A New Normal for Everyone
Although the phrase “new normal” has been around for a while, it became popular in the years following the tragedies of 9/11/01. It refers to a new standard of baseline expectation or experience.
The phrase certainly seems relevant again as we adjust to the new normal of living with a global unprecedented pandemic.
Whatever the adjustments, and we are all making them, we can certainly take comfort in the fact that we are all facing this new normal together.
And there is the key word: together. That is what we want to focus on in this particular newsletter.
We are better together, and even though we are required to distance ourselves physically, we can make up for that by connecting to each other emotionally and in other ways. What a blessing to have technology that allows us to talk to loved ones face to face at any time of the day or night! What a blessing to receive comfort and humor from thoughts being posted from all over the world on social media!
Whatever situation you find yourself in, here are a few suggestions to help you respond as best as you can during this challenging time:
- Catch up - On your z’s…your family members’ lives…your to-do list…your movie and TV show queue…an unfinished, project, hobby or craft. Spend some quality time with family at home. You have the time!
- Reach out - Some people working in occupations deemed essential might be working overtime. Some people might be stranded abroad, unable to fly home. Some might be living alone and have no one to help pass the time. Some might be unable to visit loved ones in nursing homes. Some are adjusting to becoming their child’s teacher while they are not in school. You can reach out to help by calling, texting, messaging, emailing, using face-to-face technology, etc., to offer support. Please reach out to those who live alone and are isolated. Even if you are one of these people, reaching out to others will help alleviate your own stress. Look for the helpers; they are there. Reach out to your local mental health resources for help. They are there to help you with your stressful concerns regarding this pandemic. Reach out to your healthcare provider if you suspect you or a family member may have COVID-19 symptoms which include fever, shortness of breath, cough and unusual tiredness. Also, for all of us, please be kind to each other during this time. Remember we need to help each other now more than ever. If you live in a friendly neighborhood (and do not have COVID-19), gather together in the neighborhood at a certain time each day (using the social distancing guidelines) to chat and build camaraderie. This pandemic is nobody’s fault, and now more than ever, we need to embrace our humanity and show civility.
- Get creative - If you have kids not in school, they can still learn. There are endless resources of videos, books, and classroom materials on line. Set up school hours and have a do-able list of activities to keep kids reading, thinking, and doing some math. Draw, color, learn a new hobby, or do a simple S.T.E.M. activity. Get a jar and put in a lot of marbles, beans, or any small item and have everyone guess how many are in the jar. Tell your kids that you are doing a home adventure, and perhaps do a different kind of scavenger hunt or board game each day to give them something to look forward to. Write a list of fun activities together, put it on the fridge and mark off the activities teach day.
- Breathe deeply - If the world’s problems, or your own, are causing you undue stress, take time during the day to breathe deeply and relax your mind and body. Do a little mindful meditation. There are apps for that! The whole family can get involved. This will help everyone stay calm, centered and relaxed. Step outside your front door and breathe in some fresh air each day. Do a little outside walk if possible, especially if you have a dog. Getting fresh air can help clear your mind and refresh your body. Listen a quiet story while eyes are closed and the body is relaxed with soft, soothing music playing in the background. Playing soft, soothing music for a short time each day while you breathe and relax is a wonderful de-stressing activity.
- Keep perspective - This too shall pass. It might seem long, but as an African proverb says, “There is no hill that never ends”! How we respond makes all the difference. Do what you can. Keep the faith. Know this will end. Maintain an optimistic but also realistic point of view that will serve you and others.
- Be grateful – Have each person share out loud or write down five simple things and/or people they are grateful for each day. Or get a piece of paper or paper plate and tape it to each person’s back and then have everyone write one positive thing about each person on the paper. Afterwards, each person takes off the paper, and everyone discusses the responses.
- Move and Groove – Put some music on and dance, play, do mindful activities, stretch, just move at a certain time each day! Tell the kids, “It’s active playtime!”
- Stay the Course – Do your best to stay calm within yourself and with your kids. Keep a routine and a schedule. Stay informed through your local authorities, the CDC, the NIH, local health department and other credible resources. Then turn off the news. Too much information can become overwhelming and affect your health and your family’s health. Designate a few times or a once-a-week family meeting to calmly explain the current situation. Kids do not need to be involved in adult problems or know information that may make them feel fearful. Let’s help them feel safe and secure even when we feel unsettled. We need to let them be, well, kids! Of course, wash your hands regularly, cough or sneeze in your elbow, disinfect and wipe down counters, door knobs, etc. Stay home, stay informed, stay safe, stay patient, stay hopeful and stay well.
You are not alone! We are in this together. We are resilient. We are made of good stuff! We have what it takes to get through this...together. We CAN transcend this critical time. Remember, unity is in the word community, so let us unite and harness our hope and help for each other. Please keep the frontline workers in your thoughts and prayers, e.g., healthcare workers, police, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, essential frontline workers, first responders, grocery store workers, mental health specialists, volunteers and more. These are the true heroes helping us during this time.
We can not only survive this unprecedented, challenging time but use it to make our lives and others’ lives better than ever before. New, better and healthier beginnings are on the horizon. Sometimes the most challenging times lead to new, great, progressive changes. We value compassion and connection now more than ever. Let us remember these lessons when this time is over. Let’s remember to look up more than down. Keep the faith. We’ve got this!
“He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.”– William Samuel Johnson
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”– Chinese Proverb
“Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.”– William Hazlitt
“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”– Napoleon Hill
“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” – Jewish Proverb
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H Schuller
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca
“Never give in. Never, never, never.” – Winston Churchill
“Prosperity is not without many fears and disasters; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.”– Francis Bacon
“We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”– Thich Nhat Hanh
“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rohn
Remember to like us on Facebook at wellsvilleusa and watch the Wellsville TV show Saturdays at 8 a.m. on FOX 66 for more family fun!
Wellsville Rockin’ Recipe:
Wellsville Rockin’ Recipe - Whole Wheat Veggie Pasta Salad
- 8oz whole wheat rotini pasta, cooked and drained
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 cup fresh broccoli florets, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can black or green olives, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, optional, for serving
You can add any vegetables or use any whole wheat pasta you love. You can even skip the pasta – the salad is delicious as is!
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Combine dressing ingredients separately in a small bowl.
- Stir with whisk or fork.
- Add the dressing all at once and gently mix to coat. Or at dressing by the serving.
- Sprinkle with the feta before serving, if desired.
Makes at least 8-1 cup servings
Nutrition Information w/ dressing: 237 calories, 9gm fat, 7gm fiber, 8gm protein