Reflections On Work-Life Balance After The Pandemic

work life balance

We currently live in a strange world, where some of our deepest desires are paired with some of our greatest fears. With all the news about a dragging-on war, sky-high inflation, inevitable economic slowdown and still surfacing but thankfully more subdued concerns about new virus mutants, one has to try harder to keep a happy disposition and an optimistic outlook for the future.


And yet, to truly reflect on the situation we’re finding ourselves in, we also have to look at it from another angle.

When the world locked down in an attempt to eradicate the novel covid-19 virus, we all have learned to change. It was part necessity and part desperation that drove us to create new habits, change the way we do almost everything, learn new skills and adapt our lives in ways we never thought possible before.

In record time, companies switched to creating remote offices for their stuck-at-home employees and every last mom and pop restaurant got their website and operations ready for online orders. This kind of progress would have otherwise taken many years!

We worked less 9-5 and more flextime, or not at all. We had less facetime with coworkers and more facetime with kids and pets. We spent less time commuting and traveling, and more time on Zoom calls, but per statistics, that gave us back an average of 40 minutes per day to do things we wanted to do at home, for ourselves, and with our family.


Endless weeks of confinement in our homes led to agony and boredom for some and induced inspiration, invention and mental shifts for others.


The different lifestyle, the additional or more flexible time at our hands, the lack of usual distractions and noise made us reflect more on our lives, needs and wants; it made us take a closer look insight; to be still and to confront our deepest feelings. It allowed us to connect with what truly matters the most to us and to realize what’s worth living – and working for.

What was a temporary, unwelcome necessity has become a desired lifestyle that we are no longer willing to give up now. Remote working is fast becoming the new norm for full or part time wherever the work supports it.

The need to make an income in different ways has driven countless people to look for new opportunities and to start their own business, which topped all former US records in 2021. The gig economy for skilled people who can lease out their talent to the highest bidder is booming. We have the largest number of job quitters in recorded US history, officially dubbed "the great resignation", but it’s really more like “the great reshuffling” and “great early retirement” on a closer look, as people find better ways to bring home the vegan bacon while also having a life – quite a different scenario from their former jobs.

Employees now have more choices than in decades and can take their pick from the best and most creative offers in their field or explore new fields that serve their needs better.

The labor shortage worldwide is so intense that there is hardly a business that does not seek new hires! While this is a challenge for business owners, it is a sign of the changing times, and we will not be able to roll this back completely to where it was before. More shift is coming and adaptation plus automation are inevitable in many industries.


So, are all these people who have left the workforce just sitting on stacks of cash or are trying to become paid Instagram influencers?


Not at all. While Americans have more cash liquidity than before the pandemic, we know this is only true for a privileged part of the population, while another sizable part is still struggling for daily survival, especially with the fastest-rising prices in decades everywhere.

It appears that the majority of prime age working Americans have simply quit their jobs to move on to better ones. After all, there has never been so much choice, such low entry requirements, and so much competing for their talent as there is now! Some have been fortunate to buffer their savings during the unstoppable stock market rally in 2021 and the increasing real estate values. Others have simply opted for early retirement.


And then there are the many new entrepreneurs that have found their calling in this fast-changing world.


One thing is certain: no matter where each one of us stands, we all had to pivot, adjust, learn, unlearn, question, and re-evaluate many a thing over the last two years. And the result is that we want to do more of what matters, more of what we believe is worth doing. If we can be knocked down by a virus or encumbered by the measures to contain the same, we are now seizing life’s gifts with more conviction than ever before!

And while we are bombarded with bad news and outcry-worthy developments nearly every day in these uncertain times, it appears that we are learning to deal with the worst and to take it in stride. The pandemic and its response, the war and the economic realities have taught us to be nimble, to focus on the here and now, to live more in the present and to cherish every joyful moment we can get.

Travel is almost at former record-highs – infection risk be damned! The masks are off and so is social distancing! We want to live, feel, touch, and enjoy each other’s human vibrations again.

Through hardship and trial, imposed or self-inflicted, we have learned to survive and re-prioritize our lives in unprecedented ways. We savor family time more than ever but are also ready to explore the world. People who were never inclined to travel international are now hankering to see faraway places. We opt for higher quality rather than lower pricing in our vacation choices. We pick wellness travel more often than pure fun and we make better choices for ourselves.


We are not going back to status quo! We are naming our price and our conditions at the workplace; and we are saying no to restrictions and mandates that have run their course.


What has started as an understandable fear response two years ago has given way to a rethinking of how we want to live our lives. It is still too easy to succumb to fearmongering and doom scrolling, so I salute our re-awakening desire for self-actualization!


But while all the mayhem around us has led an alarmingly large part of our society to adopt a “my way or the highway” attitude, we cannot allow the same darkness that created the horror to enslave our hearts and minds with a blatant disrespect for other fellow humans and their needs and beliefs.


The social-economic and ideological divides in this country have never been greater!


No matter how much we cherish our individualism and our desire for self-expression and freedom, as human species we are living in a large community, deeply inter-connected and inherently driven and dependent on the others around us. Being in an encouraging, loving and accepting community is what makes us feel alive and helps us stretch our boundaries to excel and strive!

The very subjects that divide us so sharply today are barely worth fighting over once we choose to take a step back and take a larger look at what a happy and meaningful life truly is!

Once we can get beyond meeting our basic survival needs, we will discover that the deeper meaning in life comes from growth and contribution.


Life is so much more than pure survival and as humans we have the minds and the consciousness to perceive and embrace it.


We must strive to overcome our instinctive draw to fear, fight & flight, so that we can evolve spiritually and live up to our highest potential, which is to dedicate our life to something greater than ourselves.


Deep happiness and fulfillment can come only through service to others.


With our post-pandemic outlook on life, our survival skills, our adaptation skills, our renewed appreciation for experiences over material goods, we can also accomplish the ultimate prize – finding happiness and fulfillment!

If we live your lives with a “my way or the highway” mindset, we may find ourselves hitting the road towards loneliness and misery. But if we can live for something greater than ourselves, our journey through life may be less tainted by daunting news and may be filled with more joy and peace!

We are one global family on one planet Earth, and she is the only livable planet in the goldy-locks zone of the universe where our human species can survive.


The only way we can protect this magical and unique place for our future generations is by working together, helping one another, and approaching one another with love, respect, and acceptance.


More love, less hate

More laughter, less anger

More helping hands, less fists

More dialogue, less shouting

More community, less self-absorption

More humor, less cynicism

More tolerance, less doctrine

More judging with our hearts than with our brains

More sharing, less hording

More giving, less taking

More acceptance, less intolerance

More spirituality, less religion run by humans

More open hearts, less narrow minds

More faith, less fear

More trust, less suspicion

More high vibration, less resentment

More compassion, less indifference

More peace, less war



If you and I truly want to reach beyond our limiting beliefs and find true happiness and fulfillment, we must strive to live by the above principles.

It may be out of our comfort zones today, but it will be so much more rewarding tomorrow!


With love and respect,

Ina Mohan

Founder & President
Health, Healing & Happiness LLC