How to Adapt to the “New Normal”

How to Adapt to the “New Normal”

Times have changed with the current global pandemic Covid-19. The way work and move around is different. From social distancing to wearing masks and by the look of things it is going to be like this for a while. Instead of wondering about what to do, we need to adapt to the “new normal.”

Many of us have suddenly been forced to adjust to a ‘new normal’, parents home-schooling their children, families or roommates suddenly isolating in cramped quarters, donning a mask when leaving the house, and wiping down groceries after a stress-filled visit to the store.

We have to look at this by putting in perspective that to win the war against COVID-19 we need to make sacrifices and develop a coping mind-set. It’s a lot to take in at the moment but Psychologist Dr. Robert Leahy lays out a few things you can do to stay sane.

Give yourself a break

One of the most important things you can do is accept that a new reality should come with a different level of expectations. For example, you’re not going to perfectly juggle remote work with home schooling and child care. Lower your standards so much that if you fall down, it’s a step up.

Be kind and practice acceptance

For those frustrated by the new limitations on everyday life during quarantine and the ‘new normal’, Dr. Leahy also suggests resetting expectations and identifying what you can do rather than focusing on what you can’t.

When hunkered down in close quarters with a lot of stress a “protocol of politeness,” is recommended, particularly when it comes to your partner or significant other. This is not the time to air every frustration. “Treat your partner like a total stranger you want to please. Try to be thoughtful, polite, compassionate, and rewarding. A compliment and a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.”

View life as a narrative

Looking at life as a series of chapters in a book can provide a sense of control and agency in what can feel like a helpless situation. If you look at life as a series of chapters, this chapter is objectively a hard one. But we can adjust our expectations and write a story about how we cope with this chapter to make it as good as it can be.

Chapters also have an end, which can help you from feeling engulfed in the moment. This isn’t the chapter we’ll always be in, and not all chapters have to be wonderful.

Most importantly stay safe, stay home.

Faith Panashe Zvorufura
faithpanashezvorufura@gmail.com
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