We are all wondering what our new normal will look like as the world is slowly starting to open back up. We know day-to-day activities will not be conducted the same way they once were. In the last few months, we have been navigating life changes that have been unexpected for all of us. In the upcoming months, we will continue to maneuver and figure out a new way of life. Change, in general, is hard. The seemingly sudden shifts our lives keep adapting too on a global scale can bring along unexpected emotions.
It is okay to have feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress. It is okay to feel gratitude, happiness, and joy. It is okay for your emotions to shift day today. Give yourself grace. It is hard to adjust to the new normal when so much is out of our control. Now more than ever, it is important to take care of what we can control, which is ourselves.
Self-care is essential now more than ever. Through all of this, here are a few important things to remember.
The process of adjusting looks different for everyone.
The method of adjustment is not linear. Give yourself self-compassion throughout this time and give it to others. Of course, we want to be there to provide support to our friends and families. It is natural to want to empathize with their feelings, but make sure you tell them what you want and need too. We are all in this together, but it is important not to compare. Comparison can lead to frustration and other unnecessary stressors. It is okay to set boundaries.
Set a routine.
You don’t have to have every day planned down to a T. But, even setting a simple morning routine can help ease stress and create comfort. Possibly start by creating a morning routine. One of the best ways to start your day is through the practice of mindfulness. We recommend carving out time for yourself by waking up a few minutes earlier. Meditate for five minutes, journal your feelings, consciously think of three things you are grateful for in your life, do yoga/stretch, or say a mantra that will put you in a positive headspace such as “something great is going to happen today.” These actions will set the tone for your day and help you feel a sense of calmness. Implementing one of these practices into your morning routine will be beneficial for your mind and body.
Eat well, hydrate, and sleep.
These three magical things improve your overall health and boost your immune system, which is one of the essential things to do right now. Eat a well-balanced diet. A general rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Adequate sleep is crucial for overall health. Poor quality of sleep can take a toll on all aspects of your health and weaken your immunity. If possible, implement a regular sleep schedule and aim for 8 hours of sleep a night.
Check-in with yourself.
Take a moment to pause, breathe in, breathe out, and become mindfully aware of the present. Ask yourself the following questions:
How am I doing?
What is going well?
What is my most significant stressor today?
What do I need?
This gives you a moment to assess the day. Implement this practice every day and become more in-tune with yourself. Possibly practice this self-care routine with your significant other, roommate, children, parents, etc. If comfortable, share your answers. This allows for open communication and awareness of others.
Stay informed but not alarmed.
As we adjust to the “new normal,” it is natural to want to stay up to date on the latest news developments. However, it can be overwhelming. Remember to receive your news from reputable sources. Another tip is to focus on the news in your local area/state rather than global news. If you have noticed or begin to feel the news is making your anxiety spin out of control, possibly set time frames to check the news for yourself. Or, only check the news for a certain amount of time a day (i.e., 30 minutes), instead of continuously throughout the day/night.
Find pockets of joy.
The new normal will be challenging at times, so find a way to celebrate any tiny victory! We don’t always need a significant event or holiday to celebrate. Finished a workout today? Great! Your boss gave you positive feedback? Yay! Did you make a delicious breakfast? Awesome! Finding little joys throughout your day will bring you plenty more smiles and laughs. Live everyday likes it’s your birthday!
Last but not least, always remember to ask for help if you need it.
Focus on being in tune your mind, body and spirit. Be gentle and kind to yourself and others!