Navigating a New Normal (part 2)
Has your regular routine been turned upside down? Here's how to build a life you love and thrive instead of fall apart.
Last week I wrote a blog post about navigating seasons of transition. I wrote that before the COVID-19 crisis hit us all.
This week I continue that series with how to navigate the new normal we all are facing as a result this pandemic. May it bless you and give you hope. I will focus on the importance of our mindset in the coming weeks.
As of today, Thursday March 19, we have been in the COVID-19 pandemic for only 8 days.
8 days of uncertainty
8 days of constant change
8 days of facing a complete and utter disruption to life as we knew it.
And, as of today, there is currently no set timeline as to when everything will return to “normal”.
How are you doing with all that?
If you are like the rest of us, things are a little shaky with the main questions being:
How will I navigate…
working and taking care of the kids who aren’t in school and can’t go to daycare?
working from home?
paying my bills?
taking care of my physical and mental health?
managing care for my loved ones who may be far away?
How do we learn to navigate this new normal so that we thrive instead of all apart under the weight of the unknown?
Here are seven strategies to consider:
1. Plan time to process. Expressing all you are experiencing either verbally or written can help calm the noise and settle the swirling hurricane of thoughts, what-if scenarios, and emotions in your head. Plan some alone time (get up earlier, use the TV as a sitter, swap time with your spouse, etc) to sift through all the emotions and thoughts you have in your head.
If you are a verbal processor, talk out all you are facing. If you need someone, I am offering FREE 30 minute coaching sessions to help with this, no strings attached. Register HERE.
If you are an inward processor, be sure to have a journal or notebook to begin writing out what you think and feel about all you are facing. Be honest and transparent. It will help.
2. Process with intention. What do you hope to accomplish in your processing? Determining that at the beginning will help you look with intention into that swirling hurricane and sift it with purpose. Do you need to come up with a plan for homeschooling? working from home? balancing both? Each has different perspectives and responsibilities attached. Sifting your emotions and thoughts for each one specifically helps to narrow down what exactly to pay attention to.
3. Secure your base necessities daily. Start with your personal mental health. If you fall apart, everything else does too. Yes, you are that valuable. Then move into your relationships, your children's education, your home and your work. This is a time for essentials, not extras. What can you do today to create calm and forward movement?
4. Let go of your usual personal expectations. We are facing a time of huge unknowns world wide. It's OK to let go of the usual protocols in favor of focusing on what's most important.
5. Determine what is most important each day. Some days will require focus for work, some will require focus on family, and some will require both. Each day will present itself differently. Focusing your energy on determining what is necessary that day and then prioritizing according to what is most important will help you make it through.
6. Take care of your mental health. Now more than ever the state of our minds matters. How we think will be the difference between thriving in this season and barely surviving. Focusing our thought energy away from fear of the unknown and the what-if cyclone is key. Instead, focus on the daily blessings you do have, what you can be thankful for, and how this season can bring about positive change for you, your family, your work and your community.
7. Focus outward. We can easily get caught up in what is going on with us. Taking time out from washt we face not only frees us from the chaos within, but actually gives us an opportunity to see things from someone else's perspective, which often sheds a new light on our own circumstances.
Taking this season day by day, focusing on what matters most and letting go of typical expectations, can do wonders for our mental health and well being which, in turn, helps us to create daily experiences that calm the hurricane of unknowns we are facing.
Take in the blessings.
If you are struggling to make sense of this pandemic, please reach out. Reply to this email. Call a friend. Seek prayer from your pastor or small group. You are not alone.