When “Normal” Doesn’t Feel “Normal”

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — August 3, 2021 — 3 min read
We have experienced a lot of changes in the past year and a half. Restrictions that were created to limit the spread of COVID-19 are now being lifted. It’s been hard to keep up. Currently, the mask mandate and capacity limitations are removed in most public places. Events and social gatherings are coming back in full swing.

You may be feeling anxious or excited to return to some normalcy. But what is the “new normal?”  Let’s explore how you can navigate it in a healthy way.

Stay Cautious

As we return to work and school, be mindful that things have changed. You should enjoy the new freedoms but still take precautions. The virus is still present. Even if you are protected, others may not be. Let’s work together to keep the infection rates low.

Here are some precautions you can take:

Get Vaccinated

It’s important to get vaccinated if you can. This will help protect you and others from getting the virus. Increasing vaccination rates will decrease our infection rates. It also limits the amount of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19.

Wear a Mask

Just because you don’t have to wear a mask doesn’t mean that you can’t. If you feel uncomfortable in a public space, put yours on. It’s important to continue to carry one with you. Some businesses may opt to require them. You should also wear one if you have symptoms.

Wash Your Hands

Regularly washing your hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself and limit the spread. Use public hand sanitizer stations. Be sure to wash your hands after touching public surfaces. These could include:
  • Door handles
  • Public transit
  • Grocery items
It is important to wash your hands before you eat or touch your face, too.

Avoid Close Contact With Others

Don’t feel like you must hug or shake hands with others. It’s best to limit physical contact and keep your distance. This is especially true if you aren’t sure the other person is vaccinated. Interact with others at a level you are comfortable with. Make sure others are also comfortable before engaging with them.

Avoid Contact With Those Who Are (or Could Be) Contagious

Even if you are vaccinated, it is best to avoid those who have COVID-19. The same goes for someone who has been exposed. If you do encounter the virus, be sure to follow CDC guidelines. If vaccinated, quarantine and testing are not required.

Managing Your Mental Health

Some concentrated on their mental health during quarantine. Their lives finally slowed down, and they were able to pay attention. There also wasn't pressure to be social or adventurous. Staying home and doing nothing was completely sufficient for once. As mandates are lifted, that pressure starts to creep back in.

Returning to “normal” doesn’t mean you have to revert to your old ways. Be sure to continue any healthy habits you developed last year. These could include:
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Cooking healthier meals
  •  Appreciating time with friends/family
  • Saying no to plans and having “me time”
Others may have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic. There was a lot of loss and fear. As we return to normal, consider finding ways to improve your mental health. You could start by trying any of the habits mentioned above. It’s never too late to start focusing on yourself.

You’ve Got This

Though the pandemic did bring a lot of heartbreak, there was also good. Be sure to focus on what you learned last year as life starts to change again. This “new normal” doesn’t have to look anything like your normal two years ago. That doesn’t mean it won’t be great. It could even be better.

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