Creating a New “Normal”
By: Dr. Gomez, Psy.D.
Creating a New “Normal”
Life as we know it has been changed overnight, and it continues to change moment to moment. The feeling of losing control is petrifying. Our routines, to include the things we most love doing, have been removed without option and we have been told to stay home.
Adaptability and flexibility are key elements to help us manage this extraordinarily difficult time. Fear feeds anxiety, and we are simply in survival mode as we struggle to accept these unwanted changes. In the middle of the chaos it is difficult to find things to be grateful for, but maybe we just have to look a little harder. Keep in mind that we all have the ability draw from within and find the resilience and strength we need to adapt to our current situation. Nothing lasts forever, and this too is temporary. Days, weeks or months, we don’t know. But it is temporary. Naturally, our mind wants to know how much longer this will take and what to expect next. However, if we don’t let our mind take over, and we learn to accept what is, as opposed to what we wish it was, we can reach a level of inner peace where we are present for each moment.
Things you can do during while practicing “social distancing:”
- · I encourage you to disconnect from news media. The constant feeding of the current situation can increase anxiety, worry, and fear.
- · Maintain a routine and structure while working from home. Creating a new structure that fits your current situation.
- · Connect with family and friends using virtual communication, do not isolate.
- · Find time to meditate. I recommend the app Headspace. Practice for at least 10 minutes every day. Incorporate this to your new routine as a family activity.
- · If possible, go for a walk in your neighborhood.
- · If you find yourself among people whose energy increases your fear and anxiety, it is okay to take a break from them. Protect your energy!
- · It is okay to take a break from talking about Corona virus.
As a society we are always on the go. We often expressed dissatisfaction for not being able to have time to do the things we need to do at home and now is your chance. Self-care ideas:
- · Read your favorite book
- · Listen to your favorite music
- · Practice physical activity, keeping your body moving is key during difficult times. Utilize virtual resources: videos, YouTube, apps., etc.
- · Practice mindfulness and be present in each and every moment of your day.
- · Practice breathing techniques, if you are not sure how to do this, some mediation apps can be helpful in guiding you through the process.
- · Enjoy the moments you are able to spend with family.
- · Find something to be grateful for. There is always something to be thankful for.
Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others. We will come out of this stronger and more resilient than before!
Written By: Dr. Cristina Gómez, Psy.D.