Millions of people are facing a lot of lifestyle changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and consequential social distancing. To add insult to injury, it’s frustrating we cannot see an end. Our lives have been seemingly upended by something mostly out of our control. However, here are four tips to help you create a new normal during this uncertain period.
Grieve the “old” normal
Everyone grieves and reacts to change differently, so it may take some self-exploration to find out what will work best for you. It’s essential to allow yourself to be open about the difficulties you may be experiencing in the wake of the pandemic. Your friends and family are likely feeling similar things. It can be incredibly cathartic to release some of these feelings of frustration in a journal or over a friendly facetime. It’s okay to be sad about the little things you may have taken for granted. Be wary of how much time you spend on social media platforms. They are often rife with misinformation and can be a negative way to get all your news or “social interaction.” Try setting a daily limit on how much time you spend consuming information and opinions about the outbreak. Make sure you work in a daily dose of Good News.
Take advantage of virtual services
Social distancing precautions have made in-person appointments more difficult. Thanks to practice management software, many healthcare services are available online via telehealth. The benefits of therapy for your overall mental health and wellness during the ongoing pandemic are countless. Many people believe the misconception that you need a diagnosed mental health disorder or traumatic experience to benefit from therapy. In reality, therapy can help anyone be the happiest and most productive version of themselves in any situation. It all boils down to an individual journey of self-discovery and self-improvement techniques.
Thanks to technology, there is no shortage of free, virtual experiences available to shake things up when they start to feel mundane. Many different universities are offering discounts on continuing education courses in all fields. Influencers are offering services ranging from live virtual workouts to cooking classes. You can even take free virtual tours of national parks and museums. And if you’re missing the bar scene, some virtual quizzes bring trivia night right to your home.
Create a routine & try something new
This is where success may take a bit of trial and error. If you can work from home, try and separate your relaxation space from your work area. Keeping a healthy work-life balance can be incredibly difficult when it all takes solace in the same location. Set timers or create visual signals to help your family recognize when you need space. Depending on where you live, getting some fresh air outside the house can help break up the day. Yoga, a home workout routine in the park, or even just a walk around the block will help clear your mind and stimulate creativity.
Furthermore, spending more time at home means you have even more time to start that hobby you have always wanted to try. It could be knitting, baking, drawing, or blogging. Just try something that makes you happy.
Sometimes we get wrapped up in meeting others’ needs, from employers to family members, that we forget to take care of ourselves. Especially now, designating time to pamper yourself is so valuable. It becomes increasingly difficult to give back to others when you try to pour from an empty cup, so don’t think of self-care as selfish. Order your favorite foods to have a DIY spay day, virtual game night, or a Netflix watch party. Good self-care habits will continue to help you maintain balance even after quarantine.
Keep in mind that it’s a sign of strength to know when to ask for help if you are genuinely feeling overwhelmed. There is no right way to manage this adjustment period. It’s okay to cut yourself and those around you some extra slack. Taking things one day at a time and focusing on the things you have control over will go a long way.
About the author:
Naomi Shaw is a freelance journalist residing in sunny Southern California with her husband and three children. She is a work-at-home mom that enjoys writing on fashion, beauty, jewelry, and everything weddings!