One of the best things about the covid lockdowns being over is the fact that we are able to spend time with our loved ones again. After over a year and a half of having to do things on our own, being able to be with our families and friends feels like a huge blessing right now. Whether for the big things – like weddings, birthdays and other celebrations – or just the day to day – things like getting our families or friends together for activities – things are starting to get “back to normal”.

Normal is great – except it also means that we have “normal” things to think about again. We have all spent months figuring out how to be safe against COVID … but what about those of us who still aren’t quite on the same page as we are when it comes to getting together? Not even just in terms of covid – but also all of the other things that existed before – and will exist long after covid.

Like, maybe you and your friends are ready to get to back to Zumba class. Or maybe you’re ready to take your kids white water rafting or hiking again. Everyone is masked up and defended against COVID so why not?

But.. what about our friend with chronic pain who can’t quite manage the zumba class? Or what if your dad or your aunt can’t quite make the day-long nature hike? Or what if WE are the ones with limitations and nervous or unsure about our abilities when it comes to doing these things. Maybe these issues were present before COVID. Maybe they’re new. Either way – now what? How can we get our loved ones back together if, even after fighting against COVID, we’re still not all in the same place?

For the last year and a half, none of us could go out together and maybe we didn’t have to think about all the things that made us “different”. That also means that we are likely out of the habit of thinking about these things now. The good news is… it doesn’t take much to make minor adjustments and get us right back on the same page again.

First up, of course, is being honest. If you aren’t able to do something – let your people know! And if someone confides in you, respond in the same way you’d hope they’d respond to you. Be kind – and think about how easy it is to make modifications. After all – hasn’t covid taken enough time away from our families, friends and loved ones? Maybe these weren’t things we thought about before, but… it’s so easy to make small modifications so that we can include everyone.

If someone in your group isn’t able to keep up with Zumba class – try a different class. Swimming and aqua fit are fun options. Take your dogs or your babies or even just meet up with your friends and chat while on the move. When it comes to our families – instead of the full day long nature hike, what about a shorter one? Find a trail or take your kids to a playground and set up a scavenger hunt for them. Instead of a white water rafting trip, what about a trip to the lake with a kayak or two?

The pandemic has taught us a lot – including that we are capable of doing much more on our own than we ever believed – but it’s also shown us what is truly important in life – like being together.