Inner peace and happiness are possible even during a long-lasting pandemic. The "new normal" is a phrase that has entered our everyday speech, along with terms such as "social distancing," "physical distancing," or "PPE." Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have been changed.
To think that almost a year ago, we weren't living under the restrictions of a pandemic! I still remember the day I was told to leave work. We all were under the impression we'd return in a couple of weeks. Just a brief "vacation" of sorts. Who knew that almost a year later, I'm still working from home. Life has changed for all of us, and we don't know when it'll end. And that not knowing is the origin of our stress taking away our inner peace.
The idea of a "new normal" is problematic and causes many of us to feel anxious. Friends and clients of mine worry that life may never be how it was before the pandemic. Yes, that may be true. But I wonder if a return to life as it was is in our best interest.
How The Modern World Necessitates Inner Peace
"The modern world takes a heavy toll on all of us. Smart technology, internet everywhere we go, and an emerging all-access work culture that expects us to be "on" whenever possible. Lunch breaks become shorter, weekends become extinct, and vacations become something you put off for your retirement. And it's not always a matter of choice." Source: hackspirit.com
Whenever we don't see an end to hardship or feel trapped without any choices, our stress and anxiety increase. Think of your current situation to understand this concept. The answer to finding inner peace and happiness during a pandemic is found in our perceptive shift. We need to find choices in our life to stop feeling trapped.
When we focus on a new normal, we compare our present moment with our past moments. As I reflect on my past moments before COVID, I recall many positive aspects of my life and our society. Yet, I also remember that there were negative aspects, too.
Might it be possible that this time of "difference" in your life and society may also be a time to create a "new normal"? Might this present moment be an opportunity to move into the future of possibilities?
I propose a shift in perspective where we focus on the positive elements of now and plan how we'll continue them when the pandemic is no longer an issue.
Instead of a return to normal, let's proactively work toward a positive new normal, which will, over time, simply be lived as "normal."
Feel the truth that you're safe and loved
"Remind yourself that you're breathing. And hopefully, you're physically protected," says Julie Potiker, mindful self-compassion teacher and author of Life Falls Apart, But You Don't Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos "Think about the people you care about, and the people who care about you," Potiker suggests, saying that focusing on that can lower your panic-response. "Let the truth of that warm your heart." Source: oprahmag.com
My Lesson Opportunities To Find Inner Peace During COVID
Normal is what we're used to, but our routines have been challenged for almost a year. Longing for normal means a longing for the past. Challenge yourself to find the positives of today and look to a "new normal" filled with possibilities.
Let go of victim thinking
These COVID events are not targeted to you individually, even if you are affected by them. A victim is a person devoid of choices. You have options today. Some aspects of our lives are beyond our control, yet other elements are in your control. Learn the difference and focus on those areas of your life you can change and make changes.
Re-connection with family
Quarantines, for better or worse, have forced families to be together. No family dynamic is perfect, but think about it, has your family grown closer? Have you eaten more dinners together or started game nights? Lack of commuting, virtual schooling, and telework are providing families more time together. How can this togetherness become your new normal?
Find your inner peace
Anger has a way of taking over life, spilling onto people or events we aren't even angry about. Our society is sharing in this everyday new normal, enabling us to better understand each other in our shared experience. Take the energy of your anger and shift it to a passion of service toward your family, community, or society.
I grew up in the decades before the internet and the existence of social media. I recall spending much of my time with my friends in person. We can't physically spend time with friends during quarantine, but we can use our technology for good. Spend time with your friends via the internet, where you can see each other and share in a group conversation and group activities. If this interaction with your friends is new to you, how can you maintain this new normal in the future?
Be kind to others and yourself
As a society, we are coping with the pandemic in our own ways. I've experienced, though, that many people seem a bit nicer and more patient. We're in this together. Many messages we hear lately are reminders to take care of ourselves during the quarantine. Self-care is essential for us to do daily. How will you continue, daily, taking care of yourself and being kind to others in this new normal?
What aspects of this future new normal would you like to keep? What would you like to change or stay the same? Make a list for you and your loved ones.
I challenge you to shift your perspective to look at this period of life from a negative attitude and look at it from a positive one. We can create a future filled with positive experiences. Don't let this past year pass you by without walking away with healthy learning. Let's proactively shape the future we want to live in.
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