Life May Never Be the Same, But Could This Actually Be a Good Thing For YOU?
Why you should get ready to move to your NOW normal.
The words “new normal” are being bandied about with as much frequency as “unprecedented times” were at the beginning of lockdown. To be honest, it is as good a time as any to think about how you want your new norm to be.
Of course, we still don’t know for certain how things are going to pan out, but taking control is still the best strategy for personal success and wellbeing. Now is the time to give some thought to creating a better, more positive, and sustainable future. You should do this not only for yourself, but for your family, your community and even the planet, too. Particularly if you find yourself reflecting on how a lot of things that have been better lately!
Let’s be honest, many of us knew we could not keep up the pace we were going at; burnout, disconnect and exhaustion were accepted as the norm.
Busyness was worn like a badge of honour.
“How are you?” someone would ask and all too often the reply would be;
It was an ingrained way of being for far too many of us. So being forced into lockdown allowed us to do things differently; some things we stopped doing, some we started and some we continued with. A lot of us took on new hobbies in order to cope with lockdown in a way they would not have thought possible, as there was no space to squeeze it in!
Baking, Pilates, quizzes, family meals, singing, flower arranging, daily exercise- as it was a chance to get out, talking and getting to know our neighbours, helping each other out. All of these suddenly filled our days. There is a plethora of hobbies, interests and new ways being cultivated right now and many of them are having a positive impact on our self-care and wellbeing.
So, is it possible to integrate any of what is really working for you into your now norm?
I think so. I would suggest that in order not to fall back into old ways that really did not serve you well, you will need to engage in a bit of intentional reflection on your part. Think about how you could integrate the above into how you wish life to be moving forward.
You will need to spend some time considering the routines and rituals that truly contribute to your overall wellbeing (mental, emotional, spiritual, physical) which power you to be a better version of yourself, and dare I say allow you to be much happier.
I mentioned that some of my clients are loving how lockdown had freed them mentally from some of the assumptions and constraints they had prior to Covid. These clients equally had a fear that it would lift and then would go back to how it was before Covid. It doesn’t have to be this way!
The process of change.
William Bridges in his book ‘Transitions; Making Sense of Life’s Changes’ discusses a 3-stage process which happens when we are going through change. In fact, he calls the ‘change’ the external event, whereas the ‘transition’ is the internal processing that we go through. The three phases are; endings, neutral zone, new beginnings.
“What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from” T.S. Eliot.
Lockdown certainly ended a lot of things very quickly. Lockdown was the external event, but in fact the beginning of the transition. We are well immersed in the neutral zone and starting to see new beginnings, but the neutral zone has felt anything but neutral!
I’m sure you can relate to the feelings of uncertainty, confusion, discomfort, weirdness, strangeness and possibly even distress as we know the old way no longer works. However, the new beginning has not yet emerged. In Bridges’ words he describes this phase “Deep do do for the next 750 miles.”
It’s quite comforting to know that there is a structure to what we are experiencing right now, I guess what’s different is there is no one we can turn to to guide us as every country, government, leader, parent, teacher is in uncharted waters. As human beings we like to hurry through transitions taking them too seriously or not seriously enough. The lexicon around it is always about moving on.
The only person who can truly guide you is you.
There is no one who knows better than you about what is right for you and the life you want to move towards and what aligns with it. So, reflect and consciously choose your own new beginnings, that serve and support the life you want to have. This is the link between the usual and not yet. Using this time to reflect and integrate as you go forward IS the silver lining.
We have a chance to turn the crisis into an opportunity!
Consider all aspects of your life in lockdown.
Maybe for you it was getting to bed earlier and quality sleep that you are benefiting from. I know home schooling is a challenge I have heard enough people say it, but perhaps it has made you realise how quickly children grow up and how you want to keep having good quality family time together or to be there to put them to bed. Or you may even have realised how much you have enjoyed leading your team through this time and would love to go for the promotion you always thought you were not capable of. Maybe you started planning and preparing healthy meals and found yourself with so much energy and looking and feeling better much better.
Maybe you were someone who spent hours of your day on trains, planes or automobiles and you now realise how much you hate it. What choices do you have now? How can you keep that up? Change your working approach in a way that works for you and your clients? Or perhaps it has just reinforced your workaholic tendencies as even in lock down you still don’t find YOU time! Personally, time to incorporate yoga and meditation into my day has been so uplifting, calming and energising. So why not click below to download my free worksheet to help reflect on how it has been for you and the lessons you want to take with you and how you will implement the now normal.
“In school you get the lesson and then take the test…In life you take the test and then get the lesson.” Unknown
What are the lessons you want to take away from this crisis and weirdness? And what will you do with them? I hope you find this exercise helpful and please stay calm and centred.