Normalizing a New “Normal”

by Amalia C. Pryor, LCSW

Gosh, it’s been about 6 months since Covid-19 has been part of our daily routine and way of life in general. Time is blowing by extremely fast. If you are reading this, I want to say that I am extremely proud of you. This has been a mentally taxing journey for many reasons that are relevant to our own personal lives and it has taken a lot of courage, strength and resiliency to adapt and assimilate into a new state of our world. 

I wanted to focus on this topic because through much conversation with my clients and people I encounter in life, everyone has the same sentiment of, “I can’t believe how fast time has gone this year.” This is because we tapped into what it means to go into survival mode and chose to swim instead of sink. When we get hard on ourselves we focus on what we haven’t accomplished instead of what we have accomplished. Sometimes it’s part of the human condition to really be self critical and be self deprecating. I want to highlight this because the idea of “normalizing our new normal” is an accomplishment within itself. If you are still standing, waking up daily and taking care of yourself; your family and responsibilities, you have completed a profound accomplishment. The ability to adapt and be malleable is an important skill because life is always evolving and changing. As a matter of fact, we are going to have to adapt back to the way of life prior to this pandemic. Yes, there will be some modifications with safety, but generally, there will be a time when we are back in the office and using transportation systems again etc, and this, too, will be another re-normalizing experience. 

  I do want to highlight a few points to normalize during the current state of the pandemic to prevent negative self talk.

    • Weight gain and or general fluctuations of your weight: Stress (and underlying stress) can cause us to eat more or less, also- we are having to modify how we get exercise as well. 
    • Falling out of our regular routines: Let’s validate the fact that it’s difficult to maintain a routine if we are no longer commuting, having to work from home (or lost a job), day care is closed or gyms etc or general familiar structure as we knew it.
  • Waves of  anxiety, sadness, or mood fluctuations: I know this is difficult to adjust to, but it’s important to let our bodies feel. It’s important not to bottle our feelings. Healthy coping during anxious / sad feelings is to know that they are temporary and will pass. Remember we are under extreme circumstances and it’s totally valid and OK to experience sadness- it does not mean something is fundamentally wrong with you. Also, it’s important for us to reflect on our feelings and look deeper into the “why” of our emotions and explore it instead of avoiding or denying . 

Remember to practice kindness to yourself and positive self talk,  we as a society are experiencing a once in a lifetime world pandemic experience together. Each person responds differently. If you are looking to speak to a therapist regarding having a difficult time during quarantine. Please feel free to contact us.

 

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