My brain is in a mental tug-of-war, and neither side is relenting.
So many moments and days I miss “pre-quarantine” life. Our major conversation focus the last few months has been centered around getting back to our lives, and the ease we once had. Which is why today I’m sharing my thoughts on how to adjust to what is now the new norm.
How to Adjust
I miss popping into a store to grab a few things without the stress of wearing a mask, not touching too much, which direction I’m going in an aisle or if someone is now in my 6-foot personal space bubble. I miss my kids in school and mostly, all the teachers. Oh how I miss you. Even with their incredible support, how am I supposed to teach geometry without any of the tools you went to college for and have been honing for years?
I miss date nights and time with my girlfriends, a schedule, and traveling. I missed being able to celebrate my 40th birthday the way I had envisioned.
And yet, as our area is starting to open, this transition fills me with anxiety.
I’m not sure I’m ready for this to end. I love not waking up to an alarm clock and racing to get lunches made and everyone out the door. I love cuddling with my kids and playing outside. I love running more, finding time to read books and binge entire TV shows in less than two months. I loved my Zoom birthday call so crazy much. I learned I even love taking baths. How have I not done that in 20 years? And, I definitely I love not racing from one meeting and activity to the next, always feeling frazzled and five minutes behind.
I needed this pause. I have a feeling we all needed the pause.
But here’s the thing. We did need to pause, just not in the form of a global pandemic. So now as life returns, I have such mixed emotions, even about stupid little things.
Did I relax enough (what does that even mean with two young kids)? Should I have read more? Or Zoom’ed more with friends? Did I create enough special moments with my little ones and why have I let them hang on devices this much? Should I have picked up a hobby?
The thing is, there are no set answers on how to adjust because even among this global pause, our daily realities have been vastly different. I’ve been insanely grateful to still have a job, that my family is safe and healthy, and we have food on the table. Our family are not front-line workers, and we have been able to avoid high health risk environments.
So I didn’t read a lot of books or take YouTube classes, listen to more motivational podcasts or play a million imaginary games with my kids.
That’s OK. Emotions are all over the place. So it’s OK to be excited about getting back to some of what was, and yet not being anywhere near ready to head to the mall, visit a park or go to a restaurant.
We have to all do what’s comfortable for us. And, we have to remember to not judge. We never know what’s going on in someone else’s world.
So how do we adjust to our new, not-so-normal normal?
Remember, it’s a transition
Your entire life is not shifting back to your old life from February any time soon. So take a breathe and exhale. In many ways, you get to take it at your pace and figure out what works for you and your family.
Control what you can control
I’ve seen some people on Instagram going to bars packed with people. I want to scream. Legit scream because it’s infuriating on so many levels (and are these the people bumping into me at the grocery store?). The thing is, I can’t control that. But I can control wearing a mask, washing my hands, and avoiding close contact with people. I can do things to calm myself — run, take a bath, talking to a someone who brings you joy, whatever that is for you. Find ways to control your environment and your behavior.
In such an unknown time, it can be easy to focus on what we don’t have, on how trips and celebrations have been cancelled, how those summer concerts are indefinitely pushed back and how the world is going to look a lot different for a long time. But, let’s flip it right now. What can you feel grateful for? I feel grateful for my health and a hot cup of coffee, for our run club and connecting with so many new women, for evening snuggles with my kiddos and playing in the pool, for being able to go back to the beach, for outdoor happy hours with friends, for the sun on my face and for a cozy new lounge wear (obviously tie-dyed). Focus on the positive.
If you’re feeling this weird wave of emotions where you want to bust out of your place and also completely hide under the covers, you’re not alone and know that it’s completely ok. Do what feels right to YOU and ignore the rest. Take your time and know it’s also OK if this week you decide to venture out and next week you decide to hibernate.
Remember we have strong enough that we have made it through a season we never intended having to walk through. We got this.
Do you have any tips on how to adjust? If you do, feel free to share them in a comment below!