A common topic that has come up in therapy sessions lately is how to find or create a new normal during and after this time with COVID-19. For almost everyone, our lives have been uprooted and changed in one way or another over the past few months. Even when things start turning back to “normal,” it will still look different for many. Many people have questions about what the new normal will look like such as,”How can I get my life to feel like it was before all of this started?” There is no direct answer to any questions. Instead we should be asking ourselves how we can continue to live our life in our new reality.
Accept our new reality
First thing we need to do is accept our new reality. We do not really know what everyday life will look like in a month, or even in a couple of months from now. We might all be back at work in the office, store, or restaurant, or we might not be. This is a hard reality to swallow, but we need to try our best to think one or two weeks at a time. Instead of thinking about what you are going to be doing a month or two from now, think about what you are going to be doing this week or next week. We can plan out our self-care and our days a week at a time. This can help lower your overall worry about the future. It can help you stay grounded and present in the here and now.
Plan out your day
One thing you can do is to try to plan out your day, by the hour, with activities, work, education, and self-care. Something I have started doing is using a daily planner that allows the space for me to plan out my day by hour. I start by putting in any appointments or work I might have, then I put in family time and self-care activities. Create your new “normal” by planning your days out a week at a time. Keep the plan simple, where you don’t have to stress over filling your day up with something every 30 minutes. Just use it as a guide to help keep your day busy and full of life-giving activities. You can create your new and improved “normal”.
Starting something new
This is also a great time to start something new. I have a few clients who have decided that it’s time to start a new hobby that they can do at home. Other clients who have started to work out more by going on walks, running, and doing weights at home. I even know some people who have decided this is a good time to start learning a new language! It does not matter what you do but taking this time to start or learn something new can help you create a new normal for your daily life.
If you are reading this post and realize that you are having a hard time accepting the new normal in your life, then it is a great time to reach out for help. Another therapist or I at Optimum Joy would love to meet with you to help you accept this new normal, and help you create your own new normal for your life.
Written by therapist Alex Parlette
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