Being mindful about the transition to the post-COVID ‘new normal’Jun 06, 2020 — Steven Yorke
Around the world, restrictions related to COVID-19 are slowly being eased. For some of us, the lifting of restrictions seems too hasty. There’s the worry that the spread of the virus will pick back up again and all of the self isolation and social distancing so far will have been for nothing. For others, the easing of restrictions isn’t fast enough, or maybe isn’t clear enough, with confusion around the rules of visiting our friends and family.
With so much uncertainty, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Things are constantly changing and we don’t know what the situation will be like next week, let alone in a few months’ time. Mindfulness can help us gain some peace of mind as we navigate our way towards our ‘new normal’.
Be mindful of your feelings
When we feel ourselves becoming overwhelmed, it’s important to be mindful of those feelings. Notice where the sensations of anxiety appear in your body - maybe you feel it in the pit of your stomach or in your head. By paying close attention to your bodily sensations in the present moment, rather than letting yourself get caught up in thoughts and worries about the future, you will notice that the feelings of anxiety start to subside.
It’s also important to be mindful of what triggers our negative feelings. For example, if you find yourself becoming anxious watching the never-ending coverage of the coronavirus situation on the news, then make a mental note that this has caused anxiety and start to limit your news consumption.
Be mindful of what’s in your control and what’s not
With restrictions being changed on a fairly regular basis, we’re constantly being told what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do. This is just one example of something that is out of our control during these uncertain times. As we’re not the ones who are setting the rules, and we have little control over them, there’s not much point in ruminating over them. Instead, we should concentrate on the things that are in our control.
If you’re still not in a position to see your loved ones in person, concentrate on what is possible, such as planning regular video calls and arranging online game nights. Your attention is much better spent on proactive things rather than focusing on the things that you can’t do.
Be mindful of change as it happens
We should realize that our ‘new normal’, won’t be exactly the same as the ‘old normal’. We’ll be living with the repercussions of the pandemic for a long time, but we should recognize that change is a constant, whether it’s due to a pandemic or not.
If you’re one of the people who has not found their life destroyed by this, recognise your good fortune and think about any positives that have come from your changed situation. Also take a moment to care about those who haven't had such luck.
Most importantly, we shouldn’t worry about expected changes. Instead, we should focus on change as it happens. This will help us to stay in the present moment, remain proactive and keep a positive frame of mind.
By introducing daily meditation into your routine, you can practice being mindful and staying in the present moment. With practice, you’ll notice the benefits of meditation in your day-to-day life and you can develop clarity, awareness and peace of mind as you transition to the ‘new normal’.
Medito Foundation is dedicated to providing free mindfulness resources to everyone. Download Medito, the free meditation app now from the App Store or Google Play.