“We don’t know when this will end. We don’t know how long this will last. But know that this is not our forever!”
Ally Love, Peloton Instructor
As the realization has set in that this pandemic will impact our lives for longer than any of us would have imagined, there are many new terms that have become a part of our vernacular, several of which may cause undue stress and anxiety. So, we propose renaming and redefining a few of these terms to be more mindful of the temporary nature of the situation and to offer a more positive perspective on a very difficult time in our world.
Let’s be honest, there is nothing normal about being unable to leave our homes and missing the hugs and camaraderie of family and friends. So many very important aspects of our lives have been delayed or cancelled. And calling it our “new normal” adds a permanency to it that we shouldn’t allow. This is simply our current situation and it’s important to remember that this is temporary. Schools, businesses, restaurants, museums, theaters, stadiums and industry will reopen. While life as we knew it will be forever changed, we will get back to some sense of normal. Don’t lose sight of that!
Sheltering in place
We whole-heartedly support the need for sheltering in place, however this doesn’t mean that one should never leave their home. In fact, it’s important for your overall physical and mental health to get outside (while following the guidelines) and get some much-needed fresh air and Vitamin D. Make sure to schedule some fresh air and sunlight into your daily routine. Get outside each day for a walk, run or bike ride or even to work on a back patio or deck.
The term social distancing or isolation can be a trigger for many as it connotates loneliness. This is an extremely difficult time for those who suffer from anxiety and depression and they would benefit from connection and their networks more than ever during this pandemic. The elderly and those who are immunocompromised must avoid close physical contact as they are at greater risk of getting sick. So, while we must physically isolate and keep a safe distance, we must work even harder to not socially isolate. It’s important to find creative ways to keep the social connections in our lives and that can take many forms. In your personal life, regularly check in with friends and family, set up group chats and send videos to keep a connection. In the workplace, rather than conduct all business via telephone, be sure to use video chats to build a connection. Take time to ask (and listen) about how people are really doing and reach out to someone who may need some company.
It’s important to reframe how we view our current situation and remind ourselves that this is not our new normal, we will once again be out and about, and will soon be gathering with our family, friends and co-workers. This is temporary, we’re all in this together and we will get through this!