Welcome (Back) to the Jungle

Welcome (Back) to the Jungle
4 Simple Ways to Ease into “Normal” after Quarantine 

We recently shared a free guide based on a popular blog article we posted last month. 

A little backstory: We were all feeling a little anxious and worried about what this quarantine would mean for us, our friends, and our families, and how we might offer some guidance and support for other people who might be feeling the same way. So, we had a team pow wow (on Zoom of course) where we shared activities and practices that were helping us cope with a range of emotions we were all feeling during these uncertain times. 10 Cost Free Ways to Turn an Unexpected Quarantine into a Healing Staycation was born and shared with our community. This guide offers a compilation of fun and creative ways for using this mandatory “down time”to create, renew and emerge from this quarantine stronger than before!

And now the question is, how do we get back to “normal?” 

No matter where you fall on this spectrum from totally chill to intensely anxious, chances are, you are feeling something. You might be elated and excited about the end of this quarantine. You might be worried about your health or the health of your loved ones. Or you might feel anxious about money and the economy and what changes will come in the months ahead. Whatever you feel, it’s okay. The good thing is that you are feeling and you are aware of your feelings. 

While you can’t change or control many of the things you worry about, you can control how you handle this present moment, and what you choose in this moment can actually shift how you feel. Here are four simple ways to ease back into “normal” without getting hung up on what you can’t control. Give one of these ways a try before rushing back to the jungle:

  1. Be. Kind. Always.
    If you spend any time on social media or watch the news, you already know there is a lot of “shaming” going on. Whether you support the quarantine or whether you were over it the minute it started, you are being judged… and harshly. The truth is most of the shaming we see (and sometimes receive) is coming from those who are afraid or anxious. If you are against this return to life and feel that we should all continue to quarantine, be kind to those who feel and act otherwise. If you are 100% in favor of getting back to a “normal” life and feel that not doing so is wrong, be kind to those who feel and act otherwise. The point is, no matter what you do, be kind and compassionate to those who feel or think differently than you do. Remind yourself that there are many paths to the same outcome and we are all doing the best we can with what we know right now.
  2. What Will You Miss the Most?
    This unexpected quarantine most likely offered you many gifts. One of the most precious gifts was time. Maybe you returned to hobbies you love but never had time for before. Maybe you spent more quality time with your spouse, partner or children. Maybe you actually started taking care of yourself either through exercising or eating more mindfully or getting out in nature. If you look back, you will most likely find something good that came from this virus imposed time out. Take note of what those activities or new habits were and commit to keeping those as part of your daily or weekly routine. Trust me, you can find the time.
  3. What Will You Never Take for Granted Again?
    The simple joy of gathering with those we love is something I will never take for granted again. What was it for you? Was it the casual conversations that happen at your local coffee shop on your way to the office? The hugs you shared with friends or loved ones? The water cooler conversations with co-workers? Date night with your partner at your favorite local restaurant? Spending an afternoon sun bathing at the beach or camping at a local state park? What did you really miss that you’ll never take for granted again? Make time for this at least once per month as you ease back into “normal.” It’s always the little things that bring us the greatest amount of joy, and the ones we most often take for granted.
  4. What Did You Learn About Yourself?
    We all handle change (whether self-initiated or imposed) differently. How often have we said, “I wish I had more time to do what I love” or “I wish I had more time with my kids” or “If only I had one more hour, I’d take better care of myself?”
    What did you do with this extra time that surprised you?
    What did you learn about yourself during this unexpected quarantine?
    What helped you feel calmer or more at peace?
    What drove you absolutely bonkers?What did you learn about yourself that can help you deal with ups and downs and the unexpected? Looking back and noticing how you responded to stressors during this time can be very enlightening. The busyness of “normal” life often prevents us from taking the time to self-evaluate or even assess what’s working and what isn’t. Use what you learned about yourself as you ease back into the routine of normal living.

This quarantine has given us all a chance to slow down, to re-evaluate and reassess what is really important in our lives and to redefine “normal.” 

We learned the value of connection and the rewards of getting outside. We came face to face with knowing that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We’ve caught a glimpse of the marvelous magic that appears in nature when everything else shuts down. Most importantly, we learned that the time for us to come together is here. 

This great pause provided an opening that shifted our thinking from “me” to “we,” allowed us to feel the fragility of our existence and opened our hearts as we extended a helping hand or kind words to one another. We may, in fact, never return to “normal” again and this might be the greatest gift of all.

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