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What's Your New Normal?

“Toto I’ve a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore’is a famous line from the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz” and occurs when the main character, Dorothy, finds herself in what appears to be a whole new different world to her normal life. She has entered a place which is vastly different from the ‘safe’ and predictable world she has known so far.

I’m sure many of us can resonate with that, given the major disruptions and restrictions that the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic has caused to our ‘normal’ way of life. Over the past few months we have found ourselves in a strange situation with circumstances that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable. In this strange new world we may have been forced to face significant challenges such as social isolation, difficulties in accessing basic supplies, physical ill health, financial hardship, loss of job or career, juggling working from home with home schooling children and learning to work differently.

Most of us are no doubt looking forward to the time when our lives can resume ‘as normal’.

But what will that ‘normal’ look like for you?

During isolation, many people have also used the opportunity to learn new skills

(particularly technological), pick up hobbies that they have previously not had time for, clean out accumulated junk and complete new DIY activities such as minor home improvement activities and building a vegetable garden). While these activities may have helped to pass the time, most of us are looking forward to resuming our lives which have seemed to be on ‘pause’. With restrictions beginning to ease it’s great to be able to plan activities going forward.

However, before we rush headlong into resuming our ‘pre-pandemic’ lives, it is a good opportunity to reflect upon what we may want to change or ‘discard’ from our ‘old’ lives. Some questions which might be useful to consider:

What did I enjoy most about my life before this pandemic?

What did I enjoy the least about my life before this pandemic?

What is most important to me in life?

What would I like to include in my life going forward?

What will I choose to let go of, release from my life going forward?

Despite the significant challenges for many of us over the past few months, we seldom get such an opportunity to take time out to examine our lives and assess what’s working for us and what’s not, what we might have gained from this experience, and what we may have learned about ourselves.

In the Wizard of Oz, there are some key learnings for Dorothy (our heroine) and the characters she encounters on her weird and wonderful journey. These include:

· Never stop dreaming about what you want in life

· Never give up, even when the going is difficult

· Support is always available and often comes in unexpected places

· Real courage is about facing your fears (not slaying an enemy)

· You can accomplish anything that’s important to you

· Challenges help us to feel grateful for what we have

So, what have you learned about yourself during this challenging time?

And, what will your ‘new normal’ life look like going forward?

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