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FIVE WAYS TO EMBRACE THE NEW NORMAL



I usually try to write posts that have longevity. Colloquially, they're called "evergreen" posts, and they're the ones that you can come back to in a year or five and still find value. And, at some point, I may take pieces of this one to create something evergreen. But not today. Today feels like a time for breaking what was normal and embracing that things are different. With COVID-19 causing a global pandemic, it feels like nothing is normal or routine, because very little is. And it almost feels deceitful or false to try and cling to normalcy when so many things are uncertain.


I spent the first week of our self-imposed isolation feeling very scared and hopeless, and it wasn't until the isolation became a California mandate a week later that I realized I had found a few things that made me feel like things were going to be okay instead of feeling like nothing was ever going to be right again. Some of them are simple. Some of them a little deeper. Today I'm sharing them here in the hopes that they speak to someone, and help you find a space of hope in this new normal, and again in the next one (because let's be honest: whatever comes after this pandemic passes us won't be exactly what we had before it. It will be another new normal).


1) SHOWER AND PUT ON DIFFERENT LOUNGEWEAR


Typically when I have a day at home, I would shower then slip into the same graphic tee and joggers I had been wearing before showering. Right now, though, I found that was making me feel stuck. Like I was in a loop I couldn't escape. Changing up my outfit after each shower - and making sure I showered even though I have nowhere to go - made a difference. It makes each day feel different. And when so much of our world has shrunk to the space of our homes, we need that freshness. (And, I have to admit, it's been fun mixing and matching my athleisure in new ways). Some of my favorites are Onzie leggings, and a variety of cropped tees and hoodies. I particularly love this tie-dye pair, this grey crop hoodie, and this pink tank.


2) GET OUTSIDE


This one hasn't been easy this past week because of all the rain, but the days I have bundled up and gone out have felt significantly more hopeful feeling than the ones where I stayed inside all day. And, the longer I am outside, the better I feel. Being in an open space, and remembering that it is spring - seeing the flowers we planted blooming, and our trees sprouting buds - it's refreshing. It's actually so sweet that during this time of fear and uncertainty we can literally see new life beginning. I ache for a normal spring of Disney days and patio brunches with friends, but am also so grateful for a time like this to have such sweet reminders that all things are made new, and this winter will pass.


3) PLAY


Play so hard. Build forts. Do puzzles. Bust out those games. Pretend it's everyone's birthday and sing. Get out scrabble. Watch Family Guy, the Office, and anything else that makes you laugh. Have an epic 80's dance party. We have to intentionally seek out joy during times like this, and what better way than to be like a child again and play? I watch Evie, and I see that she has no idea about the heaviness going on outside. She's a little miffed that she can't go to Target, but mostly she just has unbridled joy because we're all here, together, playing. I wouldn't have chosen this time, but the freedom to stay home and play with my people is turning out to be such a sweet spot in this bitter time.


4) HOLD YOUR EXPECTATIONS LOOSELY


This one is hard. I went into this thinking about all the $h!t I could get done, and all those Peloton rides I could take, since I wouldn't be going anywhere, but found myself feeling so heavy that all I wanted to do was curl up with a cup of coffee and be still. So I made a list of all the things I thought would be awesome to work on in the moments I was feeling productive and powerful, then let myself have the space to not achieve any of it. Yep. Not any of it. I find myself often vacillating between insane productivity and complete stillness over the past week. And that's okay. I've been finding that holding my achievement goals loosely and allowing myself to be and feel whatever I need to be or feel in the moment has been freeing and healthy. Hold your expectations for yourself during this time loosely. This time is uncertain. It can be heavy. It can be scary. Give yourself permission and space to process that, too.


5) KEEP DOING WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL CARED FOR


It can be easy to slip out of routines during a time like this, and many routines you don't have a choice - you have to stop - but I've found that continuing to do a few things that give me life are making all the difference. For me, the two things I've keep up with diligently are my skincare routine and getting up an hour before Evie to drink coffee & do devotionals. I had a few mornings where it felt pointless to get up - after all, where did I have to go? - but by day 5 I was glad I hadn't broken pattern. That hour is just for me. I feed my soul. There's no other responsibility - no one else who needs me - I can be completely self-focused for 60 minutes. That time fills me up so I'm ready to pour out into Evie, our dogs, the house, and whatever else needs my attention for the next 13 hours. And the skincare - again, that's time that's just for me, and all about me. We need that space now more than ever.


Those are just a handful of things that have been helping me have some hope during this new normal. What are some thing that have been helping you? Send me a DM instagram.com/simplicityandcoffee and I'll share the suggestions with everyone else via stories!


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