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What can we do in the "New Normal"? ... by Jungqiu Shao

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Over the past few months, we have experienced an unprecedented shift in our way of life due to COVID-19. We call it the "new normal". What does this "new normal" look like? The way we live is different; the way we work or study has changed; the way we socialize and connect looks very different. Wearing a mask is like a tag attached to our daily life. Grocery shopping seems like an adventure of its own. We tend to have more vacations in our own backyards. We get nervous when we hear someone cough and sneeze. Online study and work have been accepted as the new normal. How would we cope with new normal? There are various tips or guidelines. Here are three mindsets we could take as an essential way to cope with new normal.

Accept the "new normal"

As human beings we acknowledge the challenges and difficulties that we face in light of Covid-19. It is important for us to give ourselves time to grieve what we have lost. Once we allowed ourselves to grieve, there will be more space to start embracing our new normal.

We must accept our situation and the new normal as a whole, however long it might take. It is like in some areas of this world where for more than 6 months, the temperature is below 20 degrees Celsius outside. The people who live there have to accept that. It wouldn’t make sense to say that it should not be this way. Accepting the situation is recognizing reality and putting on a warm coat is normal. Accept new normal as it is, and cope as necessary. Usually resilient people re-evaluate their expectations and then focus on new routines. They do not spend too much time complaining.

Create a new routine

Having a routine can help create some sense of normalcy during the time of chaos. Remember to be creative and flexible when it comes to finding your new routine because we are in challenging times. Challenging times can challenge our being but can make us stronger.

We must set boundaries between work and play. With much of our life now happening at home, having a designated space for work or study will be helpful to managing the boundary between work and play. Further more, dressing up instead of being in pajamas will facilitate us more in a working mode.

Social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnecting. We can still connect with family and friends – just in different ways. Zoom meetings would help us.

Celebrate anything that could cheer us up. Walk your dog today! Make a cup of coffee in the morning! We don’t always need a ‘big’ event to make us feel happy as small moments of joy all count. We need every moment of joy to help us through this challenging times.

Adjusting expectations and asking for help should come natural to us. Reminder ourselves that we are in the challenging time so that we lower our expectations. For example, keeping our house tidy with everyone at home will be difficult so we should give ourselves some leeway. Continuing to work from home, taking care our kids and preparing the food will drain energy so we could order takeaways to give ourselves a break and yet support our local food & beverage industry.

View life as a narrative

Looking life as a series of chapters in a book, can provide a sense of control when we feel like we are in a helpless situation. If we look at life as a series of chapters, this new normal is obviously a hard chapter. However, we can adjust our expectations and write a story about how we coped with this chapter to make it as good as it can be.

Not all chapters have to be wonderful, but we won’t be in the same chapter always. Every chapter has an end, which will give us hope of expecting the future. We might also have an impact on how it might end, so we need to be positive. What we write in this chapter is up to us. We can put positive thoughts, cheer on the front line heroes, and reflect on our values.

Be it planned or unplanned, gradual or sudden, change is inevitable and very much part of being human. Now that we are facing the new normal as Covid-19, sooner or later, there will be another new normal replacing the current one. How could we cope with this endless steam of new normal? The only way out is that no matter how the the external environment changes, we keep our inner peace.

May peace be with you, if you find it difficult to adjust to your new normal, feel free to reach us for support. We are available to help you navigate through this pandemic, crisises and challenges.

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