I’ve found it pretty difficult to figure out what exactly to say lately, because, well, I’ve really struggled to formulate my own thoughts. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and it can be so difficult to piece together your own feelings, let alone figure out what to say to others. One minute things can feel fine, and the next, well, anxiety can take over – so on and so forth.

Let’s recap the past month quickly, shall we? Right now there’s a new, extremely contagious, infectious disease that’s spreading rapidly throughout the world, leaving many counties in some form of lockdown, and most of us left trying to navigate this “new norm” virtually overnight. That’s a lot to process. So I just want to start off by saying that if you’re still trying to wrap your head around this whole thing, while trying to understand what the heck it means and what you should be doing during this season at home, then trust that’s 1,000% okay. Despite what you may see online, you don’t need to spend this time being extremely productive, writing bestsellers, exercising constantly, or taking up every hobby you’ve ever dreamed of. If those things bring you joy and you find them helpful, then absolutely rock it – but if you find that just going through the motions is difficult enough, then allow yourself to take this time to rest and recharge.

Social distancing (or, physical distancing as we’re supposed to refer to it now) is definitely one of those necessary evils – it’s extremely important to do in order to safely make it through this scary and uncertain time, however, it’s also freaking tough and can leave us feeling more lonely than we could have ever expected. Let’s take it back to the fundamentals for a second – we’re human, which means that we’re extremely social creatures and have relied on one another for survival since the very beginning. Overtime, that need for survival has grown and morphed, and we now rely on others for not only our physical safety, but also our mental and spiritual health.

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For many of us, our entire worlds have been completely flipped upside down. Some may suddenly find themselves trying to work from home for the first time, alongside their spouse, while attempting to homeschool their kids simultaneously. Others may find themselves completely out of work altogether, just trying to figure out where they’re supposed to go from here. But ultimately, while things may look slightly different for everyone, this virus has impacted most of us in some way, shape, or form – the people you pass by on your walk throughout your neighbourhood are feeling it, the people you see at the grocery store are feeling it, the people in every single car you see at a stoplight are feeling it. So while you may find yourself spending more time on your own, you are so far from alone right now.

We’re living in an extremely strange and significant moment in history – a moment that we will one day look back on as nothing more than a memory. There’s so much going on right now, and things are changing quicker than we can keep up with. Not being able to do the things that we typically do, or spend time with the people we typically see, can quickly make this already painfully difficult situation even more painfully difficult.

Right now, many countries are slowly starting to discuss or implement measures to gradually reopen the economy, however, the general consensus seems to be that it will be a while until life returns to what we once knew. It’s hard to know what the future will hold, so in the meantime, let’s just focus on navigating this new reality & making sure that we are checking in with ourselves so that we can ensure we’re taking care of.

Navigating This New Reality

Be Intentional

A lot of us aren’t able to see the people we care about as often or as easily as we once did, which is really, really tough. However, it’s important to remember that relationships aren’t cancelled, they just may need a little extra effort and intention right now. So, if you need to, be intentional with how and when you get in touch with the people you love, and carve out time everyday to call, text, or FaceTime your friends and family members. Check in with them, see how they’re doing – talk about how you’re doing. Keep a healthy conversation going, and trust that one day, this strange time will pass.

Be Creative

Sometimes it can be really easy to look past everything we have, and instead, zone in on all the things we don’t have anymore. As much as we talk about how the digital age and how social media can be difficult at times, we also have to remember that we live in such an amazing time where we are able to connect with people all around the world. While sometimes it may take a little creativity, most of the things we used to do can be modified to do online for the time being. For example, if you generally attend a workout class on Tuesday evenings with your friends, find a YouTube workout that you can all follow together on FaceTime. This is also the perfect time to start new traditions – write & mail out letters to your friends and family members, drop off homemade cookies or scrunchies on their porch as a surprise, or ask a neighbour if they could use anything from the grocery store when you head out. At the end of the day, we may have lost a lot, but it doesn’t mean that everything is gone.

Find Purpose

It’s easy to look at life with two extremes – either you’re extremely productive and are doing everything you’ve ever wanted to do, or you’re the opposite and find yourself without any structure or order. But what if it didn’t have to be one or the other? What if we started off with just a few little things that give ourselves purpose each day? Instead of looking at this as all or nothing, start off with small goals you can give to yourself to accomplish every day. This could be something like spending some time each morning caring for your gardens outside, trying out a new recipe every night, or decluttering one closet in your house. You don’t need to do everything or to completely change your life, but if you find yourself struggling with the lack of control in so many areas of your life, giving yourself purpose can be a great way to regain a handle on some things.

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Love Yourself First

Remember that there’s a lot going on right now, and regardless of what it may look like online, nobody has it 100% figured out. Love yourself first – forgive yourself if your time at home is looking different than what you may have thought it should look like. Fill your heart with love, kindness, and trust that you are doing just great. This time is so unlike anything most of us could have ever dreamed of, so above all else, focus your energy on being kind to yourself, being kind to others, and doing all things out of love. This too shall pass.