Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

I’ve been at home for about six weeks now, and while the state of Missouri is easing restrictions this week, the St. Louis stay at home order is still in effect until at least mid May. My employer intends for us to continue working from home for the foreseeable future, and I’m grateful we’re in a position to make that work. As some areas are beginning to slowly reopen, there’s a lot of talk about “getting back to normal” or “the new normal”, but the truth is that we’re a long way from feeling any level of stability. 

We value a feeling of normalcy because it helps give us a sense of control and purpose and keeps us from being in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze. Being in crisis mode exhausts our minds and bodies and negatively affects our immune system (see this post for more on that). However, these days we have a lot of extra hurdles.

Instead of focusing on things getting back to normal, now is a time to recognize that there’s still a long road ahead of us, and that our focus should be on creating a feeling of normalcy and stability, so we’re able to cope with the challenges. Here are some things to try:

1. Evaluate your routine.

do with your lifeRoutines and schedules provide us with a sense of stability, security, structure, and control. From the beginning, experts have urged us to establish schedules, follow old patterns, limit our pajama time, etc. I’ve talked to a lot of people recently who say that they started well, but their routines have been breaking down as more time passes. Now is a good time to reflect on your current practices, and see if you need to adjust what you’re doing on a daily basis, or recommit to things you’ve let slide (and I want to urge you again to maintain a consistent sleep schedule). If your situation is changing, such as returning to work or beginning to resume other activities, this is definitely the time to think about how you’re going to adjust your daily life.

2. Take time to process your emotions.

how ya feelingEmotions help us recognize our wants and needs, and it’s important to do emotional check ins, especially since we’ve all been under consistent pressure. Covid has brought a unique wave of stress, anxiety, depression, and grief. What are your emotions and body telling you? As I pointed out last week, it’s important to validate your feelings. Take time out to process your emotions, and to practice coping skills.

3. Monitor your information intake.

news flashYou can choose how you receive and consume information about the outbreak. Start by really assessing how much information is good for you, because that varies widely from person to person. My father is one of those people who gets calmer the more he knows, so watching the news is actually a stress reliever for him. My sister Audrey, on the other hand, has found it difficult to emotionally process a lot of what’s happening, so she avoids the news and relies on others to summarize the important information for her. Find the level that’s comfortable for you, and stay there. You might consider stepping away from social media and TV for a period of time or limiting your daily intake. Also, I encourage you to seek out a balanced perspective, especially if you live in the United States, where the pandemic has become sadly politicized.

4. Utilize self care practices and coping skills.

self care 2.0Self care is always important, but right now it’s imperative. Make a list of things that give you peace, stimulate creativity, provide escape, feed your spirit and offer healing. Pursue your hobbies. Employ coping skills that help keep your mindset positive and calm, such as thanking yourself, forgiving yourself, or making a gratitude list. This can be a great opportunity to develop stronger coping skills and new healthy habits.

question mark

How are you handling things at this point?

23 thoughts on “Creating Your Own “Normal”

  1. Edhie says:

    Very interesting ideas to consider. Thanks for the idea of keeping a gratitude journal during this time I am going to try that one and see how far I can go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      My journal is definitely helping me stay centered.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. kagould17 says:

    It is going to take a long time, before many of us feel comfortable, given the fears we now have. The fears are a good thing if the transition to caution. Even though our curve here is low and way lower than in the South half of our province, we are about 12 days away from any significant business reopenings. Golf courses and provincial campgrounds opened yesterday, in time for the weekend, but with major restrictions. Ireland renewed their Stay Home orders for a further two weeks as well. None of us wants to have to go back to square one. Stay safe and well Amanada. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I definitely support practicing as much as possible. I’m grateful that I have the flexibility to remain home and keep working.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. this was cool to read, thank you x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you for reading. Hope all is well with you.

      Like

  4. Ladysag77 says:

    Great post my friend!! I agree with every single tip here especially the daily even hourly check ins with yourself. This time has taught me so much about myself, what I’m capable of and what I’m not willing to subject myself too. I have kept a gratitude journal or list for some time now. It really helps to put reality into perspective. I have so much to be thankful for internally that keeps me grounded and hopeful. Have a good one😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s easy to ignore our feelings when things are uncertain. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ladysag77 says:

        Yes!! Selfcare is my #1 priority these days and will be moving forward 😉❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lara/Trace says:

    Wonderful post Amanda. I do have to stay off this computer so I check in every few days. That works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m glad you’ve found the right balance. Take care of yourself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Amanda! You’re absolutely right, we mustn’t let ourselves get overwhelmed with too big an amount of news. In the earlier days of the lockdown, I was on the news sites all the time, getting more and more anxious about what’s going to be – until I realised that basically there isn’t going to be ANYTHING for the next few weeks or even months. So now I just check the headlines once or twice a day and then occupy myself with other things, like blogging…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s really important to think about how you react to the news, and to adjust accordingly. I’m actually watching and reading a lot of news, but it doesn’t upset me. Some of my news consumption is out of academic interest, as I did a lot of media and message analysis in graduate school, and still find it fascinating to look at how different events are portrayed by various public figures and media outlets.
      That being said, if I find that I start to become overly anxious, I’m definitely going to tone it down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, you’re absolutely right, it’s very interesting to see how different sites and newspapers see and present events! But yes, it can get a bit too much, especially these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. David Yochim says:

    I loved this article.

    We are almost neighbors. I live I Leavenworth Kansas on the Missouri River.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you so much, and hooray for the Midwest! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I loved your post and yes it took me quite a lot of time to find my own routine and eventually to find my own normal.

    The things you have mentioned like monitoring the information intake does help a lot to keep the sanity of the mind.

    Looking forward to such posts in the future.

    Best wishes from The Strong Traveller and have a great day

    Do have a look at my blog whenever you find time. There is some travel and lifestyle content which you may find interesting. Your views and thoughts will surely uplift me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. abetterman21 says:

    Interesting article!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Please don’t be like my mom in law and watch the news every hour of the day and go nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      No more nuts than I’ve always been. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        Amanda, I know I barely know you.. but I can assure you that you’re a very low level nut lol!!

        Liked by 1 person

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