Things are no longer normal — we can’t even say that there is a ‘new normal’. Everything is up in the air. In limbo. Plans are on hold, people feeling distressed.
When there is a crisis that affects us to the extent that the current one is doing, it is helpful to realise that things are not going to be the same as they were before. This means it is not about going back. It is about reinventing oneself and going forward. But to make this reinvention happen, there is a lot to do.
For a start, there is a grieving process for a lost way of life — a lifestyle that you can no longer live, a relationship that is no more, or a job, career or financial position that has now been changed significantly. Just as when you lose a loved one, there will be a period of mourning.
It is important to sit with this grief for some time to try and process and work your way through it. To do this, you should try to find positive ways to cope, like mindfulness, discussing your feelings, or reading self-help books. Don’t avoid the grief or try to repress it by doing drugs or alcohol — it will still be there waiting for you when you stop trying to escape from it. Instead, sit with your grief, journal it, feel it and be with it.
After some time, perhaps you will find that your thoughts are getting clearer and you are thinking more about the possibilities you have been presented with. Possibilities are good to think about. While it’s okay to feel uncertain and anxious, it’s also good to remember that possibilities present opportunities.
After your grief, possibilities will emerge that enable you to remake and reform your identity. Take the opportunity to reset your foundations and make a stronger, more resilient you. Maybe the possibilities are endless, or perhaps you can only see a few, but try looking further afield and opening up your mind to all the possibilities that are out there. To help you do this, think about what you would do if you had a magic wand and you could be whatever or whoever you wanted — in this scenario, who would you be, what would you do or have? Let your mind be open to the full range of possibilities of what life may offer in the future. Of course, we are not there yet and there is still some way to go until life returns to what may be a different normal. However, we can start planning now for when that time finally does arrive. Make a list of all your strengths, then a list of all your transferable skills. Give your mind free rein to think outside of what you know, allowing it to move towards what could be possible. Be creative, brainstorm, write it down. You may well come up with something you can put into practice and that allows you to reinvent yourself and how you live your life