Finding Mental and Emotional Equilibrium in the New Normal
The mental and emotional challenges resulting from the pandemic may be more apparent as the world gets used to the New Normal. A handful of recurring factors influence us, albeit in varying degrees of personal impact: financial security, the human need for socialization and contact, and the need to see and connect with the outside world. Some came to terms with the situation and adapted, while others are experiencing gnawing despair from the extended isolation time. Many more of us traverse through the wider middle of this emotional spectrum, knowing that despite the loosening of quarantine rules we are still standing on thin ice until a cure is discovered.
Wherever you are mentally and emotionally right now, we acknowledge your struggle. We are all facing this in our own way, but know that you are not alone in this. Each of us is doing our best to cope, to adjust, to make the most of our situation, and keep our lives together for ourselves and our loved ones. We are all working on keeping ourselves safe, secure, and strong.
In a previous article, Recovery and Sustainability in the New Normal, we talked about what we can do as we adjust to the requirements of living through this situation. Today, we would like to offer a few more ideas on how to keep our mental and emotional equilibrium in check. Where our headspace is at usually dictates how we respond to the situation at large, and even to the daily demands of life. So keeping ourselves focused on the more positive and controllable aspects will help us a lot in how we cope and keep our stability.
Each of us is doing our best to cope, to adjust, to make the most of our situation, and keep our lives together for ourselves and our loved ones.
Boosting Your Skills
We have talked about learning new skills and honing existing ones. This proves to be a very useful tool, not just in making ourselves productive and better prepared for our future, but also as a way to give ourselves a positive boost of accomplishment.
A bit of reflection will help us figure out what skills are most important to develop. On the surface, skills that help us in becoming more profitable are useful. But we must also consider honing our soft skills, those aspects of ourselves that we have been intending to improve upon, but keeps getting pushed on the sidewalk because we were too busy. This would be the optimal time to reevaluate our potentials and find the gaps that, when filled, will promote us into a greater version of our professional selves.
Becoming a Power User
This situation has exposed us to the capabilities and advantages of the technologies that surround us. Companies have been forced to adapt and improve their infrastructure if they haven’t done so pre-COVID. But this also exposed many of our technical inferiorities. For those who struggle with digital devices, systems, and trends, now is the right time to catch up. And for those who are fairly comfortable with technology already, maximizing your potential and developing deeper skills in these may redefine your value in your job or propel your business to a more sustainable level.
Get on with learning web development, SEO, or e-commerce. Educate yourself on social media and video platforms and how to optimize your account for better views. Study systems that may be mandatory in the next few years, such as video conferencing apps like Zoom, task management tools like Trello, collaboration platforms like Slack, and various CRMs that companies are or will be using, like Salesforce.
Reflect on your Core Values
We all value certain things in our lives, and those things compel us to do what we do. Some of our values are right there on the surface, and we can easily grasp the meaning and compulsion from them. But sometimes, we need to be more honest with ourselves to understand and define our core values.
Find the time for introspection and list down your core values. Do they define what you want to be? Are you proud of espousing these things you value? Knowing them and owning them will help you understand your motivations. They will also help you understand what direction your life should take.
Also, reflect on how these values match the company you work for. It is important to find alignment in the values of your workplace and your own. A disconnect will challenge your devotion to the vision of the business, and this means either a dissatisfaction in your work or outright resentment. Know your core values and make sure what you are doing in life and in your profession match these.
Unburden your Busy Mind
Stimulating your mind with education and self-reflection are by no means ways to suppress deeper feelings you may have about this situation. The more you push them down, the harsher they will be when they boil back up. Aside from self-improvement, this is also the time for acceptance and helping yourself. You can talk about your feelings with people you trust and find support there, but you must also be active and responsible for handling your well-being.
Be honest with your feelings and emotions. Be aware that there is no shame in acknowledging these things. You are a human being forced in a situation that no one expected nor have full control over. There will always be special challenges in our lives, and over time we will be able to handle them better.
Replace worry with mindful action. In challenging situations start with a breath and the understanding that these are problems that can be solved.
Handling them would be easier if our minds are unburdened. First, acknowledge that we will find a better state from this crisis. Humanity will survive, and so can we. However, let us not dwell on expectations, but instead look for what good we can make out of this.
Lessen the cognitive and emotional load by simplifying your surroundings. Be a little more organized. This doesn’t need to be complicated at all. Your goal is to make things easier for you, and a little set up of where things should go and decluttering your environment will help you be more clear-headed and not bothered with the trivial stuff. Have a routine that will make your chores and work easier to manage and monitor. Get plenty of rest and stay healthy with exercise and good food.
Replace worry with mindful action. In challenging situations start with a breath and the understanding that these are problems that can be solved. You may not solve them perfectly, you may not even need to solve them alone. Sometimes uncontrollable things will push us back and often we will fail as we figure things out. All of these are valid outcomes. We will still be OK.
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