The world continues to be not what it was a few weeks ago. Your mind is scattered. Everything you planned to do this year, all those goals you set for yourself, their deadlines simply won’t be met. It’s uncertain when life will become “normal” again. You don’t know how you are going to get through this successfully. You feel undone and as if your dreams have been stolen from you.
Everything you wanted before is not lost. You can still achieve it all but the plan may have to change. The deadline may need to be extended.
In business, they often talk about the “pivot.” This means when you need to change the plan slightly so that you can continue to be a success. We do this in our personal lives as well. But we tend to use different terms like “transition” or use sayings like “starting a new chapter in life.”
You have done this before. The one big difference between now and then is that the entire world in one way or another is going through a giant transition.
We can hope that things will go back to normal but none of us will ever forget the silent killer that has been wreaking havoc on all of our communities. We will never forget the use and acceptance of newer technologies in our general public sphere such as seeing your doctor through telehealth video chat. Furthermore, we may be able to return to going outside and being less than 6 feet (2 meters) away from others but the world will be different in many other ways.
Transitions can be tough and being present can feel like torture right now. Read on for some ways to maneuver this pivot into the new normal.
Redefine what “Doing” Looks Like
You made a ton of goals for yourself this year and things were going well. And then, you were told to quarantine, “shelter in place,” or have to take extra precautions at work that can make one menial task seem like it takes hours. Now, you don’t know how you are going to accomplish what you want to do.
You are still going to accomplish what you set out to do. It just may look a little different than it had been before. Networking which grows more and more important for all sectors of your life will be different during this time. You hear more and more about Zoom or Google Hangouts being used to connect with others. These are not new technologies. It’s just new to regularly connect in this way with your friends or associates that live within close proximity to you as opposed to far away. It’s a change to our culture and that’s why it feels weird. Culture is fluid and is susceptible to influence and so, culture adapts to our current context.
So, don’t be afraid to reach out to others. Offer a “virtual” happy hour instead of a physical one. This may not feel the same as it was before but you still can keep and grow your connections in a time of uncertainty.
It will take more planning than it did before in terms of what you want to accomplish and some things, yes, may need to wait until your country is out of quarantine time but that does not mean you can’t continue to take necessary steps in order to get closer to your end goal.
Take some time to reflect on what needs to get done now and how you are able to do it.
Make the Intention to be Present
It’s easy to think about how things were before and lament about the past. Give yourself some time to grieve but don’t allow yourself to get stuck there.
If you have a mindfulness practice, dive into it! Meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness practices allow us to enjoy our present moment. In the present moment, we are able to develop hope.
Explore and Learn in a New Era
If you are not able to do everything you want to do right now, take this time to explore and learn. Sometimes, we are so busy in our lives we don’t give ourselves the time to continue to develop in other ways. We “do” without thinking. We “do” in order to avoid what we are feeling.
Take this time to learn something new. It may help you not just in terms of having a valuable skill in the future but in terms of your own reflection in how to handle this time and what to do next
It’s ok if You Can’t Get Everything Done Off the List
While you may have more time on your hands because you no longer have a daily commute. It’s ok if you need to give yourself a week off. If you are feeling drained by this situation that’s ok. You are not a machine and taking care of yourself emotionally is just as important as achieving tangible goals.
We all have different paths in life. Just because you are working from home now or are not going out as much as you use to, does not mean that you use it as an excuse to overwork yourself.
This new normal does not mean that you only think of your career. That is not new. The new normal may mean that you need to think about your physical and emotional health a whole lot more. (Remember, the advice about washing your hands. That has nothing to do with your job, school, or how much money you make. It has everything to do with your health and safety.)
Creating Your Own Destiny
This is your time., It’s not defined as your time simply because of a pandemic. It is your time because you are ALIVE!
While there are certain things out of all our control, you still have control of how you want to lead your life. You have control over the values that you want to live your life by.
Remember, the journal exercise in the last post. In the new normal, you still have that same control and can strive for what you want.
Times will always change and you will change with them. Change is not evil or despair. It’s development.
And By the Way!
My name is Tara. I am a therapist who provides online counseling services in the state of Illinois. This blog post is not therapy and it should not be used as a substitute for therapy. If you would like to talk more, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation, click here!