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Adjusting to the New Normal

Post date: 
15 September 2020
Health & Wellbeing

“If there's one thing that's certain in business, it's uncertainty.” Stephen Covey

The quote above from Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was referring to business and the constant of uncertainty.  With COVID-19 we are now facing and dealing with uncertainty in almost every facet of our lives: work, home, family, friendships, travel, leisure, planning for the future, national and international dynamics and everything is now needing to be viewed through the COVID-19 lens.  How we view the past, the present, and the future are now also changed, perhaps forever.  To adjust to the new normal, we will have to consider several different things and prepare our thoughts and responses.  It is also important to remember that everyone is going through this process, you are not alone; share your thoughts and insights as they will be of great value to your family, friends, and colleagues.  

Mourning the ‘Old Normal’

We can do nothing about the past, but it will reflect the ‘old normal’ that we are no longer experiencing.  We may miss the routine and certainty that we enjoyed, and we may even experience the different stages of grieving as a result of the profound changes COVID-19 has caused to the way we live our lives.  It is always healthy to acknowledge your feelings and to deal with the loss. Having done so, you will be better prepared to deal with the ‘new normal’ as it evolves. 

Consider your mindset and how it impacts your response

There are so many possibilities and consequences to the current situation that we may feel overwhelmed by these thoughts at times.  Our mindset throughout the transition to a new normal must be clear and grounded in new routines and new ways of thinking.  One way to deal with the uncertainty of what we are facing is to focus on the things that we have direct influence over and consider those things within your direct control or influence.  Much of what we think about, we cannot directly influence and as such, these thoughts can be a burden with no way of resolving them.  Consciously removing them from your thoughts and focusing on the things you have influence can be a great help.  

Another element in your mindset to focus on is that while the new normal is a challenge, it is an opportunity as well.  One of the things we have stressed is that we should be kind to ourselves and each other.  We have also, for a variety of reasons, engaged with our immediate community perhaps more so than ever.  Whether it is looking out for the more vulnerable in our community, or maintaining more regular contact with friends and family, we are more engaged with each other.  This has been of great benefit, and there should be every reason to maintain this connection as we continue to move through the pandemic.  Social connectedness is one of our fundamental needs.  Other opportunities will become more apparent, so we should look out for and act on those as well.

Check out the resource – Mindset During the Pandemic for more tips on how to shift your mindset.

Develop and maintain a new routine

It has become apparent that the current requirements around social distancing, travel restrictions and so on will be in place for some time to come.  This means that we are experiencing ‘a new normal’ and have this framework with which to set the parameters for our lives.  With change comes the need for new routines, which provide us with an anchor and structure to our day.  Of course, the time will come when we will have to adjust again as restrictions are eased. 

As time moves on, we should evaluate our routines and make changes as we go.  They will evolve of their own accord and this is healthy and to be expected. 

Continue to be gentle with yourself and others

Give yourself time and space to focus on yourself and your nearest family and friends.  There is still a way to go and some things that were easy or required little effort pre-COVID may be more difficult and draining.  Think back to when you were learning to drive, everything required a systematic thought and constant repetition before it became second nature.  This is how we are with many things now, and it may be tiring and draining for some people.  Apply the same care and attention to those around you.

Share your experience and learn from others

As mentioned earlier we are going through this together, and we are learning as we go.  While it has meant physical disconnection, we have in other ways connected more with our colleagues, community friends and family.  While there are still adjustments to be made, there will be new opportunities and new ways of doing things that may result in significant improvements to the old ways.  We may miss the ‘old normal’ but with change brings opportunity.   

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