News of a second wave is probably not what you wanted to hear right now – especially after months of lockdown. But take heart, there’s a silver lining.

The first wave took many of us by surprise, but a potential second wave is predictable. That means that you’ll:

  • have time to reflect on what you learned this past spring (no panic shopping this time!) and
  • be able to weather the second wave more easily.

What’s more, planning ahead makes it easier to adapt to changes, like the potential re-closure of schools, so you already have a plan in place.

Consider these tips ahead of time in order to ease your transition later.

1. Upgrade your stay-at-home workspace

If your workspace shifted from an office to a living room , chances are you went through an adjustment period. If you haven’t already, set up a dedicated workspace for longer-term remote work. That way, it’s easier to leave the “office” at the end of the day.

Make sure you’ve got the essentials like:

  • an office chair that allows you to sit comfortably all day and
  • secure, virtual access to the apps and programs you need.

Then, spruce it up with some decor — a houseplant, a fun desk calendar, some pleasing wall art — to make it feel cozy.

2. Book appointments sooner rather than later

Experts don’t yet know how Canada will respond to a second wave, so getting appointments out of the way now can save you stress later.

Make sure your family’s booked for essential medical care, like doctor’s check-ups, dental cleaning, vaccinations and prescription refills.

Take advantage of Canada’s relatively open economy to treat yourself, too. Visit your stylist for a low-maintenance hairstyle that’s designed to last. And book in massages or personal trainer sessions to ease your anxiety between waves.

3. Plan, prepare and eat healthy food

The first wave of COVID-19 required some adjustments, as panic buying made it more difficult to shop for staples. Make the second wave easier by stocking up on (but not hoarding or over-buying) pantry essentials now, to avoid any shortages.

Figure out how you’d prefer to get groceries during a lockdown, too. Sign up for grocery delivery, or plan for weekly or biweekly grocery runs to minimise your time in-store. Reach out to older loved ones, too, to help them come up with a plan to get essentials.

Have you found yourself ordering in more often than you’d like? Then try using this time to plan your meals in advance. Big-batch meals like soups, stews and chili all store well. Plus, you can freeze single- or family-size portions for homemade “instant” meals during the second wave.

4. Find creative things to do for the second wave

We don’t yet know how lockdown will look during the second wave. But chances are you’ll still be spending a lot of time at home. Pick a lockdown project to stay productive, and pick up the supplies you need to carry it out. Shop for paint now, for example, if you plan to brighten up your kitchen with a new colour. Or, as another example, you can stock up on organizing supplies to help you declutter your home.

Of course, home DIYs aren’t your only options during quarantine. Try picking up a sketchbook and some watercolours to try your hand at painting. Or, shop for cookbooks to explore new cuisines while you isolate.

Look for social projects and activities that can help you stay in touch with your friends, too. Signing up for virtual classes together, joining a virtual book club or organizing Netflix Party “dates” helps you stay in touch from home.

5. Make the most of your employee benefits

The first wave of COVID-19 shaped the way we work, and employers want to support their workforce through this difficult time. So talk to your employer about the potential for flexibility in your work arrangements during lockdown.

For example, what happens if schools close again and you’re trying to work at home while taking care of your kids? It helps if your employer understands your particular situation and offers flexible working hours to help you more easily balance your work and home lives.

Look into other employee benefits that can support your well-being during lockdown, as well. Do your benefits include an Employee Assistance Program? This can give you access to mental health-care services, like e-therapy or virtual counselling, to help ease your anxiety during quarantine.

Plus, financial health benefits, like access to an advisor, can help you manage your money and stick to your financial goals throughout the pandemic.

Remember: while the prospect of a second wave may feel scary, you’ve weathered the first wave already. With advance preparation, you help your family adapt to the second wave and set yourself up to live brighter once the pandemic subsides.