This is Not Normal

Our current reality, that people are calling the “new normal” is something else.

I am grateful for the conversations that we are having around topics that range from: health care, access to resources, housing, work from home, living wages, sick leave etc.

There are so many critical conversations that we are having as a country, and it’s unfortunate that it took a virus to bring us to our knees so that we see could see another perspective.

These conversations that are in the foreground of our lives, have always been present, they were simply conversations that for many were white noise but have been concerns for vulnerable or marginalized populations.

Now we all are a vulnerable populations in different ways and for different reasons.

Another conversation that we need to have is around the normalization of how we are managing life now that COVID-19 is part of our daily life. I am not advocating for large public gatherings, packed outings at the park, travel or living like it’s early 2019 before we ever heard of COVID-19.

The way we are managing life, for the health and safety of all, should not be normalized, because there is nothing normal about it.

It’s important to acknowledge that our lives will be adjusted for a good amount of time, that will extend past Easter 2020, while we navigate this new reality, but please lets not normalize it.

If we normalize this reality, we will be at risk of becoming complacent. It’s about two to three weeks of self- quarantine, shelter in place etc. for people to start calling this “normal”.

Do you really want it to be “normal”?

While we are all in a pandemic, we are also in crisis to different degrees. The lives that we knew have been greatly altered. We are all grieving the loss of that life that we had before we had to socially distance. We are all doing the best we can to adjust, and we need to acknowledge that we are still in an adjustment period. This adjustment will take some time and may be lengthened if we aren’t allowing ourselves to let it all sink in and digest it.

If you find yourself preoccupied with your health, safety, finances, work-life balance, family etc. while you work, attend school, teach your kids all in the comfort or discomfort of your home, it’s okay. This is not normal. If you find yourself wanting to sleep more or rest more, or wear your PJ’s all day, yet judge yourself… give yourself grace. Please remember this reality is not normal.

We need to pump the breaks for our own well-being. We’ve needed to do this, prior to the virus, however the virus has added a layer of stress and concern that effects us at a primal level and in different ways.

There is good news. We are wired for survival, we are strong and resilient and can get through this together. We need to be gentle with ourselves as we move through it, pause often and focus on self care. Self-care is what will help us from: being overwhelmed, getting sick, breaking down, getting depressed and being anxious.

It is vital, now more than ever, to check in with the human in ourselves and in others.

Business culture requires us to be stoic, neutral worker bees which many people do under normal circumstances. However, we can not be stoic, neutral worker bees when we are in crisis and it’s okay. If you need to scream, scream or scream in your minds eye. If you need to cry, cry and let it out, it’s okay. For your health and well-being take it easy and allow yourself to be human, because you are human. We were never meant to go, go, go and be on show or put on a happy face 24/7.

On this Saturday, I hope you give yourself a moment to breathe. Rest. Read. Write. Or simply be and let that be enough.

Love – Stephanie XO

I appreciate your words. Thank you!

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