8 Tips for Navigating the ‘New Normal’

April 22, 2020 Updated: April 30, 2020

There’s a lot of talk these days about the “new normal.” Depending on where you live, the various social distancing strategies, face masks, gloves, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, canceled plans, and emergency government powers have us all grappling with a new way of life.

While we pine away for the old normal, here are eight ideas to make the best of this current reality.

Prioritize Rest

With more downtime on your hands, allow your body to experience periods of true rest. This means resting your mind as well. Detach from your phone, turn off the news, and allow your mind and body to calm down and rejuvenate without disturbance from external inputs. If you’re finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, audit the kind and quantity of content you’re consuming and don’t sleep with your phone in your bedroom.

Enjoy Solid Nutrition

The visits to the kitchen are likely frequent these days. Make sure yours is stocked with a colorful variety of clean, whole foods, along with some fun, special treats to keep you going. I have personally found my local specialty markets to be better stocked and much more reliable than the chain grocery and big box stores during this time.

Embrace cooking, prep grab-and-go snacks, and nurture your body and those of your family members with the good nutrition everyone needs to stay strong and healthy.

Go Outside

Every day, or as much as possible, go outside and move your body. Walk, run, play hop-scotch—whatever—just move in the fresh air. If the sun is shining, soak it up. Notice the beautiful nature all around you. Breathe.

Hug Your Family

Maintain a warm, affectionate, loving, and supportive atmosphere at home with lots of hugs and appreciation for each individual you live with. Generous hugging has a way of staving off squabbles and bickering. Many times, when someone is lashing out or not being their best selves, they could really just use a hug. Don’t let the messaging of this crisis impede your inclination to give out hugs at home.

Observe Your Life

As you move through this time, try to observe objectively what’s working and what’s not. How’s working from home working for you? What are you learning about your children’s schooling and education? How are you coping with being furloughed or laid off? What about this situation is disturbing you? What about this situation are you enjoying? What are you learning about yourself?

Give Others Grace

People handle crises differently. What’s more, this particular crisis is impacting different people in different ways. Fear, depression, anxiety, stress—these are not emotions that tend to bring out the best in anyone.

So, lower your expectations of others. Cut people slack. Give your loved ones a longer rope. Don’t take things too personally. When you find yourself offended or affronted, look within and see if you can learn something about yourself from the encounter.


If you don’t already keep a journal, now would be a great time to start. Apart from documenting your personal experience during a period that will go down in history, writing can be both comforting and enlightening.

Something relieving happens when you take the ideas that are swirling in your mind and put them down on paper. Allow yourself the space and privacy to write freely.

Additionally, when you shake up your habits, your routines, your normal—inspiration has a way of showing up. Perhaps you’ll happen upon an idea for something you’re compelled to make or do. Have a place to capture any inspiring ideas that come.

Discern the Truth

The world is going through a monumental experience. Sharpen your ability to discern the truth and make rational decisions for your family with a clear mind. An understanding of history and access to a variety of information sources is critical. If you find yourself triggered or operating in an emotionally heightened state, your ability to think clearly will be compromised. Do what you need to to calm yourself down. Digest information objectively, Think for yourself.

And, of course, wash your hands.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza