3 Tips for Coping With the ‘New Normal’ After COVID-19
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As we approach the tangible possibility of society resuming some normalcy after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s natural to have a wide array of emotions. For some, it is pure elation at the thought of doing even the smallest of things we once took for granted: going to a restaurant, shopping in a store or visiting a friend.
For others, this elation is mixed with fear and apprehension as to how the world will look when it reopens and the dangers that potentially still pose a threat to them and their loved ones. We’re living in unprecedented times and all of these emotions are to be expected as we whiplash through the first six months of 2020 experiencing normal life, quarantine life, and now the possibility of a “new normal.”
So, how will you deal with the “new normal?” I want to share some of my advice to help you navigate the upcoming challenges we will likely face as society reopens:
1. Be kind.
There’s a learning curve for all of us.
Remember that we are all dealing with this the best we can. Kindness and understanding for others will be imperative as the world reopens and we, as a community, navigate resetting and rebuilding.
Some people might be more eager than others to get out into the world. If you need more time in the safety of your home and need to take smaller steps to reintegrate while feeling safe, remember that this is fine. If you are ready to get out into the world and regain some of your “normal” routines as soon as the government allows, that is fine too.
Kindness can also look like looking out for your fellow humans and in today’s world, that means following the safety recommendations of the CDC. We need to be mindful as we reopen society to make sure we are doing it responsibly and safely. That starts with you.
2. Be patient.
Just because the “new normal” isn’t what we once knew, it doesn’t mean we won’t get back there one day.
It’s hard not to want our old way of life to resume immediately as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted. The reality of the situation is that progress will be slow. It may look different for months with social distancing guidelines changing the way we do business, limitations on large gatherings and events we once enjoyed, and masks staying the hottest fashion trend.
As hard as it is, try not to get frustrated or upset and instead, take joy in each reopened liberty as it comes and know that we are working our way back to what we once knew. By practicing patience and realistic expectations, you will save yourself grief and stress.
3. Be brave.
Reopening society is a stressful time, but you are strong and together we will get through it … one day at a time.
Going back out into a world that looks drastically different from the one we last knew in March can be terrifying. A lot of people are experiencing fear and anxiety about society reopening. Arm yourself with knowledge on how to stay safe and be brave in taking back your liberties as they become available and as you feel comfortable.
I encourage you to go at your own pace when resuming activities, but also to challenge yourself to get back to the things that are important to you and your journey to resume normalcy and your happiness. Remember, we all need to be brave in these times and build each other up.
I read an online comment the other day that said something along the lines of: “why do we have to tell people how to act these days?” I don’t need to tell you how to act or behave; you get to chose that on your own. I’m here to let you know that any feeling going on in your head or heart is OK, and you’re not alone. Do what is best for you and your family, and try not to compare that to someone else’s “normal” (either pre- or post-virus).
For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:
- 40 Things to Do While You’re Stuck at Home Because of COVID-19
- 10 COVID-19 Emotions You’re Not the Only One Having
- An Activist-Therapist’s 15 Affirmations for Hope Amidst COVID-19
- Please Wash Your Hands Year-Round — Not ‘Just’ Because of the Coronavirus
- Creative Activities to Try With Your Kids While We’re Isolated at Home
- The Problem With Saying ‘Only’ the Elderly and Immunocompromised Will Be Affected by COVID-19
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash