Last week, I met a friend for coffee. Later that day, I ran a few errands and even stopped by TJ Maxx. My daughter and I scheduled pedicures in a nearby town. Other than the face masks people were wearing, things were starting to feel “normal” again.
This week, stores are closing for a second time. Until a solution for the Corona Virus is discovered, this may keep happening. The progress of returning to normal vanished as soon as businesses close their doors. After our pedicures, the salon was also shutting down, but at least we had that one last pampering before we shelter in place again.
It is time to accept that this is the new normal and we must embrace it.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t exercised for several weeks. I was waiting for the gym to reopen. Each week, I think that surely next week it will open again. Guess what? It is still closed and now it has been months! I realized I needed to figure out new ways of doing things instead of waiting for “normal” to return.
Create a new plan – I took a look at how my life was and how I can still do the same things, but in a different way.
1. Exercise at home
Going to the gym most days was part of my routine. I used the weight machines and then ran on the elliptical. Since I don’t have access to the gym, I took a look at what equipment I do have at home. Now, I use my free weights and for the first time, I ran outside. I loved it! Running in the open air is really good for the soul. This is something I would not have tried because I am much more comfortable in the gym.
2. Meal plans delivered
I enjoy going out for lunch with friends. I love sitting outside and making a meal last with good company and a tasty dish. Since this is not available right now, I started getting meals delivered and I cook at home. I had to try several companies before I found one I love, but now I look forward to my food box. I am learning little tips about cooking and trying dishes I probably wouldn’t have experienced on my own.
3. Make income from home
So many people are financially struggling right now because they are unable to work. This is not a situation that I want to be in so I had to shift the way I want to do my business. My new partner and I are turning our business from a face-to-face service to an online one. I am so excited about this because if another outbreak occurs, we will still be able to work.
Stay social – After shelter in place protocols began, I shut myself inside for about three weeks. But my emotions started to take a toll on my well-being, and I knew I couldn’t do handle many more days inside. I had to make a change.
1. Walk daily
I started to take a long walk every day. Having a dog helps and she benefited as well. (I think it was taking a toll on her too!) Getting outside every day breaks up the monotony of being indoors.
2. Zoom call or facetime with friends
A phone call is great on most occasions, but when you are able to see someone’s face, you almost feel as though you are in the same room. It is a wonderful way to feel connected to the people that are important to you. The isolation disappears and you know you are not alone.
3. Plan picnics
Another way to stay connected with those who live nearby is to have a picnic. You can practice social distancing while enjoying a meal together. It is amazing how just a few hours outdoors with family or friends can uplift your spirit.
Keep my sanity – The seclusion of being at home day after day, gives us extra time to think (maybe too much time), to worry, or to experience anxiety. In order to take care of myself emotionally, I started to practice some daily habits.
1. Daily self-care
Each day I choose something I will do to take care of myself. It could be painting my nails, or taking a bubble bath, or reading a book. Self-care isn’t complicated. It is just making yourself a priority, without guilt, to do something nice for you.
2. Journal each morning
I was not a journaler. (Is that a word?) I joined this online group and each day we journaled and posted it. Somedays I did not post because it was too personal, but the point is that I was held accountable to journal every single day. Some days, nothing exciting was written, but other days, I was surprised by how much I was learning about myself through this daily process.
3. Learn a new hobby
This is a great time to experiment with different hobbies. Find something you enjoy doing or making besides work. Try something new. There are so many online classes available through Creative Bug, You Tube, or LinkedIn Learning. You might even be able to make a new business for yourself.
Changing my perspective on our new “normal” has helped me to embrace and accept what is happening instead of resisting it. The stress and anxiety are lessened, and I am now able to move forward in the best way I can. I am creating new routines to fit my new way of life and it is okay. Hopefully, some of our old ways will return, but in the interim, make your current life the best it can be.
Featured photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash.