A New Normal
On May 13, the CDC announced that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear face masks. This is the day that many have been hoping for since the pandemic started. The world seems to be opening up and going back to “normal.” And yet, this announcement came with unexpected emotions for many. During this time, many are trying to figure out a new normal for how to be in the world and processing the emotions associated with coming out of this pandemic.
Creating your new normal
This pandemic has been a universal tragedy. It is a shared trauma that the majority of the world has experienced. However, it’s important to remember that each individual has had their own unique experience during this pandemic. These unique experiences and each individual’s personality will naturally lead to different ideas about how they would like to proceed as the world begins to open again. And you get to decide what you do and don’t feel comfortable with moving forward. Remember, you have the right to set your own boundaries during this time, regardless of what your family and friends are doing. Think of boundaries as a fence on wheels that only you are able to move. You can set your boundary lines wherever you want, and you are also allowed to change them as your thoughts and feelings change.
You might be anxious – and that’s okay!
We have been told for a year to wear a mask around others, keep a distance from others, and stay home as frequently as possible. It is natural to feel some anxiety or discomfort doing the exact things we were told were potentially dangerous for so long. Pay attention to your emotions, share them with friends, and take care of yourself. It’s okay to feel anxious and to take your time as you venture outside of your comfort zone, creating your new normal. Make sure to balance any going out that feels anxious with time to unwind. If you are feeling anxious when you leave your home, use deep, slow breaths to help your body from producing too many stress hormones. Start with small, achievable goals for leaving your house and maybe bring a close friend or family member with you if possible.
When to ask for further help
What we’ve all experienced with this pandemic has been a collective, shared trauma. For some, this trauma may lead to anxiety that feels overwhelming and difficult to manage and/or persistent feelings of sadness and depression. If you feel stuck in any of these emotions, please reach out to us at SureHope Counseling. We offer both in person and virtual appointments and would love to help you on your journey to finding a new normal that is healthy for you.
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