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  • Writer's pictureAmambelu

Navigating The New Normal - Life After Hard Lockdown

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

The novel Coronavirus pandemic has created unique clinical and scientific questions.

Over the last few weeks; we have seen the country open bit by bit, which brings a sense of relief; like going to the hairdresser & spending quality time with family and close friends. It takes on some semblance before the word “COVID-19” and “Coronavirus” entered our vocab.

As we start to do our normal daily activities, we actually realise that things are not like they used to be.

We are always reminded about our choices and how they may affect the next person, as well as the people very close to us. We may feel on edge and anxious more than normal. In and among these new rules, we need to find our feet to feel a sense of support in this ever-changing new world.

Sounds easier said than done, but there are many ways we can integrate some mindfulness into our daily doings. It may come in various forms, like walking & talking, to breathing or even better, doing meditation. This will help the nervous system to reset itself, to calm yourself and help to build resilience.

Another way to help yourself navigate this new normal is to be kind to yourself. This entire pandemic and accompanying change are new to everyone and we all need to find our own way of living with it.

Support may be around you, and having a dedicated person or space to talk about your feelings can help tremendously.

To everyone juggling many priorities and trying to stay calm, here are a few tips to help you get through:

  • Be realistic and honest with yourself about how the lockdown and covid-19 have affected you in all areas of your life. Some of us have lost loved ones, income, social life, relationships, opportunities for travel & growth.

  • Reflect on what you will need to be able to recover or heal. You may need long term counselling, coaching or strengthening your spiritual life.

  • Explore what your priorities are moving forward; like recovering emotionally, psychologically or financially.

  • Prioritize your wellbeing on all levels - All aspects of your health come first. That is your greatest wealth.

  • Look at what strengths have helped you cope thus far; like remaining hopeful or communicating openly with your family and friends about your challenges. Build on those strengths.

  • Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms - Alcohol, unhealthy food, smoking and illegal substances.

  • Find support systems like friends & family or your other available support systems in your community.

  • Explore how you can live a full meaningful life within the new normal - What activities can you participate in and enjoy, whilst feeling safe and keeping to the covid-19 regulations.

  • Learn to smile with your eyes - It’s hard to see people’s facial expressions behind a mask. Practice this whilst wearing a mask; it will help build connection when interacting or socializing with other people.

  • Self-care & building resilience - Try to find a healthy routine for yourself. Learn to switch off, especially when you are working from home. Understand your emotions and accept them, exercise, have positive and healthy self-talk.

There’s much speculation on what the future will look like, resulting in the “new normal” terminology. A key concern, as we continue to navigate this new normal, is how we treat our mental health.

Written by: Dr Siya Mjwara

Therapist & Wellness Coach

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