It’s staggering to think about: Not only are we marking the one-year pandemic anniversary this month, but we’re simultaneously witnessing the world-wide rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine—our first shot (pun intended) at a return to normalcy since the outbreak began. But that’s the tricky part: Is it too soon to fantasize about post-pandemic life? One person we polled says yes. “I can’t even indulge the dreams right now,” she replied. But Tess Brigham, psychotherapist and certified life coach, says optimism (with a bit of realism mixed in) is critical in times like these. “You don’t want to live in ‘fantasyland’ all the time, but it’s healthy to think about the future in a positive and uplifting way,” she explains. “If you constantly worry and fret about what will go wrong, your present life will only feel hopeless.”
But for those who are fantasizing about a brighter tomorrow, what do your fantasies say about you? “Everyone is having a different pandemic experience so what each person is craving is based on what they are lacking during this time,” adds Brigham. “Fantasizing and visualizing right now when you’re still struggling not only helps you feel more hopeful; it also helps you get really clear on what makes you happy and what you need more (and less) of in your life.”
Here, five of the most common (and relatable) post-pandemic fantasies—submitted by friends, colleagues and strangers—and what they mean.