The ‘New Normal’ of Covid-19
How can we adapt to it?
Here are some suggestions that may help you deal with change on a psychological level:
Be kind to yourself
Remember that accepting yourself as who you are is all you need to improve yourself. Don’t forget that individuals who are compassionate and kind to themselves are more successful in being happy and enjoying life. They also have greater physical health, as mood and our state of mind can directly impact our physical well-being.
Explore your feelings
What am I feeling? What am I thinking? Ask these questions to yourself and answer them truthfully. Dig deeper and don’t be afraid. Remind yourself on the regular that you do not have to have positive feelings or feel happy and peaceful every single moment throughout the day, every day of the week. From time to time, you will feel sad, anxious, angry, doleful, intolerant and scared. Remind yourself that you have the right to experience every emotion.
Remember your past experience
Just bring to your mind how you coped with difficulties in the past: Remember the moments in your life that you thought you would never overcome and all the difficulties that became insignificant in time. It is a good idea to remember what has challenged you in the past and how you have dealt with those things. You should also bear in mind that it won’t rain forever and these difficult times, too, will pass.
Focus on your accomplishments
Remind yourself of all your past successes, big or small. Remember that recipe you tried for the first time that, despite it sounding difficult, really wasn’t and resulted in a delicious load. Remember that important presentation you had to make in front of the whole school, department or company and how you thought: “I can’t.” Remember that difficult course you passed even though you were sure you’d fail in the finals. And remember all the things you thought would not go well, but in the end, you got through them all. These will help improve your self-confidence and the steps you take will help you focus on your goals.
Don’t expand emotional distances
The more emotional distance you put between yourself and your loved ones, the more isolated and lonely you will feel. Talking it out with your family and friends and checking up on them virtually will help you cope with the adverse effects of these uncertain times. Continue to maintain social distance, but make sure not to distance yourself emotionally.
Give yourself time
It is impossible to change immediately. Expecting yourself to change and adapt to something new right away is unfair to yourself. Being hard on yourself will only make you feel more isolated and stressed. You need to realize that you will slowly get used to it all and mature with sufficient practice and time.
The writer is a student at UMT, Lahore.