The ‘new normal’ has become a buzzword to describe the events and uncertainty of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted people across the world, and life as we knew it changed in response to physical distancing and the latest health advice.
While it’s likely there were many things you missed, perhaps you also became aware of what you didn’t. Rather than going back into business as usual mode, now is a great time to think about what you’ve learned and how you can improve your life as a result.
Time for self-reflection
Life coach and wellbeing consultant Elise Clement says when our lives are turned upside down, it’s an invitation to reflect and detach ourselves from auto pilot.
“When we’re forced into a new rhythm, we can identify what patterns, behaviours and even sometimes what type of mindset serves us and which ones don’t,” says Elise. “From there we can consciously decide what we want to keep and what we want to change.”
Set aside some time to reflect on what your life has looked like in recent months and what changes you’d like to make. Writing these down can provide further clarity and keep you accountable (and stop you from forgetting what they are!).
Stop, start, continue
When it comes to leaving things behind, don’t just focus on what you want to stop doing. Elise suggests focusing on three areas: stop, start, continue.
“Maybe you realised your stress levels decreased during isolation,” she says. “What were you not doing that made this possible? Make a note of the things that don’t serve you, that sap your energy, that keep getting in the way of your happiness.”
“What’s going to help you feel your best mentally, emotionally, physically?” asks Elise. “You may feel the urge to start having a more nourishing morning routine, for example.”
“What have you done differently during this time that you really want to keep doing more of? What’s working for you that you want to build on? Maybe you found a way to be more organised and want to keep this system in place. How can you make this happen?”
Start small and remember your ‘why’
You may have identified many areas of your life you’d like to change. But be conscious of not trying to do too much too soon.
“Pick only one thing to stop, one thing to start and one thing to continue,” advises Elise. “Stick with those three things for a little while, adjust them if you need to and once you feel comfortable to move on, pick something else to work with on your list.”
It can be easy to lose sight of your new goals and let old habits creep back in. Perhaps you’re again finding yourself eating lunch hunched over your keyboard or struggling to find downtime? If this happens, Elise recommends reconnecting with your ‘why’ by talking it through with a partner or friend.
The advice in this article is general information. If you are having difficulty leaving things behind from the impact of lockdown and the Coronavirus, you should contact your GP for their advice and assistance.