Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Normal

This article can also be found on LinkedIn and Thrive Global.


Applying lessons from reverse culture shock to the global re-opening and return to familiarity with a twist.


Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

During the pandemic, we’ve isolated from family, friends, and workplaces. As the world re-opens, you are likely excited about the return to “normal” – to see friends and family or go to restaurants and perhaps finding some balance away from family are high on your list of priorities.


As a transition coach, I consistently support people managing their journey to familiar environments. It starts with excitement at your arrival and seeing old friends and family, finding the foods you’ve missed, and the joy of navigating a familiar environment in a familiar language. This excitement slowly turns to frustration or isolation, as the returnee misses the adventure of life abroad, experiences the lack of interest from friends or family, or just itches for the next adventure.


1.      Feel Your Feels: You may be feeling only excitement at the possibility of return. You might be apprehensive about work piling up that you could not accomplish while at home or worried about engaging with co-workers you would rather not entertain. You might have found your new work-life balance preferable to the time at work coupled with commute times. You may also find yourself trying to reconcile being asked to come into work before you assess it is safe enough – a situation that might include anger, frustration, and feelings of impotence.

  • Talk to your boss about the measures in place to protect your health. Discuss what options you have to continue remote work if you are apprehensive about workplace health standards

  • Come up with an action plan for how you will accomplish things that piled up