What does a “new normal” life look like for me?
We have been living through an incredible time. The coronavirus has struck the whole world with over 100,000 deaths and counting. We have been sheltering at home and spending more time with spouses and children than we ever have.
Parents have no school to drop off kids, no after-school activities, no practice games. Many have no workplace to go to, either because we are working from home or because our jobs have evaporated. Parents are trying to do their work and home school their children at the same time. Kids haven’t been able to go out and play with their friends. Having everyone under the same roof with nowhere to go can be incredibly stressful.
Working from home is not always easy. We might not have a good place to work, a good chair to sit on, or even a table or desk. Many people have ergonomically designed chairs and desks at their offices that are no longer accessible.
Then, the practical stuff… Getting to the grocery store, waiting in lines, seeing empty shelves. Things like toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant, hand sanitizer all but disappearing before our eyes. No movie theaters, no hair salons, no sporting events to attend or even watch on TV. The news on television and the internet is confusing, conflicting, and disturbing.
Our economy has been impacted severely. Financial professionals are working around the clock to monitor and adjust to the incredible “perfect storm” in which we are living. Like the destruction that follows from a natural disaster, such as a tornado or a hurricane, there is a big mess to clean up.
Out of all this comes fear and scarcity – what will happen next? When will things be back to normal? Will people continue to get sick and die? What will happen to my job? We may feel fearful, angry, irritated, and anxious, wanting things to go back to the way they were. We may feel like we have lost our footing, our bearings and we don’t feel safe. We need to acknowledge and grieve the loss of our former lives.
After many disasters, one thing that happens is that we come back better than we were before.
This time has given us a chance to step out of the rat race, out of the constant need to work, check emails, sit in traffic for hours getting to and from work. Do we want to go back into the soul-draining work we have been doing or do we want to try something new, create something new, something that actually makes us happy even if it does not give us the same amount of money we were earning before.
This is an opportunity to acknowledge what we already have and be grateful.
This pandemic has given the earth a chance to heal herself. Seismic activity has decreased, air is improving so greatly in some areas that people are seeing mountains and other geography for the first time. We, too, have an opportunity to heal, to try something different.
We have time to breathe and ask, is this really what I want for my life? Folks at home have been creating new relationships with their spouses and kids, making meals together, learning new skills. We have been getting outside, walking, riding bikes and adjusting to a world that has slowed down.
Could this be our “new” normal?
Changing our lives has an enormous effect on our health and well-being. We can slow down, pay attention to our bodies, connect with nature. We can change our eating habits. We can sleep better and naturally wake without an alarm. We can become aware of what we are thinking and feeling and deal with this information rather than shove it down deep where it can turn into physical problems.
This is an opportunity to create the life we want to live, even if we don’t know exactly what this means or what it will look like. We have it in us to choose differently. We are empowered to look at our lives and say, “I want this to feel better.” This is such a great time for discovery, for release – especially things, thoughts and feelings from the past that no longer serve us.
Working with someone to help guide us through this process can give us some peace of mind, some new thoughts, and ideas to consider. WHEN takes a holistic approach to health and well-being. WHEN advisors can help provide guidance and tools in the areas of health, career and well-being.
We can all create our new WHEN Way of Life because Life Can Be Better!
Dr. Elaine Stewart
Chief Health Officer, WHEN