Many of us keep hearing the phrase “New Normal,” to describe what might lie ahead as we slowly transition back to “living”, following the peak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The word normal has always been a difficult term to pin down. And it can often create negative stereotypes or agitation between groups of people, especially if what you perceive to be normal is different from a friend or neighbor.
With the events that have taken place over the past few weeks, we realized that the “New Normal” that everyone has been referring to is much larger than returning to a post COVID-19 way of living our lives. We needed to take a step back and consider what we perceive to be “normal,” and acknowledge that this experience is going to be different for other generations, races, and genders. When we reflect with an open mind like this, we often come to the realization that our perception of normal can blind us from recognizing how certain behaviors, or unconscious biases, are holding us back from growth and peace.
A “New Normal” of Equality, Inclusion and Growth
Many of us have come face to face with the inequality and injustice in our community that has persisted for far too long. Our community is demanding to be heard and is demanding change; change for the better. But for change to occur, it will have to begin with each of us. When we work together to remove negative stereotypes and recognize unconscious biases that we may have held onto, we can start the healing process together and begin cultivating a New Normal of Equality, Inclusion and Growth.
We wanted to share a quote from Benjamin Franklin that had a profound impact on us when we heard it: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Many of us are now outraged, we understand the full weight of this statement and realize that the social narrative we have been living needs dramatic change.
We recognize that change can be uncomfortable. So, when events occur that shake up our perception of normality and cause us to stop, think, and consider our own actions and belief systems, it can create an overwhelming sense of anxiety and guilt.
The truth is, the only way we can get closer to the New Normal of Equality, Inclusion and Growth, is through change. Listen generously, be vulnerable with each other and accept the discomfort that will come as a result of each of us trying our best to create this New Normal. Recognize that this will be difficult; no one has all of the answers, and we may make mistakes in our efforts to get it right.
How We Create This New Normal Together
Rather than trying to avoid the uncomfortable aspects of change, remember to focus on its healing benefits. Try these tips to help you cope with your fears, so you can discover why change is actually good for the soul.
Be Mindful. Be Present. Part of the reason most people dread change is from a fear of the unknown. It’s easy to let your mind wonder on what “could” happen, and unfortunately, many of the hypothetical scenarios in our heads tend to be negative, due to uncertainties.
- Try to recognize these thought patterns, and when you start to feel nervous or anxious about events before they happen, pull yourself back to the here and now. Focus on paying attention to your surroundings and take slow, deep breaths to center your mind and body.
Be Self-Aware. Be Reflective: For far too long, many of us have been silent or not paying attention to the social biases that have plagued our country. Perhaps you have unconsciously harbored thoughts or feelings that you now recognize as destructive. Though it’s difficult to take a hard look at ourselves and reevaluate our beliefs, it needs to happen, so we can identity the areas of ourselves that require change to become better and wiser people.
- Try keeping a journal and writing down the thoughts, fears, and emotions you’re struggling with. Be honest with yourself. The next day, read what you wrote and identify areas that require more reflection. Ask yourself: Is this how I really feel? And is so, why do I feel this way. What are other circumstances that are influencing such beliefs.
Be Open. Be Honest. Talking to someone you trust and having an open, honest conversation in a safe environment is always the best strategy for working out issues. Whether you decide to talk to a close friend or a professional mental health provider, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your worries out loud and also hear different perspectives from others.
- This tip works best when you discuss your thoughts with an unbiased individual. Someone who can understand where you’re coming from but who can also understand that thoughts and feelings of others. Though it’s easier and often more comfortable to speak to a family member who shares the same ideas, we need to consider that certain fears we have may have unconsciously developed from our own environment. A fresh, unbiased perspective can help shed light on the source of why you try to avoid change in the first place.
Stay Connected with The Calli Institute
As part of an ongoing series, titled “Defining our Normal,” we’ll share tips and ideas to help you, your loved ones, and even your business create change that will affect our way of living, socializing, and treating one another. Our goal is to provide helpful resources to empower you with activities that help you reset and refocus on encouraging positive change in your personal and professional life.
Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll discuss getting back to socializing; going out to dinner, the gym, getting a haircut and many of the other activities that are re-opening post COVID-19 shutdown. With new regulations, policies, and procedures designed to keep both customers and employees safe, there are a lot of changes that have occurred which can create stress and anxiety for both you and the business.
We hope that you join The Calli Institute on our journey to do our part to create change in our community. Stay connected with us at www.calliinstitute.com or contact us to learn more about how we can help through in-person or Telehealth appointments.