Are you looking forward to getting back to normal?
What is your normal?
Normal is something that I hear so much, so many clients say they just want to feel normal and be normal. Although, I know what they mean, the bigger question has to be, what is your definition of normal?
I've spoken quite a bit over the last few weeks about how you can help yourself reduce, anxiety, stress and overwhelm and how the current uncertainty from COVID-19 is magnifying this for so many.
But, I've also had quite a few conversations in the last few weeks with people who are naturally feeling the effects of what's happening, but for different reasons, are enjoying making the most of the circumstances.
This enforced slower paced way of life has prompted some to hold a magnifying glass up to their life and have a good look at what they are doing, to evaluate their life, their career, home life, relationships, health, fitness and overall wellbeing.
But at the same time many are making the most of a different pace of life, for many working from home has given them more time, do things they don't always get time to do.
The time saved commuting to and from work, school, college means they have so much more time, to spend with love ones, get more sleep, do more exercise, get jobs done at home, enjoy hobbies and pastimes they wouldn’t normally get time to do.
Some who may travel an hour each way, have gained an extra 10 hours a week, and many have gained much more. So, it's like gaining an extra working day back every week.
Others are being more productive and getting more done, working from home without the usual interruptions and meetings about meetings. I have one client who travels all around the world with work and is finding working from home quiet a refreshing change.
Some parents are enjoying spending quality time they don’t normal get with their children and enjoying the relief of not have to do the school runs and running kids around from one club and activity to another.
I’m also aware, that as much as this is a relief for some, for others they are missing all of the routine and structure.
So, as many are looking forward to getting back to normal, there are some who are getting apprehensive and anxious about getting back to the demands, busyness and overwhelm of what their normal brings.
During these conversations it has raised two different things to consider, (which are also connected).
Firstly, if you're not looking forward to your normal, maybe it's time to review and evaluate your life and maybe consider creating a new normal.
This may not be a short term solution, there maybe things you cannot change yet, but it may be a good time to think about what you want your life to look and be like.
So, stop for a moment and ask yourself,
“If anything was possibly, how would you like to live?”
Even if you can’t change some things initially, just asking yourself the question and allowing yourself to think about it, is a great start.
Secondly, when I'm working with clients and during my latest Anxiety & SOS online course, one of the things I emphasise quite a lot, is the importance of establishing some lifestyle strategies, that you can incorporate into your day to day life, to help maintain your inner balance and wellbeing.
I often refer to this as working on your mind fitness , to establish habits and routines that form part of your day to day life, that naturally enhances your mind fitness. Don't wait until your mind fitness is affected, take time to be intentional develop and maintain it as best you can, to help keep yourself balanced and centred.
So, if you are enjoying this slower paced life and having time to do more things that you enjoy, take this time to plan how best you can maintain some of these good habits and routines when things get back to "normal", as well as how you would like your new normal to look.
The good news is you have the freedom to change your definition of normal, and then strive to make any change necessary.
Let me know in the comments if there is anything you are enjoying from a slower paced life and what you think you have learnt from this current situation so far.
Remember, what your mind believes you will achieve. So, think differently, believe in yourself, take action and you can achieve the happy life that you want.