Synonyms of the word normal include ordinary, standard, and common.
Basically, normal used to mean, well, boring. Like seriously BOR-RING. Right?
That is why I find it so ironic that right now that with these strange world changes, we are all finding ourselves longing for a state of normalcy.
Even to the point where we envy our past lives, and get mad that we even thought of the word “normal” in a negative or neutral term.
The only logical solution to avoid feeling like you are walking on broken glass is to find a feeling of normalcy.
The Pursuit of a New Normal
I hate that term. “New normal”. I don’t want a “new” normal. I want the good ol’fashioned, chaotic one that I was used to. However, things have changed and I have to, too.
These strange world events happened so swiftly, that none of us could mentally brace for our new lifestyles. It leaves many of us feeling blindsided. Especially the Type A folks, like myself.
Many of us went from running full speed to being slammed down and chained to our homes.
If I could go back in time and explain this to my-2-months-ago-self, I would have slapped myself in the face for making up such a crazy lie.
I find myself going through this cycle on a minute-by-minute basis.
One minute I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy time with my kids, which frankly was a little hard before this. And the next minute I am hiding in my room to cry about how strange this all feels.
This love-hate relationship has made this process even more confusing and stressful for me.
As expected, this raging thought process has not been very helpful or productive.
If we want to feel “normal”, then we have to work at it.
5 Ways to Kick-start Normalcy
It won’t happen overnight, but you can do these simple things on a regular basis to bring some stability into your life when your regular routine is turned upside-down.
1) Adjust Your Mindset
Adjusting the way you see the situation at hand is the best way to get on the right track.
For me, it is constantly reminding myself that:
- I am keeping my children happy and healthy
- I am doing the best I can for my family
- We will get through this together
Take a few deep breaths, give yourself grace anytime you breakdown, and always get back up again.
If that doesn’t work, take a shower, and put on anything except sweatpants. Heck, even put on a little make-up. It will start to make you feel like yourself again.
2) Develop a new routine
Personally, my family is not very schedule-oriented; however, that doesn’t mean we can’t develop a new routine.
A friend of mine has her family on an hour-by-hour routine. That works for her family.
For my family, it is more of a rough draft schedule. It revolves around my family having breakfast, lunch, and dinner together at the kitchen table (that’s what makes us feel normal). The rest – work, school work, cleaning- just falls into place each day.
Regardless of what type of schedule or routine works for you and your family, reliable family activities will create stability for everyone.
3) Get outside
Depending on your neighborhood and local regulations (such as social distancing orders), your outdoor time may look a little different that usual, but try to get outside.
Go fishing, bike riding, or take long walks. Getting fresh air will make everyone feel human again.
Nature will help you feel less isolated, and more at peace with the world.
4) Plan an activity to Connect
Activity options are surely limited; therefore, you have to get a little creative.
In our home, we play charades or bake a cake. Sometimes, we play video games as a family or go to a local stream to fish. Family activities help families connect on a new level.
Connect with people outside of your phone via frequent phone calls, or video chatting.
That connection is a key part of a smooth transition into your new situation.
What activities does your family enjoy? If you’re not sure, try with a simple board-game.
5) Focus on a hobby
Do you have a hobby that you usually do not have time for?
Maybe it’s reading, art, exercising, or baking related. For me, it’s photography.
Is your hobby watching Netflix? Then, go on with your bad-self and join the hoards of us binge-watching Tiger King.
Focusing on a hobby that you love is a great way to pass the time, and make you feel like yourself.
As soon as we get used to our “new” normal, will it change again?
Maybe. Probably. Hopefully.
BUT, we will all know we have the ability to adjust to even the most surprising and complex situations.
In fact, this new normal increased my ability to multitask 10-fold, and my ability to remain patient while getting yelled at by three kids 20-fold.
We will get through this, and come out stronger.
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