Health and Wellbeing

How to keep your sanity in the new normal

With changes in our lives and in the world in hyperdrive, here are simple things that will help you take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing.

By Kaydee Dela Buena

The pandemic has altered, in one clean sweep, the way we interact with people, the way we work, the way we buy our goods. These are “new normal” times, where changes are in hyperdrive and we don’t have any choice but to just go along for the ride. Question is how do we stay sane and preserve our emotional and mental wellbeing?

Your days and nights will probably be spent adjusting to the new work set-up—WFH with your kids, your pets, your family—or to the fact that you can’t go out like you used to or get takeout when you crave for something, or visit your family and friends whenever. It’s quite frankly, mentally and emotionally draining.

But there are things that can help—support system, routines, schedules. Anything that will provide structure and normalcy in these abnormal times is a lifeline. Here are some things you can already do to cope.

1. Establish a routine.

With all the chaos and uncertainty that is happening around us, sticking to a routine offers a sense of security and normalcy in our lives. It gives us something to focus on and it shows that we can steer our own ships. We still have control.

2. Stay connected.

Going into quarantine doesn’t mean cutting off all communications with your loved ones. Today’s technology enables us to still feel a sense of community even when we’re stuck at home.

So go set up virtual group dates with your friends and family. Have e-numan sessions. Don’t limit your daily conversations to just your boss and colleagues. Relax a bit and spend time with people outside your work and family. It’s a form of self-care, too. Spending time with people, even behind a screen, can still create happy memories and ease our anxieties.

But hey, don’t forget the people you live with either. Spend quality time with them, too. Go on dinner ‘dates’ with your partner during the weekends. Schedule play times with your children before or after work. If you’re living with a roommate, set up weekly movie nights or chat over a bottle of wine or two.

3. Do something new or fun every day.

For most of us whose lives have slowed down, don’t forget leisure time. Don’t allow your life to be just work and family. You’ll lose your sanity. Keep things different and exciting. Learn new things. Get new hobbies. Do gardening, yoga, and meditation. Get your creative juices flowing with calligraphy or knitting. Scour the internet for recipes and practice your cooking skills. The list is literally endless!

4. Get physical!

Slipping into a sedentary lifestyle is so easy with lockdowns and WFH setup. You’ll likely be spending hours sitting and typing on your laptop, watching Netflix, or browsing your phone. Don’t fall into that rabbit hole.

Set up breaks where you can stretch and walk around. Get coffee or grab some snacks. Establish an exercise routine in the morning before you log on to your work computer. You don’t need equipment. Just jog in place, stretch, and jump.

If that’s not your thing, you can opt for one of the dozens of online fitness classes. Just get moving! When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which triggers a positive feeling. And when you’re in a happy state of mind, you’ll be able to accomplish more tasks. Win-win!

This pandemic has turned our lives upside down but we can turn it back up. It’s not easy but with enough willpower, we can adjust and eventually, make this our new normal.