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As we near the end of the third national lockdown and still so much uncertainty on where we are going and when the pandemic will finally be over, thoughts turn to creating our ‘new normal’ and what it will look like.  How can we bridge the gap from where we are now, with so much unpredictability, to creating a sense of stability with a healthy mindset in all areas of our lives?

  1. Continue to plan ahead with booking holidays, interests and normal routines but with the pragmatic approach of using cancellation and refund policies. We need those goals and desires to motivate us and this pandemic is temporary but we also need to be flexible.
  2. Let go of all fixed expectations. This always leads to disappointment.  We have to continue to be adaptable to every situation.  Companies and organisations are doing their best to be adjust, survive and accommodate the changes.  We have to accept that and be flexible with them.  We all get frustrated and angry at times with this situation but it serves no one.  We’re all in this together and we have to help each other through it.
  3. We can feel incredibly unsettled not knowing what is going to happen next so find ways to take control of everyday things in your own environment that bring a sense of comfort to you.
  4. Start some healthy rituals every day that can become new and beneficial habits when everything returns to normal. That could be a juice in the morning, light fasting, a run or exercise routine, walking more often or completing a crossword every day to keep the brain active.  Commit to your new ritual. It only takes 3 days to create a neural pathway that can lead to a new habit once it gets reinforced.
  5. Change is very often the very thing we need to get us out of a rut, despite the fact that many people say they hate it. It enables us to try new ways of being or take up new interests.  Why not take advantage of this time to get out of your comfort zone and do some research on what you would like to start once we are able to get out of this lockdown or join a club now?  There are so many online clubs that can provide an introduction or some much-needed social interaction and laughter.
  6. Create your own reality. We can do this through visualisation and using all our senses to program the mind to create exactly what we want.  Spend 3 minutes every day (this could be one of your new healthy habit rituals) focussing on the end goal, what it looks like, feels like, tastes like, smells like, sounds like by already having it and you will program the mind to make the appropriate choices to bring it in.  Some like to use vision boards too to look at every day, filled with pictures of their goals and desires so it has a constant subliminal effect.
  7. We’re always telling ourselves how awful everything is, how uncertain the world is, how wrong other people are by their actions. It’s all disempowering helplessness.  We hypnotize ourselves and then seek comfort in others feeling the same thing so we don’t feel alone.  What if we all approached this next few months with a completely different frame of mind?  It’s very easy to focus on everything that is going wrong rather than everything that is changing for the better.  Become more conscious of your internal language and how you view the world.  Is it always judgemental because someone hasn’t obeyed the lockdown rules, or do you shift that focus away to how amazing it is to see the daffodils coming up?  Where the focus goes is where the energy flows.  The more beauty and good you focus on, the more you will notice and the happier and more grateful you will feel.  A great exercise is to list 20 different things every day that you are thankful for and you will start to feel a whole lot brighter in a short period of time.

Most of all, remember, this situation is temporary and changing. We cannot control what happens out there in the world, but we can control how we respond to it.

Caroline Cousins for New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times published on 5th March 2021