is that it elevates our awareness of what we truly value and that it helps us move in the direction of altering how we live our lives. My wish is that we live in ways that we find more meaning, purpose and happiness. For me, those are fundamentals in health and well-being.

Best Wishes,

Billy Cioffredi

Cioffredi & Associates Founder, Physical Therapist