Linda Gorchels blogs

The Long and Winding Road to Normal

Most of us are anxiously looking forward to the end of the COVID pandemic. We are hoping for answers to a host of questions. When will it be over? What will the new normal look like? Will there be a second wave? Can someone who has recovered get it another time?

All unanswerable questions.

That means we have to learn to live with ambiguity. We have to find ways to focus on what we can control rather than what we can’t.

Here are a few suggestions for coping with the ambiguity of the coronavirus.

Follow concrete guidelines for well-being

Every month I’ve written on a variety of well-being topics. All of the concepts still apply. Here are links to refresh your thinking.

Physical exercise, appropriate dietary regimens, and a positive attitude are common components of any approach to well-being. But so is finding peace within yourself.

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”

Marvin Gay

Stay connected with friends and family

Phone calls, text messaging, and video chats can all be used to reach out to others. Virtual social hours and coffee klatches have exploded. Zoom and Google Hangouts are perhaps the best know group platforms, but there have been cybersecurity concerns.  I’ve used Skype, even though the free service is limited to one-on-one video meetings.

Limit news consumption

It isn’t necessary to block out all news coverage, but decreasing it can alleviate stress.  Be purposeful about your access to information.  In the pre-COVID era, I was a news junkie. But now my mantra is: I actively suppress my obsessive tendencies.

Re-introduce normalcy

While life has been disrupted, look for ways to bring back routine activities. Eat meals with your family. Take a bike ride. Return to a long-lost hobby. Maintain a daily schedule. Create your own new normal.