How to cope with a new normal post quarantine
Processing a New Normal
With states and cities beginning to reopen across the country, many of us face the realities of our “new normal”. Our old routines feel long gone, and the new ones aren’t yet quite developed. One thing that is certain is the toll quarantine and social distancing has taken on mental health around the world. We’ve gathered some expert advice to help us all navigate the new normal moving forward.
Take Care Of Yourself
Make sure you’re taking steps to take care of yourself beyond wearing masks and sanitizing. It’s imperative that in adjusting to this new normal, we intake our personal needs. Getting rest and exercise are great ways to listen to our bodies and recoup when necessary. Taking care of yourself may also look like setting boundaries with family, friends, and even professors. If you sense yourself getting overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to be clear about what you may need in that time.
Spend Time With Friends and Family
Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean we distance ourselves completely. Keeping in touch with loved ones is one of the best ways to process the new normal. Stay in touch over the phone, Zoom, or safely distanced in a park if your local guidelines allow. Seeing familiar facing and hearing familiar voices will help process and normalize our new circumstances. Talking about our stress can help you feel less alone during the change.
Take It Slow
It’s easy to want to jump right back into our old routines, but adjusting can take a while. Taking it one thing at a time is a great approach to easing into our new normal. It’s important to be gentle with ourselves, allowing ourselves breaks and a slower pace than we may have had before.
There’s a lot of talk about limiting our physical exposure to one another, but limiting our information exposure is important as well. With hundreds of thousands of articles and news outlets giving 24/7 updates, limiting what you intake will drastically improve your ability to adjust. Take necessary breaks from watching, reading, and listening during this time. Set a boundary of how much news consumption you will intake each day or week. Choose only a few sources for your information, and be diligent about how much you allow yourself to ingest.
Determine What You Can Control
As the new normal begins to take fold, determine what you are able to control in the moment. So many things remain uncertain, and the “what if” cycle can be dangerous and difficult to get out of. When you sense yourself getting overwhelmed, write down the things you can control in the moment and focus on those items. Things like exercise, routine, and virtual social connection are all things you can control and can help you feel in authority of your life during this adjustment.
Help How You Can
Many individuals are currently struggling with how they can be productive to society during this time. Something to consider while the new normal is created is how you can realistically help. Options like giving blood, preparing meals, or donating items or funds can all be ways to help relieve your sense of responsibility to solving the unimaginable situation we are in. Small, routine actions for some will be a huge weight lifted off their shoulders and allows them to be more focused in other aspects of life.