• Holly Robison

The new normal

As I'm writing this, we're eight months into the U.S. pandemic. We all originally thought we could beat the virus relatively quickly, and now we see that it will be more challenging than anticipated. Even this far into it, have you noticed how many folks make comments like, "When things get back to normal..."

But what if this is the new normal?

This week there's been talk of a new vaccine that is potentially 90% effective. How long it remains effective in the body, at this point we obviously don't know. What we do know is the vast majority of us won't initially get the vaccine because they'll be reserved for front-line workers -- as they should be. Also, there are a bazillion logistical issues with getting the vaccines to the masses that still need to be worked out.

So in the meantime, what can we do to keep ourselves safe and sane?

Upping our level of self-care should be at the top of our to-do lists. This could include things like meditation, movement, downtime, reading, and getting out in nature. Read about some ideas here and here.

Take the time and check in with your mental state. Quarantine fatigue is a real thing, so sometimes you might feel more burned out than other times. Be patient with yourself, allow yourself a bit more downtime, and try to not pile your workload too high whenever possible. I know that can be easier said than done for sure, but doing something as simple as not scheduling one more activity this weekend is a great place to start.

If you're really missing spending time with friends and family, get creative when it comes to seeing the people you love but who aren't in your bubble. Be on the other side of a window, use technology to see them, or spend time at a park with them. Just because we shouldn't be hugging our friends doesn't mean that our social lives need to be ignored. In fact, we need human connection now more than ever. It just doesn't need to come with a covid pricetag.

Another super helpful thing you can do while we're moving through this new normal is to wear your mask when you'll be interacting with non-bubble people. This is the simplest one of them all. All the legit experts agree that by wearing a mask -- over your mouth and your nose -- we'll have a greater chance of kicking this virus to the curb sooner. If you're not worried about getting the virus so you're not wearing a mask, please wear one for me. I have enough health issues that might make me getting covid turn into a real serious situation. Just because I look healthy doesn't mean I am, and that's the same for so many other people on the planet. Wear your freaking mask already.

While we're trying our best to navigate this whole pandemic thing, we have to think bigger picture. This virus won't go away if you're not doing your part to help it go away. It's really not rocket science here. Take care of yourself, take care of your neighbor, and take care of your family. We'll get through this together. We might just have to get a little more creative in the process, that's all.

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