JUNO COUNSELING AND WELLNESS

Post Pandemic and the New Normal

Teens and Counseling

By: Vanessa Gonzalez

 

Suddenly, it feels like life has started to turn back to “normal” post-pandemic. However, it doesn’t feel quite like things were two years ago. Globally, we are shifting into what is considered the “new normal.” A new way to adjust and live through the anxiety of what this post-pandemic world will be.

 

The pandemic has affected us in many ways, and we should be aware of the likely problems to occur to experience as the world continues to open up again. So instead of jumping right back onto what life was pre-pandemic, give yourself some grace and time to adjust.

 

Reflect on pre-pandemic vs. post-pandemic life

 

Take some time to reflect on what your life was before the pandemic. What were some of your priorities, your daily schedule, your values? Next, think about what life is like now, post-pandemic. How has your life changed or adjusted? How do you feel? This exercise can help you realize what you may want to change and what has been working for you. This can be a great baseline to ease your way into your new schedule and routine.

 

A lot of people have also realized their feelings about working virtually. Where we work and relax plays a significant role in our mental health. Jobs that were once fully remote due to the pandemic now require workers to return in person full time, and some are transitioning to become entirely virtual, while some office jobs are creating a hybrid version.

 

Be aware of what works for you. If you are 100% virtual, it may be beneficial to slowly work your way back into social interactions, such as going to a coffee shop to sit down and work. At least you are surrounded by others when you’ve adjusted to isolation.

 

However, others prefer to work from home. There are a lot of parents that prefer this adjustment. Discover what work environment works best for you, and advocate for yourself. This pandemic has shown that work can be done remotely, and if it is possible for you and your job, consider the options best for you. If you feel nervous asserting yourself to your boss, practice acting it out with a loved one, or writing a letter of how you would approach the conversation.

 

Set Boundaries to Ease Yourself Back into the “New Normal”

The pandemic may have created a negative impact on your social lives as well. For example, being in the same home with your family, partner, or roommate can have created a conflict that may not have happened pre-pandemic due to spending a lot more time isolated together. There also may have been a negative impact between managing their work and personal lives. Boundaries can be a significant stepping stone in creating a positive work-life balance and relationship building.

Start small. When you leave work or your day is finished, turn off email notifications on your phone. Make it a point not to check your email after hours or on weekends. Eventually, you may be able to take off your email from your phone completely so that you only check it when working. Physical separation makes boundaries easier. It’s up to you where to start. The same can be said for personal relationships. Set time aside to do something independently from your family or partner. Set aside some structured individual time, and this boundary may be helpful for you to not only work on yourself but also can have benefits for your relationships.

Additional Tips for Managing Anxieties Around the New Normal

  • Make up any missed milestone celebrations – such as graduations or birthdays
  • Plan pleasurable activities at the end of your workday so you can help ease your way back into work
  • Practice mindful breathing or mediation
  • Regular exercise
  • Get clarity from others about how to engage in interactions. For example, ask if people prefer to shake hands or elbow touch. Do others around you prefer that masks or worn, or not? Start with close relationships to start those conversations so it can feel more comfortable with others moving forward
  • Give yourself grace. Adjusting to this new normal isn’t easy. Take your time and ease your way into life the way you want to
  • Be sure to get adequate sleep
  • Create a new schedule
  • Create a list of values and priorities to create your schedule and daily routine

 

Overall, this new normal is just that – new. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we have all been adjusting and learning. The same is true moving forward. We will all remember this pandemic and its effect on all of us individually and all of the things we couldn’t control. It’s time for you to choose how you want to live your life moving forward. Think about what you want and advocate for yourself. Take some control over your life and define your own “new normal.”

 

 

Give us a call if you are looking for therapist near me in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach.

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