The New Normal


Change; the only thing that never changes…

As our leaders scramble for solutions and mandate precautionary restrictions, we’re all settling into the “New Normal”. A heightened sense of awareness of all things BIG and small seems to be the immediate psychological affect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everywhere you go and everything you touch is under scrutiny. Any human interaction or transaction requires a little more distance and protective gear. All of these changes have their pros and cons and some added irony just for fun. Like the disappearance of rush hour traffic but nowhere to go! Or being able to work from home — with all the children! No matter who you are, what you’ve got, or who you know, this pandemic has impacted the 3 Fs: our Finances, our Family, and our Freedom.

I’m sure most of us have had to take a good look at our financial situation and take immediate action or plan ahead to ensure we’ll have all we need during these challenging times. Some have taken significant losses and need to budget what’s left without foreseeable income. That’s scary. Some have to choose between exposing themselves to this virus or losing their benefits or retirement. Whether you just got your tax refund and stimulus check or you’re completely broke, we all need to pay attention to our needs versus wants and the resources we can access. Just in Time is one resource that is just a phone call away.

Spending more time with family can be wonderful… until it’s not. Spending 24/7 with an elderly person – not easy. Spending 24/7 with a child – exhausting! It helps to remember that our children’s routine has been turned upside-down, too. I’ve found that creating fun out of learning and everyday tasks is the best way to stay productive and keep everyone happy. And for those who face the opposite dilemma and have no immediate family around, the isolation and loneliness can be overwhelming. Social media may be your primary connection to others, so you may need to get creative with that, too.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Right now, we’re all experiencing less freedom than usual for the sake of saving lives. But there’s a different kind of freedom that comes with life being less cluttered, more simple. It’s a time to regroup. To think about what we really want in our lives and what paths will take us there. We might ask ourselves how we can create new habits and new intentions so that our “new normal” will be better than the old way.

We will see silver linings in this world crisis if we look for them. At Just in Time for Foster Youth, I’ve been learning how to build my capacity to write, strategize, and have compassion for myself and others. I encourage all to let the New Normal be a New Beginning; we deserve it!