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  • Peg Hunt

Creating a Post Pandemic New Normal

Living through the COVID pandemic challenged all of us in ways we never would have imagined. There was so much confusion and conflicting information over the “right” way to navigate this challenge. We learned new ways of being in the world and

interacting with others. We developed new structures and habits that got us through the unprecedented times-- e.g. creating small “pods” to limit our in-person exposure; moving gatherings to Zoom, outdoor dining, etc.

As we move into “post-pandemic” lives, it is a good time to consciously assess what our current needs are and ask ourselves if our existing structures and habits are helpful in letting us meet our current needs or whether we need something different.

Here’s a short exercise that might help. To get started, below is a list of words associated with universal needs. This list is a helpful starting place to begin thinking about your own needs. Which ones are currently being met? Which ones need more attention? For example, I know someone who had groceries delivered during COVID, but she has continued because it was a way for her and her partner to both be involved in meal planning and preparation, meeting needs for connection and mutuality. If you are like me, this is probably not something you think about very consciously, but deliberate reflection offers a possibility of greater satisfaction or simply understanding why you currently feel as you do.


Connection: acceptance, affection, appreciation, belonging, cooperation, communication, closeness, community, companionship, compassion, consideration, consistency, empathy, inclusion, intimacy, love, mutuality, nurturing, respect/self-respect, safety, security, stability, support, to know and be known, to see and be seen, to understand and be understood, trust, warmth

Physical Well-Being, air, food, movement/exercise, rest/sleep, sexual expression, safety, shelter, touch, water

Honesty, authenticity, integrity, presence

Play, joy, humor

Autonomy, choice, freedom, independence, space, spontaneity

Meaning, awareness, celebration of life, challenge, clarity, competence, consciousness, contribution, creativity, discovery, efficacy, effectiveness, growth, hope, learning, mourning, participation, purpose, self-expression, stimulation, to matter, understanding


  1. As you look through this list, circle needs that are currently being met.

  2. Put a star next to the three most important needs you have that are NOT currently being met. If other needs come to mind that are not listed here, feel free to add them to the list.

  3. For needs that are not currently being met, what could you do to meet one or more of those needs? Brainstorm some ideas.

What we need changes over time—especially as circumstances change. As the acute phase of the pandemic lifts, it is important to identify our current needs and consciously create new structures and habits that support the new circumstances of our lives. If there were structures and habits developed during the pandemic that continue to serve you, keep them! When our needs are met, we feel more satisfied-- the invitation here is to be intentional.

If you enjoyed this blog and found it useful, please subscribe and share! If you are looking for support to help you take action to better meet your needs, please contact me for a coaching consult to see if coaching is right for you, Peg Hunt, Leadership and Life Coach,

© Anne E. Garing, PhD and Peg Hunt, MS

*List of Universal Needs: ©2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication, Website:

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