Article provided by Emma Grace Brown… ( reprinted by permission).
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The coronavirus pandemic triggered everyone to make big changes, often unwillingly. Yet some of the changes we made were more intentional. Here are a few ways people altered the shape and direction of their lives for the better during the pandemic and tips for making those changes permanent.
Reignited passion projects
Some of us needed a side hustle to pad our budgets. Others needed a way to fill their newfound free time. Whatever the reason, countless people reignited old hobbies and discovered new passions during the pandemic.
As people return to the office, it becomes harder to allot time to hobbies. However, these stress-relieving pastimes are worth keeping on the schedule. In addition to lowering stress and boosting your mood, hobbies are good for overall health. Make time for hobbies by building them into your routine. Identify downtime in your week and dedicate it to your chosen hobbies. Blocking time for your personal life ensures your free time is fulfilling. If you struggle with procrastination and overworking, use time management apps to make better use of your days.
Turned hobbies into careers
For some, those hobbies blossomed into something more. Countless people turned passion projects into side hustles during the pandemic, from dog walking businesses to garden consulting services and more.
Now, those businesses have grown and people are turning their side hustles into full-time businesses. That means thinking about things like liability protection and business taxes. It seems overwhelming at first, but setting yourself up as an LLC is surprisingly easy. Single-member LLCs are taxed as pass-through entities just like sole proprietors. But unlike sole proprietorships, LLCs protect your personal assets. In addition to the steps you take to file LLC in Texas online (this only takes a few forms in Texas), you’ll want to buy business insurance, apply for an EIN, and open a bank account to manage business finances.
Supported their communities
When people weren’t innovating, they were going out of their way to support those who were. Commitment to shopping locally rose during the pandemic along with volunteering and mutual aid initiatives.
As life returns to normal, stay engaged with your local community. Join neighborhood organizations, attend City Council meetings, or run for an elected position. Looking for a smaller commitment? Organize a neighborhood project like a community garden, public art project, or Little Free Library. Hyper-local initiatives like these are a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and build community. If you need to raise money for a neighborhood project, try crowdfunding, organize a fundraising event, or ask local businesses to sponsor your project.
Embraced the simpler life
Those communities might not be the same ones where we lived at the start of the pandemic. Millions of people relocated during the pandemic. Some moved to escape cramped cities while others moved back home to be closer to family.
Now, we’re settling down permanently, swapping city living for space to stretch our legs in suburban and rural communities. But while a slower lifestyle has its perks, including lower costs of living and better access to the outdoors, buying a home is more challenging than you might expect in today’s seller’s market. Stiff competition, all-cash offers, and homes selling above the asking price are shutting many buyers out of the housing market. You’ll need to be in a strong financial position including mortgage preapproval and a cushion for competitive bidding to compete for your dream home.
The coronavirus pandemic has given us a lot to mourn, but it’s also had its silver linings. The disruptions the pandemic brought to our lives caused us to rethink what matters and the ways we spend our time. Going forward, embrace the silver linings by making positive changes like these a permanent part of your life.