Coming to terms with the new normal
Posted on 8th April 2022 at 10:57
The new normal is a term that’s been thrown around a lot over the last few years…
“What will the new normal look like post Covid?”
“Facing up to the new normal in post pandemic times”
“Wearing masks in public is the new normal”
But the thing is, things still don’t feel very normal. In fact, in some ways, things now seem less clear - less testing, less restrictions to protect others if a person has covid and less mandatory transparency.
Companies and clients have shared that, now we are dealing with the financial fall out with the new budget implications and the price hike due to the energy shortage they’re feeling more stretched than ever. Covid Lockdown also brought on an increase in relationship break ups and now we are witnessing the horrors of war in Ukraine.
For me, normal doesn't feel like rushing to take a lateral flow test every time you cough or get a tickle in your throat. Or being on hyper-alert whenever you walk into a supermarket or shopping centre. Some days my brain can feel like one of those old fashioned Rolodexes as it rapidly catalogues who is wearing a mask and who isn't, everyone’s proximity to me, who is coughing close by and what is the safest route around the store that avoids most people.
The new normal seems to feel anything but normal. And repeatedly referring to it as “normal” can sometimes just make it feel all the more isolating as the pressure is piled on to get comfortable fast and adapt quickly to not get left behind.
But, in order to fully come to terms with this massive change we’ve seen and felt over the last two years, it's important to take the time to process these changes and not hurry to normalise things and move on.
Feel what you need to feel.
When times of big changes occur, skimming over everything and telling yourself ‘this is just how things are now’ can feel like the easiest option. But, in doing this, a lot of very valid concerns and anxieties can be internalised, locking them away because carrying on feels easier than actually addressing and processing them.
Feeling wired, on edge or low level anxious isn’t pleasant but it's important to know it's very human and understandable. It's ok to not feel ok all the time. You may well feel angry, frustrated, fearful, more tired, a bit lost, confused or even guilty (as these things may not be happening to you) and you may feel you don’t have a right to feel the way you feel - but you do! Your feelings matter just as everyone else's do - it's not a competition for who has it worse.
Grieving the life you used to have and the things you’ve lost to Covid isn't selfish. In fact, it’s as essential to moving forwards as celebrating the good days.
Getting your feelings out there.
It's one thing to acknowledge how you’re really feeling in your heart of hearts, but once you bring those feelings to the surface it’s really important to begin to work through those feelings in a way that you feel most comfortable. For me, that’s taking a few minutes to fill out my journal most days.
Getting my feelings out there and on paper makes them feel tangible and means that I can release them. I can turn the page and simply move on (feeling better that these feelings are now on paper rather than in my head), I can come back to them if I need to when I'm feeling more prepared to face them. I can make a plan for the day to process and overcome the challenges or use techniques to self soothe and also restore balance.
If journaling isn’t your thing, there’s so many other ways to work through this same process without writing everything down. Art for example, or music are both great options if that’s how your brain feels most comfortable expressing itself. You could also leave yourself a daily voice note or short video as saying things out loud can feel just as cathartic. I have known more visual types create a photo journal with one photo every day that helped them express & process how they were feeling that day.
The important thing about this activity is finding a way that you feel most comfortable expressing and communicating exactly how you’re feeling in a way that allows you to track your feelings to help identify what's causing them and find a solution that works best for you.
It’s ok to admit to yourself and those around you that things aren’t ok or even normal right now. You’re not failing or alone in feeling that way. But if you’d like some help working through this, book your free fully confidential call with me today to find out how our support can help.
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