As a human race, we have been grieving the way life was. We have collectively, and individually been moving through the grief cycle in our own way: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
I have seen it in my own life, as well as that of my clients, family and friends. It has been reassuring to know that we’re not alone, and that this is totally normal.
In my experience, most of us have now created our ‘new normal’ as life during a pandemic. The shock has worn off, we’re pretty badass at working from home with kids running around wild. We have become teachers, computer pros and adopted the new wardrobe of sweatpants on the bottom, blouses on top (for video conference calls of course!)
The new conversation that is bubbling is “what’s next?”
How do we integrate back forward into another new normal? Life post-COVID-19; post-pandemic?
The concerns and fears that my clients have been bringing to me are around losing the gifts that they have discovered through this experience. The biggest gift being that life has slowed down. We are now at home much more, spending mucho time with our families, growing our own veggies and spending more time in nature.
The following are some actions intended to support you on your journey moving forward from COVID, and from any events that upset ‘life as we know it’, inviting us to create a new normal.
Get clear on the gifts. If you are willing to look, every experience comes with its own gifts and lessons.
What are the gifts that this experience have given you? Personally, I have received the gift of time and sloooowing down. I get to spend more time with my children (blessing and a curse!) No more commutes, finding parking or overnights away. I’ve also notice that I’ve been able to let go of the guilt I hold onto around not visiting friends and family as often as I think I ‘should’ or would like to. During Covid that’s been a no-no, and without that guilt, I have extra space and energy to call and connect with loved ones from a clean space of love, sans guilt.
What are the gifts YOU are taking away? What have you most loved about this period of time?
Integrate those gifts.
Looking at the list of gifts I know you just made…how can you see to keep those in place moving forward? As you transition you may need to go back to work at your office, add in a commute or travel for work – and if spending extra time with your kids was a gift for you, where else can you see to put that in? Will you prioritize your schedule to put in your “big rocks” (most important things) first?
It may be tricky to implement these things as life starts to speed up again. What do you need to put in place to ensure you keep practicing this slower lifestyle? A daily or weekly call with a friend to ensure you’re on track, setting boundaries, sharing your plan on Facebook, posting “slow down!” on your bathroom mirror? What might work for you to stay present to this new way of life you would like to carry forward?
Don’t beat yourself up. Do be kind to yourself.
As is true for everything, give yourself lots of love and compassion. Each day we are continuing our journey in the unknown. We are learning constantly and get to practice again and again in service of living a life we truly love. If you find life taking over rapidly, or losing sight of the gifts you so wanted to bring forward, you can always hit the ‘reset’ button! Reach out for support, a hug whether it’s virtual or in-person and remember that you got this. ♥