It has been months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with varying challenges and adjustments with social distancing and at home quarantine. Now many cities, states, and countries are reopening and we are now faced with the question of How are you adjusting and feeling about returning to the “new norm”?
Some are excited about it and can’t wait to return to normalcy with their favorite shops, restaurants, attractions, and activities reopening and there are others that are anxious about it and not sure how to manage those feelings.
Let’s talk about 5 tips on how to manage those feelings and adjusting to this drastic change with the “new norm”.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you are allowed to feel whatever you feel about this adjustment and situation. It’s a difficult and challenging situation that no one was prepared for.
So have compassion for yourself and how you feel. There may be mixed emotions on this topic with wanting to be able to do more and also having reservations due to anxiety and fear or even the inconvenience of it all. Which all of these feelings are valid and normal for a very “abnormal” situation. Whatever you may be feeling, validate your own feelings and have compassion for yourself during these difficult and challenging times.
Second, some are ready for these changes and even if we are not, we can show compassion for them also. Everyone grieves and adjusts in their own ways and we don’t have to agree with it, but we can respect it and have compassion for others desire to return to “normal”.
Third, with others being ready to return to “normal”, if you are not quite there it’s okay to maintain your boundaries regarding how you feel about the situation. If you are not comfortable going out yet, being close with others, not wearing masks, or any other adjustments you may have, that is completely fine and you are allowed to make safe boundaries for yourself. Whatever your boundaries are, you should be able to maintain them and ask for others to respect them during this adjustment.
Fourth, we may be experiencing anxiety with returning to “normal activities” and this absolutely normal. In some cases, we may have to adjust sooner than later, for example grocery shopping, school, work, etc. In order to manage some of this anxiety with adjusting to the “new norm” sooner than we are comfortable with, we look at balancing the possibilities versus probability. Challenging the “what if” thoughts with what we can control. With following the safety guidelines from the CDC, we can decrease that probability and decrease some of the anxiety we may have about going out. Reinforcing positive thoughts about what we can control with safe distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, and any other safety precautions we can implement.
Fifth and lastly, talk about what you may be experiencing with your support. Talk about your feelings with your friends, family, loved ones, co-workers, employer, health professionals, or anyone else you feel would be helpful to support you with what you are experiencing with these adjustments. This is an unprecedented time that is difficult for everyone and you don’t have to and shouldn’t face this alone. Have a conversation about the way you are feeling with your trusted support to help manage the anxiety and many feelings we may be experiencing with this adjustment.
For more helpful tips on coping with Anxiety related to COVID-19, read our previous article “Coping With Anxiety Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)”.
Remember we are all in this together!