1.Allow Yourself to Grieve the ‘New Normal’
It is very human to miss the old ways, and as with any change (at the best of times!) it’s easy to feel a sense of loss.
Throw in a pandemic, along with changes to routines and plans for the weeks and months ahead in 2020, and it’s more important than ever to acknowledge the challenges and difficulties that we face in light of COVID-19.
Yes, there will be denial, anger, maybe even depression and acceptance, as we pivot and adjust to our new normal (whatever form it may take). But it’s important to give yourself time to grieve what you have lost.
Once you’ve allowed yourself to grieve, there will be more space to start embracing your New Normal.
2. CREATE A NEW ROUTINE
Having a routine can help create some sense of normalcy during time of chaos, so get creative so that you can continue in some way:
• No longer able to go to the gym? Go online with home-based programs that can be done with little or no equipment.
• Missing your ritual of a morning coffee to kick off a work day? Make your own at home (latte art optional) and be sure to enjoy it mindfully before checking your emails.
• Unable to have regular brunch catch ups at your local with friends? Order takeaway and connect via Zoom.
Above all, be flexible when it comes to finding your new routine…let’s remember that these are challenging times!
3. JOURNAL YOUR EXPERIENCE
Writing about your experience – be it your thoughts, feelings, what you’ve done, anything! – can be quite therapeutic and a great chronicle to look back on long after COVID-19 has passed.
Whilst a default during these times may be to focus on the coronavirus chaos, don’t forget to record things that makes you feel better by taking a gratitude approach.
4. CREATE A SPACE INSIDE YOUR SPACE
With much of your life now happening between four walls, having a designated space at home to work or study (or to journal!) can help maintain boundaries between work and play.
Take it one step further and dress to get into the right frame of mind…it can be challenging to whip up the motivation to meet a deadline when you’re in your pyjamas the entire day.
5. STAY CONNECTED IN NEW WAYS
Social distancing does not mean social disconnecting (even if it feels easier to hibernate until this is all over). In the new normal you can still connect with family and friends – just in different ways!
It does take a bit of creativity though, when we can’t do a lot of the things that we previously did, so if you’re looking for ways to make social connections happen in your New Normal we’ve got a great article here on how to stay connected in time of pandemic both online and offline.
6. CREATE AND FIND POCKETS OF JOY
The new normal can be challenging at times, so celebrate anything that puts a smile on your face, large or small. Made a nice cup of tea this morning? Great! Walked your dog today? Awesome! Saw a funny meme on social media? Go ahead and chuckle!
We don’t always need “major” events to happen to make us feel happy (for example, winning the lottery). Smaller moments of joy all add up
7. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
You can take things one moment at a time! We may not know what the next minute, or even the next hour, will bring.
Set yourself a realistic goal and allow yourself to adjust it when you need to. Remind yourself that we’re currently living in extraordinary times, so give yourself some grace during moments like these:
• With everyone at home now it may be more difficult to keep the house tidy, so adjusting expectations about housekeeping may be more helpful rather than stressing out about having to clean every minute.
• Between working from home, homeschooling the kids, and doing continuous food preparation throughout the day, there may be days when you have no energy left to cook dinner. So consider ordering takeaway (and support your local café or restaurant!) or reheating some frozen food. Now is the time to be human and to ask for help.
8. STAY INFORMED BUT NOT ALARMED
As we adjust to our New Normal, it’s helpful to keep an eye on the news due to the changing COVID-19 landscape and the ongoing updates regarding what you are and aren’t allowed to do.
However, tuning in to every single development can easily become overwhelming. To stay informed but not alarmed, try the following:
• Get your information from reputable sources rather than from opinions on social media where people are venting and voicing their concerns (which can then increase your own distress).
• Place greater emphasis on developments locally rather than globally when estimating your risk of contracting COVID-19. This helps you to be appropriately concerned rather than get caught up in anxiety.
Last but not least be gentle and be kind to yourself. Give yourself the space and time to grieve, to celebrate, and to feel every emotion in between, during this challenging time. We are living in a situation that never happened before (at least in our lifetime), and it is impacting each and every one of us in a unique way.
And if you find it difficult to adjust to your New Normal, it’s never too early or too late to reach out for support. It’s Time to 2 Talk is now taking face to face bookings.