It’s hard to believe that in September of 2021 we are still navigating a global pandemic. For all the talk about the “new normal,” recent reinstatement of indoor face masks mandates in several states feels like the same old 2020. However, there are signs that we are moving towards a new reality. With increasing frequency, we are re-engaging with life – going back to school and work, participating in community events, transitioning from virtual worship events to live events and more. However, transitioning back to our pre-pandemic lives is a mixed emotional bag. Some are excited to re-engage in face-to-face interactions, others aren’t quite ready to re-engage, and still others have never had the option of remote living and working.
Putting the pandemic behind us and moving forward is a common goal for everyone. Yet, we face two opposing realities as we move forward. One is that we are still in the throes of a global pandemic as evidenced by the impact of the Delta variant. The other is we must begin to find a way to establish some semblance of normalcy for ourselves, families, communities, and economy. As we navigate these two tensions of staying safe and transitioning forward to a new normalcy, it’s helpful to remember that sometimes moving forward means first going backwards. In the case of the current situation, getting our lives back on track and transitioning forward means we must go back to the basics. How can we transition forward by going back to basics? Here are some thoughts for your consideration:
- Continue taking the actions that keep you and others safe -– wear a mask, social distance, regularly wash your hands, and consider getting vaccinated.
- Take the time to balance your immune system for optimal health. Building and balancing your immune system will help in your dealings with the current environment and supports overall good health. For more suggestions on how to achieve balance for a healthy life, read 5 Helpful Ways to Stay Balanced During Challenging Times.
- Manage your stress. As noted by the American Heart Association, stress can sometimes be beneficial. More times than not, however, stress simply robs us of our joy and wreaks havoc on our physical and mental health.
- Practice positive thinking and expressing daily gratitude. As noted in our August 2021 Attitude of Gratitude post, adopting a positive attitude can help one better weather life’s turbulent moments.
- Build and maintain strong support systems. We all need to know we are loved and valued; that there are individuals in our lives who will listen and support us through the good as well as the tough times. Harnessing the Power of Empathy to Build Stronger and Healthier Communities offers tips on how to build strong support systems. Remember: “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” (Helen Keller).
- Get adequate rest. Our bodies and minds were not designed to continually run 24/7. We need to take time to unwind and re-charge. "Sleep is like the golden chain that binds our health and body together." (Thomas Dekker).
- Give yourself a break. Often, we are our own worst critics and constantly play a negative narrative about ourselves. Show yourself love and change negative self-talk to positive affirmations.